SPOKANE — For a second straight game, solid starting pitching, patience at the plate and Spokane Indians’ miscues ensured a win for the Everett AquaSox.
Everett starter Lars Huijer allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings, the Sox drew nine walks, had three batters hit by Spokane pitches and capitalized on two errors as Everett earned a 6-4 win over the Indians on Saturday night.
Alfredo Morales and Reggie Lawson each finished 2-for-4 with two walks. Michael Faulkner also went 2-for-4 and scored twice and Martin Peguero had two RBI for Everett.
Indians designated hitter Janluis Castro accounted for two of Spokane’s three hits and drove in two.
As in the season opener, Everett opened the scoring in the first inning. Reggie Lawson hit a two-out, RBI single off starter Yohander Mendez to score James Zamarripa, who had reached on an error.
The Sox added to their lead in the second without hitting a ball out of the infield. Everett utilized a hit by pitch, a bunt single from Faulkner, an error and two walks to push across two more runs. After getting plunked by a Mendez pitch to lead off the inning, Jamodrick McGruder scored when Indians shortstop Alberto Triunfel booted Zamarripa’s grounder in the hole. Back-to-back walks to Morales and Peguero forced home Faulkner with the second run. Everett had a chance to inflict further damage, but Mendez struck out Lawson and Phillips Castillo to leave the bases loaded. Mendez lasted just three innings, struck out five and walked four to take the loss.
Indians pitcher Richard Alvarez relieved Mendez in the fourth and fared no better. Alvarez hit two of the first four batters he faced. The second hit-by-pitch came on an 0-2 count to Castillo with the bases loaded to force in a run and Carlton Tanabe added an RBI grounder to extend Everett’s lead to 5-0.
Everett’s conga line of base runners continued in the fifth. Faulkner and Zamarripa led off with infield singles and Morales drew a walk to load the bases before the Indians pitcher Kelvin Vasquez could record an out. But the Frogs could only plate one on Peguero’s sacrifice fly.
Stranding base runners would be a common theme on the night for Everett. The Sox stranded 16 runners overall, including 12 in the first five innings and finished just 2-for-17 with runners in scoring position. However, Huijer ensured that the lack of situational hitting did not come back to hurt Everett. After allowing a leadoff single in the second to Castro, Huijer retired the next 14 Spokane hitters in a row and had all six of his strikeouts during that streak.
The Indians finally broke through against the Dutch right-hander in the sixth. After getting two groundouts to open the inning, the Huijer’s control deserted him. Huijer sandwiched two hit batters around a walk to load the bases and Castro made Huijer pay with a two-run double down the right-field line to end the 19-year-old’s night. Sox reliever Min-Sih Chen prevented further damange with a strikeout of Triunfel to end the inning.
Spokane scored two more in the ninth on two Jose Valdivia wild pitches, but the right-hander struck out Roberto Duran to end the game.