EVERETT — The Everett AquaSox extended their Northwest League North Division lead to two games Monday with a 7-4 win over the Spokane Indians before 1,806 fans at Everett Memorial Stadium.
The AquaSox (17-14) now lead both Vancouver and Tri-City by two games with seven contests to go in the first half. The Frogs have won four straight and five of six.
It wasn’t a pretty game. The teams combined for 17 walks and stranded 22 runners on base. Nevertheless the Frogs took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first and never trailed.
Ivan Fortunato (3-1) earned the win with three innings of relief of starter Michael Plassmeyer. Joey Gerber got the final four outs for his sixth save of the season as he lowered his earned-run average to 1.64 for the season.
Josh Stowers homered, doubled and drove in three runs. He also took a fastball in the back with two outs in the eighth that led the home plate umpire to warn both benches. Troy Dixon had three hits and scored twice, and Nick Rodriguez also had a pair of hits.
Stowers led off with his third home run of the season over the left-center field fence. One out later, Dixon and Rodriguez collected back-to-back singles and, with two outs Connor Hoover singled in Dixon. Ryan Ramiz and Connor Kopach then drew back-to-back walks to force in Rodriguez and Everett took the three-run lead into the third.
An infield single by Juan Ventura drove in Diosbel Arias for Spokane’s first run in the top of the fourth as the Indians cut the deficit to 3-1.
Charlie McConnell got the run back when he led off the bottom of the inning with his second home run in as many games. He then threw out Husuan Viera who was trying to score from third on a shallow fly ball in the top of the fifth as Everett retained the 4-1 lead.
Curtis Terry cut the lead to 4-2 in the top of the sixth with a solo home run, his ninth of the season.
Stowers answered with a two-out, two-run double off the wall in right-center to give Everett a 6-2 lead. The Frogs added another in the seventh on a two-out error.
Ventura’s hit a solo home run, and Jax Biggers walked with the bases loaded to cut the deficit to 7-4.
That was as close as it got.
The teams return for the second game of the three-game series tonight at 7:05 p.m.