The Tri-City Dust Devils struggled to plate runs Tuesday night at Gesa Stadium, dropping the series opener against the Spokane Indians 7-2. Tri-City went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position as the Dust Devils' offense was subdued throughout the game by the Spokane pitching staff.
The lone Dust Devils' (26-31 Overall, 7-12 Second Half) run came after shortstop Pat Valaika slapped a two-out broken-bat groundball single through the hole between first and second base to score third baseman Michael Benjamin. Tri-City managed six hits on the night, with right fielder Mike Tauchman and second baseman Alec Mehrten each tallying a hit.
Spokane (29-28, 9-10) starting pitcher David Ledbetter gave the Dust Devils some early chances, escaping the first two innings with runners in scoring position and allowing one run in three innings of work. Reliever Richard Alvarez (2-2) earned the win for the Indians, throwing five impressive innings of relief in which he didn't allow a run on just one hit, while striking out seven.
Tri-City starter Antonio Senzatela (1-3) took the loss, allowing three runs on three hits while striking out five and walking three. The Dust Devils' bullpen couldn't stop the steady flow of Spokane runs, as they combined to allow four runs on five hits over the final five innings.
Game two of three between the Dust Devils and Indians is Wednesday night at Gesa Stadium as Tri-City looks to bounce back from the series opening loss. It will be 80's Night at the ballpark, with the sounds and sights of the 80's making their annual appearance at Gesa Stadium. Right-hander Logan Norris will be starting on the mound for Tri-City with righty John Niggli toeing the rubber for the Spokane Indians, with first pitch at 7:15 p.m. The homestand against North Division rival Spokane is followed by a five game series with the Boise Hawks. Tickets are available by visiting www.dustdevilsbaseball.com or calling the front office at (509) 544-8789.
Dust Devils Baseball… "It Will Blow You Away!"