Eugene, OR - An early lead could not be overcome after four unearned runs scored as the Eugene Emeralds fought back but ultimately fell to the Spokane Indians 5-4 in front of 2,043 at PK Park.
Things looked good for the start of the game for the Ems (30-28, 9-11) after Bailey Clark (1-4, 4.31 ERA) got the first two out quickly, but a throwing error allowed Matt Whatley to hit his fourth homer of the year to make it a 2-0 ballgame.
Clark got through the next two innings unscathed before a hit batter and two walks led to a base's loaded situation for Spokane (27-31, 11-9) led to sacrifice fly by Cristian Inoa to make it 3-0.
Then things got a little crazy in the fifth inning. After a ball was deflected by Clark and went for a hit, a wild throw scored the runner from first because Chris Seise never stopped running. The throw home allowed Tyler Ratliff to move up to second base.
With the next batter at the plate, a wild pitch went near the Spokane dugout. By the time an Emerald player had fielded the ball, Seise was on his way home and an offline throw allowed him to score, making it a 5-0 ballgame.
Clark would throw five innings and give up five runs, one earned, with four walks and three strikeouts.
The Ems would mount a comeback in the seventh with some craziness of their own. Gustavo Polanco struck out swinging but reached first on a drop third strike. A lineout brought Miguel Amaya up and he singled on a line drive. Spokane pitcher Alex Speas struck out the next two batters, but on the last one Zach Davis reached first safely on yet another drop third strike to load the bases.
Chris Singleton then drove the first ball he saw to the shortstop, who threw the ball away and allowed two runs to score, making it 5-2. Jhonny Bethencourt then walked to reload the bases before Michael Cruz was hit by a pitch, scoring another run.
Josh Advocate replaced Speas and walked Brandon Hughes to make it a 5-4 game. Polanco, the lead-off batter of the inning, then flew out to end the inning.
Ricky Tyler Thomas and Casey Ryan closed the game out for the Ems, going two innings each, with Thomas giving up just one hit with a walk and strikeout and Ryan giving up two hits with a strikeout.
The Ems will be on the road for three games before coming home for the final seven home games of the regular season, starting Aug. 19th. Tickets can be purchased at emeraldsbaseball.com or by calling the box office at 541-342-5367.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.