SPOKANE, WASH. --- Ardent Spokane Indians fans had to be thinking "here we go again," when they saw Will Gorman's mammoth drive down the right field line with two down in the top of the 9th on Sunday at Avista Stadium. After all, Spokane was 0-7 against the Hops in 2018, and had coughed up a three-run ninth-inning lead to Hillsboro two nights earlier. With two men on base, a homer would have given the Hops a one-run lead.
But Gorman's blast hooked foul. Two pitches later, Indians reliever Emmanuel Clase struck Gorman out to close out Spokane's 2-0 victory. The Hops, who have the best record in the league, saw their four-game winning streak come to an end.
Spokane took the lead in the bottom of the first inning. With two down, Curtis Terry doubled off Hops starter Luis Frias --- making his first-ever appearance above Rookie ball --- and Diosbel Arias singled him home.
The Indians added to their lead in the bottom of the sixth. Arias led off the inning with a double, advanced to second base on a Jax Biggers fly out, and scored on a Francisco Ventura double.
Meanwhile, the Hops wasted their chances against the Spokane starter, left-hander Jake Latz. Hillsboro put runners at first and second with none out in the third, and a runner at second with two out in the fourth, but came up empty. In the sixth, Hops center fielder Jorge Perez singled, but was caught stealing… which hurt when the following two batters, Geraldo Perdomo and Ryan Tufts, also singled.
Cole Uvila worked hitless innings in the seventh and eighth for Spokane to preserve the 2-0 lead, but Keshawn Lynch advanced to first with one out in the ninth after being ruled to have been hit by a pitch that went behind him. With two down, Dan Swain worked a 10-pitch walk out of Uvila.
That brought up Gorman, playing in his first game with Hillsboro in 44 days. Gorman had been hit in the mouth by a fastball from Everett left-hander Max Roberts on Opening Night (June 15th), causing several facial fractures. He had singled in his first at-bat in the third, and then nearly became the hero in the ninth.
Frias (0-1) took the loss, Latz (3-1) got the win, and Clase earned his league-leading seventh save.
The Hops (28-16 overall, 4-2 in the second half) will face Spokane (20-24 overall, 4-2 in the second half) in the fourth game of the five-game series on Monday night at Avista Stadium. The radio broadcast begins at 6:30 on Rip City Radio 620 AM and www.RipCityRadio.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.