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Spokane Snatches Win from Tri-City’s Grasp

(Bud Bareither/Spokane Indians)
August 17, 2023

Two outs stood between the Tri-City Dust Devils (16-28 2H, 50-60) and victory in the Lilac City Wednesday night, but the Spokane Indians (20-24 2H, 53-56) staged a three-run 9th inning rally to break Tri-City hearts and grab a 5-4 walk-off win at Avista Stadium. An 8th inning home run

Two outs stood between the Tri-City Dust Devils (16-28 2H, 50-60) and victory in the Lilac City Wednesday night, but the Spokane Indians (20-24 2H, 53-56) staged a three-run 9th inning rally to break Tri-City hearts and grab a 5-4 walk-off win at Avista Stadium.

An 8th inning home run by 1B Matt Coutney gave the Dust Devils a 4-2 lead that held to the bottom of the 9th. Before the Coutney homer, Tri-City had scored single runs in the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings to erase a 2-0 Spokane advantage beginning with a sacrifice fly by RF Alexander Ramirez in the 4th. Coutney singled to open the 5th, getting to third via a walk to SS Andy Blake and a bunt single by CF D’Shawn Knowles, and scored on a double play ball to tie the game at 2-2.

A three-hit burst in the 6th put the Dust Devils in front for the first time. DH Arol Vera singled to lead off the frame, and Ramirez did the same to put two on with no one out. 3B Werner Blakely then found space down the right field line, singling and scoring Vera for a 3-2 lead before getting tagged out at second.

The rally for the Indians came off reliever Willian Suarez (2-3), who pitched a 1-2-3 8th but struggled with his control in the 9th. Spokane 3B Ben Sems and 1B Cuba Bess walked to lead off the 9th, and C Ronaiker Palma pressured the defense with a sacrifice bunt, triggering an error.

Suarez struck out DH Benny Montgomery with the bases loaded to get an out on the board, but SS Ryan Ritter walked to bring the Indians within a run at 4-3. LF Juan Guerrero then struck the final blow, singling through the infield and scoring pinch-runner Jamari Baylor and Palma to end the game.

Spokane reliever Luis Amoroso (4-1) pitched a scoreless 1.1 innings for the win, preventing Tri-City from adding insurance runs in both the 8th and 9th innings. The walk-off for the Indians also handed the Dust Devils their tenth straight loss, extending the team’s longest losing streak of the year.

Offensively, the visitors received three-hit games from both Werner Blakely and Matt Coutney, and D’Shawn Knowles’s 2 for 5 night extended his hitting streak to eight games. LF Joe Stewart added a fourth multi-hit game as part of the team’s 12 hits. Reliever Roman Phansalkar also had a nice rebound outing on the mound, striking out three in throwing 2.2 scoreless innings.

Game three of the six-game series between Tri-City and Spokane is marked for a 6:35 p.m. first pitch Thursday night at Avista Stadium. Right-hander Chase Chaney (6-5, 3.10 ERA) has been announced as the likely starter for the Dust Devils. Former Dust Devil left-hander Mason Albright (0-0, 0.00 ERA), traded two-and-a-half weeks ago to the Colorado Rockies, will counter for the Indians.

Broadcast coverage begins with the pregame show at 6:15 p.m., both here and at the MiLB First Pitch app.

After the Spokane series Tri-City will return to Gesa Stadium Tuesday, August 22 for a six-game set with the Everett AquaSox. Tickets for both the Everett series and all games are on sale now with special ticket rates available for groups of 20 or more. For more information on Dust Devils single game, season, mini-plan (11, 22, 33) and group tickets, visit dustdevilsbaseball.com, call the team office at (509) 544-8789, or visit the team office (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on game nights, or Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. otherwise).