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Late Fireworks Propel Indians


The Spokane Indians have put in extra time in the cage to work on hitting the fastball.

On Thursday, they saw more signs of their hard work paying off.

The Indians batted around in a six-run seventh and cruised to a 10-3 win over the Eugene Emeralds in front of a crowd of 7,027 at Avista Stadium on Thursday. The Indians have won five straight, matching their longest winning streak since June 18-22, 2011.

"The offense has done a great job because we are attacking the fastball," said catcher Kevin Torres, who had three hits and an RBI. "A couple of the first games I was here, everybody was late on the fastball. We've been working with [hitting coach] Bobby [Rose] in the cage before the game. Be ready for the fastball in all counts at home plate -- that's the difference right now."

The difference in Thursday's Fourth of July spectacle was the seventh inning. Trailing 3-2, the Indians took a 4-3 lead on back-to-back bases-loaded walks by Alberto Triunfel and Ryan Cordell.

Barrett Serrato followed with a what looked to be a routine sacrifice fly. Chris Garia easily scored from third, but Cordell got caught in a rundown between first and second. Heads up running by Triunfel allowed him to score during the play and Cordell cruised into second safely.

If Eugene hadn't unraveled before then, the game then got away from the Emeralds, who proceeded to commit two errors, walk two and give up three singles. By the time the seventh came to a close, Spokane led 8-3.

The Indians tacked on another two runs in the eighth when Serrato brought home Garia and Cordell on a booming double to the center-field wall.

"It's crazy man," Torres said. "Being losing 3-0, the guys come together like, see guys mad in the dugout, think that the game's over. We put two, then six, then two again and we got a chance to win this game."

The Indians had been quiet offensively through the first five frames, but cut a three-run deficit to 3-2 with a double by Garia, a triple by Triunfel and a wild pitch in the sixth.

"We didn't get much early in the game," manager Tim Hulett said. "It was one of those days where I think the shadows really affected us, and their guy had some pretty good stuff with some late movement. We didn't get many hits, but as soon as it was getting dark you could see our swings were getting better."

Emeralds leadoff man Ronnie Richardson collected two hits, a run and an RBI to help Eugene out to an early 3-0 lead after four innings.

That was more than enough of an advantage for Emeralds starter Erik Cabrera, who allowed just two hits and two walks in five scoreless innings. But relievers Genison Reyes, Michael Kelly, Josh Richardson and Jairo Gomez all allowed runs. Kelly was tagged with the loss.

 Ironically, catcher Miguel Del Castillo was the only player to come on in relief in and not give up a run. Castillo pitched 1/3 of an inning.

Sam Wolff got the win for the Indians, throwing a scoreless two innings of one-hit ball.

"It was a lot of fun tonight, it really was, with the crowd and everything," Wolff said. "It was just a blast."