SPOKANE - The old saying goes that baseball is a game of inches. Never was that statement more readily apparent than Tuesday night at Avista Stadium, as the Indians saw a close game unravel at the seams in a 7-1 loss to the Canadians in front of 4,315 fans.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth, shortstop Nick Urbanus missed a home run by less than a foot, as his line drive ricocheted off the wall just to the left of The Black Book Depot. Designated hitter Preston Beck followed with a cue shot off the end of the bat that hugged the third base line before rolling foul at the last moment. Instead of runners at second and third and one out, Spokane's rally died as Beck popped out and rightfielder Royce Bolinger flied to center to end the inning.
First baseman Ryan Rua knotted the game at one the next inning with a towering home run over the Gus Johnson Ford sign in left field, leaving the crowd in awe with a shot that seemed destined to land in the neighboring zip code.
Unfortunately for the Indians, the inches between a glove and a ball, not the feet in Rua's home run would decide the game. After a double from Balbino Fuenmayor and a walk to Kellen Sweeney, Indians reliever Taylor Dennis (0-1) induced what looked like an inning-ending groundball from Vancouver's Daniel Arcila. The inning didn't end though, as the ball slipped through the legs of second baseman Cam Schiller and into right field, where a throwing error from Bolinger compounded the damage, allowing two runs to score and opening the floodgates to another painful loss.
Starter Eric Brooks pitched two scoreless innings in his professional debut, and Shawn Blackwell and Cody Kendall provided five more frames of one-run ball.
The Indians head on the road for a five-game series against the Everett Aquasox (Seattle Mariners) before returning to Avista Stadium on Monday, June 25th to face the Boise Hawks