The Spokane Indians jumped out to a large early lead that proved to be insurmountable for the Yakima Bears as the Tribe won the game 6-1 to sweep the best-of-three series and capture the Northwest League East pennant Tuesday night.
Spokane took advantage of a hit batsman and walk by scoring four runs on three hits in the opening frame to take a 4-0 lead. The Indians managed just one hit after that decisive first inning but tacked on insurance runs in the fourth and fifth innings to help pull away.
Randol Rojas pitched six innings, allowing a run on six hits while striking out four and walking one to earn the win. Enrique Burgos pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on four hits while striking out five and walking seven to suffer the loss.
The Spokane Indians had pulled away from the Yakima Bears 5-1 in game one thanks to Andrew Clark's three-run single in the seventh. The Bears had tied up the game 1-1 in the bottom of the second inning on a Michael Weber sacrifice fly, but then stranded runners on second and third with one out.
Jorge Marban pitched 2 1/3 innings for Spokane, allowing no runs on two hits to earn the game one victory in relief. Jake Hale, who had given up just one earned run in 38 regular-season innings, allowed three runs on two hits while striking out one and walking two to suffer the loss.
The Bears outhit the Indians 15-to-10 in the series, but were outscored 11-to-2 due to struggles with runners in scoring position. Yakima went just 3-for-20 with runners in scoring position, stranding 21 runners on base in the two games.
Yakima finished the regular season with its best record since 2003, and made its first playoff appearance since 2000. Spokane will meet the Everett AquaSox in a best-of-3 series to determine the Northwest League champions beginning Thursday night.
- The Yakima bullpen allowed just one hit in 7.1 shutout innings aside from Hale's struggles.
- Mike Freeman and Yazy Arbelo each reached base five times in the series.
- The Bears only stole one base in each game after averaging more than two per game during the regular season
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