Joe Thatcher has been great in Portland. Nathan Culp gives up three homers for the second time this…
"Their starting pitcher was – strike one, strike two," manager Greg Riddoch said. "You are in a hole all the time. If you looked before the game he had 34 strikeouts in 20 innings. There is a method to his madness and we became part of what everyone else has. He is a good pitcher."
Two errors and a third ball lost in the sun led to a pair of unearned runs off Eugene starter Miles Mikolas in the fourth. His night ended after 3.2 innings after yielding three hits and walking two while fanning four.
"A couple of errors didn't help – you can't beat yourself," Riddoch said.
"This is Spring Training for him," pitching coach Bronswell Patrick said. "He was on a 55-pitch limit and hit right at 55 so we took him out of the game."
Pedro Hernandez was the victim of an opposite field homers in the fifth, pushing the Spokane lead to 3-0. A sharp double down the left field line and bloop single led to another run an inning later.
"He is not pitching the way he did down in extended," Patrick added. "I think a lot has to do with the older guys here. You leave pitches up in the zone – guys don't miss. That is what has been happening the last couple of outings. The changeup was his bread and butter and he has been leaving it up and it gets hit hard. He will bounce back. I think he needs to regain the confidence. He has to work down in the zone and use his offspeed pitches."
The left-handed Hernandez would allow a run in his third straight inning during the seventh. He would be removed from the game after giving up three runs on five hits in 2.2 innings, walking one. Al Angelucci was able to prevent further damage by inducing a double play grounder. The Australian right-hander was perfect in his 2.2 innings.
Offensively, Dean Anna went 3-for-4 but Edinson Rincon grounded into two double plays and Nate Freiman and Chadd Hartman each had their own rally killers. The lone Emerald run came in the bottom of the ninth on a double play grounder from Hartman.
Talk about this story on our subscriber-only message boards