Starter Will Ethridge roughed up, Spokane Indians handled by first-place Eugene in series opener

The Spokane Indians entered play on Tuesday with an opportunity to cut into their deficit in the Northwest League with a six-game series against the league-leading Eugene Emeralds.

But almost from the start it didn’t go the Indians way, and the hole they have to climb out of got a little but deeper.

Jairo Pomares and Patrick Bailey hit back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning to blow it open and the Emeralds beat the Indians 11-3 at Avista Stadium, pushing the home team 5 1/2 games back in the standings.

Warming Bernabel had the offensive highlight for the home team with a solo homer in the ninth inning, his fourth of the season.

Eugene (20-11) got something going in the second as Pomares doubled and Bailey drew a walk off Indians starter Will Ethridge.

With one down, Robert Emery hit a liner to left that Robby Martin made a sliding catch on, then started to jog off the field, apparently forgetting it was just the second out of the inning, and both runners were able to scramble back to their bases.

Ethridge hit Jimmy Glowenke to load the bases, then No. 9 hitter Najee Gaskins ripped a double to the left-center gap, clearing the bases. Consecutive RBI doubles by Vaun Brown and Luis Matos followed to make it 5-0.

The Indians (14-16) got on the board in the fourth. Zac Veen singled and stole second, his league-leading 48th, then Hunter Goodman doubled to left to plate Veen.

But Eugene kept attacking. In the fifth, Pomares lofted a fly down the left field line that carried for a two-run shot, then Bailey followed with a no-doubter over the scoreboard in right center as Eugene went up 8-1.

After Ethridge issued his third walk of the game, manager Scott Little came out with the hook. Ethridge went 4 2/3 innings and allowed eight runs on seven hits with three strikeouts.

Matos added a three-run double in the ninth.

move: Prior to the game, starter Mike Ruff and reliever Austin Kitchen were promoted to Double-A Hartford and catcher Drew Romo was placed on the injured list retroactive to July 31.

Romo hasn’t played since June 23 with a bruised right hand. He played 13 games in July and hit .188 with two extra base hits. The 20-year-old switch-hitter, the no. 76 overall prospect according to MLB.com, is hitting .280 with five homers, 48 ​​RBIs and 14 stolen bases this season.

Pitchers Juan Mejia, Raymells Rosa, and Case Williams were promoted from Low-A Fresno.

Williams, 20, was the Colorado Rockies fourth-round pick in the 2020 MLB draft. He went 9-2 with a 4.22 ERA and 90 innings in 16 starts over 89 2/3 innings. Mejia and Rosa signed with the club as international free agents.