The Volcanoes completed a five-game sweep of the Spokane Indians on Saturday, with Cameron Lamb and Cody Hall combining for a two-hit 1-0 victory.
A crowd of 3,428 on the last day of Cancer Awareness Weekend saw not only the Volcanoes Stadium rarity of a pitchers’ duel but also some excellent fielding plays. In the fourth inning, center fielder Jesus Galindo made a running catch far to his right of a fly from Brett Nicholas to help put Spokane down 1-2-3. In the ninth, second baseman Kaohi Downing held Indians pinch hitter Rougned Odor at first base by backing up an errant throw.
The first Spokane hit was a single to center by Edwin Garcia in the first inning. He went to second base on a grounder and third on a wild pitch by Indians starter Kevin Matthews, but Lamb struck out Nicholas to retire the side.
In the Salem-Keizer first, Galindo walked, reached second on a passed ball by Jorge Alfaro and stole third with Brett Krill at bat, but Krill grounded out to end the inning.
Staley got the Volcanoes’ first hit, a single to left, in the second but was stranded. Batters were set down in order through the third and the top of the fourth.
Joe Panik led off the Volcanoes’ fourth with a double to left, the only extra-base hit of the game. Krill flew out to right, with Panik going to third. Downing, on a three-and-two count, brought Panik home with a sacrifice fly to right.
Leading off the bottom of the fifth, Chuckie Jones hit an infield single. Brock flew out to right, and with John Eshleman at bat, Jones headed for second when he saw a pitch hit the dirt. Alfaro, however, grabbed the ball in time to throw to first baseman Nicholas, who threw to second baseman Nick Vickerson, and Jones was out in a rundown. Eshleman and Galindo walked, but a fly to right from the bat of Shawn Payne ended the inning.
Spokane sent Kyle Hendricks in to pitch the sixth. He struck out Panik, walked Krill and got Downing to hit into a double play.
Jones singled to left in the seventh with one out but was caught in another rundown, this time on a stealing attempt.
Hall came in to pitch the eighth. Lamb, removed because he had thrown his limit of pitches, left the game with six strikeouts and no bases on balls. Hall walked Guillermo Pimentel but got Zach Cone to hit into a double play, Panik to Downing to first baseman Danny Brock, and struck out Alfaro.
Matt West took the mound for Spokane in the Salem-Keizer eighth. Eshleman grounded out trying for a drag bunt, and Galindo struck out. Shawn Payne singled to left but was thrown out trying to steal second.
In the ninth, Odor bunted for a single, and Downing saved an extra base with his backup play. Vickerson sacrificed Odor to second, but Hall struck out pinch hitter Yefry Castillo and got Garcia to fly out to center. The game was over, and Hall had his third save. Lamb, who struggled in the first half of the season, ran his record to 3-5, and Matthews, the losing pitcher, is now 0-1.
“Cameron Lamb was outstanding,” Volcanoes manager Tom Trebelhorn commented. “Downing made a terrific backup.”
Lamb, asked whether he had been working on any new pitches, replied, “Just the same stuff, concentrating on ground balls.”
Asked to comment on the difference between the season halves for the Volcanoes, Downing said it was a matter of “keeping at it.”
“We had a frustrating first half,” he said, “so we just keep working at getting better.”