Photos: The Eugene Emeralds defeat the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 4-1

Eugene Emeralds infielder Luis Diaz (15) throws the ball to first. The Eugene Emeralds host the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes at PK Park in Eugene, Ore. on July 25, 2018. (Devin Roux/Emerald)

The Eugene Emeralds lost for the first time as a Giants affiliate on Saturday, falling 10-6 to the Spokane Indians at Avista Stadium. The offense struggled early, and the Indians scored six in the fifth inning to dig a hole that the Emeralds couldn’t claw out of.

Outfielder Hunter Bishop got a second straight day off after he was a late scratch for undisclosed reasons before Friday’s game. Fellow first-rounder Will Wilson also got a night off.

The Emeralds faced right-hander Karl Kauffmann in his professional debut, while Conner Nurse got the start for Eugene. Nurse allowed a two-out single in the first but threw out the runner trying to steal second.

Diego Rincones drew a one-out walk in the second, but was erased on a double play.

Nurse gave up another hit in the bottom of the second, but it was catcher Patrick Bailey this time who caught the runner trying to steal. He walked the next batter but recorded his first strikeout to end the inning.

Nurse walked the leadoff man in the third, but Bailey made another throw for the Emeralds’ third caught runner of the game. The next batter was hit by a pitch, and the runner finally stole a bag successfully for the Indians. Nurse induced two groundouts to keep the game scoreless.

Spokane broke the ice in the fourth, as Michael Toglia hit his fourth home run of the series, a two-run shot to give the Indians a 2-0 lead.

Despite some spotty control, Kauffmann set the Emeralds down hitless through five innings.

Taylor Rashi replaced Nurse to start the bottom of the fifth. The Indians rallied with two singles, a walk and a wild pitch to make it 4-0. Two more walks and a sacrifice fly made it 5-0, and a three-run homer broke the game open as Spokane put up a six-spot in the fifth.

Kauffmann was taken out for Bobby Johnson after five innings, despite not having allowed any hits. Carter Aldrete greeted Johnson with his first hit of the season to break up the no-hitter. Aldrete advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a fly out and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jacob Gonzalez as the Emeralds scratched out a run.

The Emeralds continued to claw back in the seventh. Tyler Fitzgerald and Rincones singled, and Fitzgerald scored to make it 8-2.

The Indians got those two runs back in the bottom of the seventh with an RBI double and an RBI fielder’s choice that made it 10-2.

Eugene loaded the bases in the eighth, and a wild pitch and a single closed the gap to 10-4. Sean Roby walked to load the bases for Logan Wyatt, who drove in a fifth run with a hard-hit fielder’s choice. Rincones struck out to end the rally, cursing at himself as he walked back to the dugout.

Down 10-5, Franklin Labour homered on the first pitch of the ninth to get the Emeralds within four. The comeback was short-lived as they went down quietly and their perfect season came to an end with a 10-6 loss.

The Emeralds fall to 4-1 but still sit atop the High-A West. They’ll play the final game of their season-opening series against the Indians on Sunday at 5:09 p.m.

Sports Reporter

Joseph “Mojo” Hill is a sports writer and associate editor from Los Angeles. He enjoys watching and covering baseball. Outside of writing, he enjoys watching movies, playing tennis and playing clarinet.