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Chase Dollander strikes out 12 over 5 1/3 innings, Spokane Indians walk-off Everett 5-4

Apr. 19—Chase Dollander ranks No. 2 on the Colorado Rockies' top prospects list, according to MLB.com. So far, through his first three professional appearances, he's playing the part.

Dollander was dominant through five innings before running to trouble in the sixth, but his teammates got him off the hook.

Pinch-runner Braiden Ward scored from second on Jesus Bugarin's base hit in the bottom of the ninth and the Spokane Indians (10-3) beat the Everett Aquasox 5-4 in a Northwest League game at Avista Stadium on Friday.

In Spokane's ninth, Kyle Karros walked and Ward entered as a pinch-runner. He stole second and Robby Martin Jr. was intentionally walked. Bryant Betancourt struck out, but Bugarin delivered with a single through the right side, his fourth hit of the game, and Ward race home with the winning run.

"They put me in for one reason and one reason only — get on and get into scoring position," Ward said. "Let the guys behind me hit me in. That's what we executed tonight. I did my part, Bugarin did his part, so that's all you can ask for."

Dollander, a 22-year-old right hander picked ninth overall in last year's MLB draft, struck out 12 over 5 1/3 innings. He allowed four earned runs — two after he left the game — on three hits, a walk and a hit by pitch.

Entering play, Dollander had tossed 10 innings over two starts and allowed one earned run (0.90 ERA) on four hits, with four walks with 15 strikeouts. The only run he had allowed came on a solo home run.

"I never hunt (strikeouts)," Dollander said. "Sometimes I am. I shouldn't say never. But usually, I'm just trying to execute my game and if that happens, everything will take care of itself."

Dollander used a rising fastball and nasty curveball to his advantage against Everett (3-10).

"That's a pitch (curveball) that I've been wanting to have for a while," Dollander said. "And the fact that I had it tonight makes me really happy and I'm just going to start building off that."

Everett's Brock Rodden and Josh Hood led off the game with back-to-back hard-hit doubles to right off Dollander for a 1-0 lead. Dollander came back to strike out the next three batters to limit the damage.

"You never want to see (the first two batters reaching), but the fact that I was able to just like calm down and stay cool (and) collected, and just kind of keep doing my game was huge for me," Dollander said.

Dollander had four more strikeouts over the next two innings, but also surrendered Rodden's solo homer in the third for a 2-0 deficit.

The Indians got back-to-back two-out singles by Bryant Betancourt and Bugarin in the bottom of the fourth, then Juan Guerrero dropped a double into the left-center gap to get the home team on the board.

Dollander struck out two more in the fifth.

Everett turned to reliever Juan Burgos for the bottom half and the 24-year-old provided no relief. He walked the first three batters he faced — on 12 pitches. Spokane got a run on Martin's one-out sacrifice fly , then Burgos walked Betancourt to load the bases for Bugarin, who struck out to end the inning.

Dollander ran into trouble in the sixth, the first time this season he's pitched past the fifth. He went 3-2 before hitting Rodden and walked Hood on a full count, running his pitch count to 90. He struck out Bill Knight, his 12th of the day, ending his appearance.

"I was kind of frustrated there at the end that I let those two guys on base, but you know, that happens," Dollander said. "I kind of got tired toward the end. But other than that, I thought was pretty good."

Lefty Carson Skipper entered, but Ben Williamson ripped a liner over the third-base bag and into the Indians' bullpen down the left-field line and two runs scored to put Everett up 4-2.

Spokane rallied in the seventh. With one down, Dyan Jorge walked and Karros singled. Jorge stole third, then Martin lined a single to center to score Jorge and put runners at the corners. With two down, Bugarin's soft liner to right-center fell for a single and Karros scored to tie it.