Starter Sean Sullivan sharp again, bullpen falters as Spokane Indians fall to Eugene 7-2

May 2—It would be hard to draw up a better scenario for the start of Sean Sullivan's 2024 season. Through his first three starts, the 21-year-old allowed just five earned runs on 15 2/3 innings (2.87 ERA) with 22 strikeouts — 13 in his first appearance on April 6.

Thursday night he continued his dominance over the Northwest League. Unfortunately, that's all that went right for the home team.

Scott Bandura hit a three-run home run off reliever Brayan Castillo in the sixth inning, and the Eugene Emeralds beat the Spokane Indians 7-2 in a Northwest League game at Avista Stadium.

Sullivan went five innings and allowed one earned run on five hits, striking out 10 with no walks. He threw 88 pitches, 64 for strikes.

Sullivan struck out two in the first, one in the second, three in the third and two more in the fourth.

The Emeralds (17-7) finally got to Sullivan in the fifth inning. Tanner O'Tremba led off the inning with a double and with two down, Quinn McDaniel flared a single to right field and O'Tremba scored without a throw.

Sullivan bounced back to strike out Andrew Kachel to end the inning.

The Indians (14-6) tied it up in the bottom half to get Sullivan off the hook. Jose Cordova hit a one-out double, moved up on Parker Kelly's single and scored on Braiden Ward's bunt single. Kelly and Ward executed a double steal, but Dyan Jorge struck out and Kyle Karros grounded out to end the rally.

That would prove costly in the next inning. Castillo came in for Sullivan and was immediately ineffective. He walked back-to-back hitters to bring up Bandura, who crushed a 1-2 fastball beyond the wall in right-center.

Eugene added to the lead against Anderson Bido in the seventh. A walk and pair of singles loaded the bases with one out, then Matt Higgins ripped a liner to right for a two-run single.

Justin Wishkoski reached on a "swinging bunt" to load the bases again, but Bandura bounced into a double play to limit the damage.

Spokane added a run in the eighth on an bases-loaded double play but went quietly in the ninth.