Doyle's homer, two RBIs lead the way

September 24th, 2021
Brenton Doyle hit .279 with 16 homers and 47 RBIs in the regular season.Jared Ravich/

With his club's back against the wall, came out swinging.

The No. 7 Colorado prospect homered and drove in two runs to lead High-A Spokane past Eugene, 6-1, on Thursday night at Avista Stadium. Rockies No. 19 prospect Grant Lavigne added three singles for the Indians, who staved off elimination as the road team playing in its home ballpark.

Following a blowout loss in Game 1 and a heartbreaker in Game 2, Doyle got Spokane going immediately in Thursday's win-or-go-home contest. The 23-year-old plated the first run in the opening frame with a groundout and helped put the game away in the eighth with his first postseason home run. Spokane scored four times in the seventh and eighth to break open a tight affair.

The long ball was Doyle's first in 57 at-bats dating back to Aug. 29. Although the Virginia native didn't clear the fences in September, he still hit over .300 to put a cap on a strong first full-season campaign. Doyle batted .279/.336/.454 with 34 extra-base hits, 16 homers and 47 RBIs in 97 games and has carried that success into the playoffs.

Through Spokane's first three games against Eugene, the 2019 fourth-round Draft pick has three extra-base hits and six RBIs.

Lavigne followed Doyle's leadoff homer in the eighth with his third single and came around to score on fielding error to help put the game away. The 22-year-old is 7-for-11 (.636) with an RBI in the playoffs.

The late runs helped make a winner of starter Mitchell Kilkenny, who was impressive when the margin for error was far less. Given a 2-0 lead after two innings, the 24-year-old took a one-hit shutout into the fifth before Jairo Pomares greeted him with a solo home run. Kilkenny worked around further trouble in the inning and scattered seven hits while striking out six and walking one in seven frames.

Pomares, the No. 9 Giants prospect, added a single to his ledger after going 1-for-9 in the first two games.

Eugene starter Kai-Wei Teng was strong in defeat. San Francisco's No. 27 prospect allowed two runs, five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.