Spokane, WA—It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Just ask Spokane pitcher Jose Valdespina (3-6), who struggled with command and consistency early in the year, but kept putting in his time in the bullpen looking for the answer. Apparently, he’s found it. The 20-year-old native of the Dominican Republic held Salem-Keizer to just one hit over six innings while striking out 10 as the Indians shutout the Volcanoes 3-0.
Valdespina took a Jekyll and Hyde approach to start the 2012 campaign, mixing in one good outing between a myriad of two and three inning appearances. In his last start against the Yakima Bears five days ago, something finally clicked for the towering right-hander, as he allowed five hits in six scoreless frames. He was even better tonight. Alternating between a 95 mph fastball and knee-buckling curveball, Valdespina never gave the Volcanoes a chance, consistently getting ahead in the count and changing speeds with aplomb.
Royce Bolinger went 0-4 to snap his 23-game hitting streak, the longest streak in the Northwest League this season and just three games short of the all-time NWL record.