Nothing dims the glow of an exciting win the night before like a bad start in the first inning of the next game. That’s what happened to Justin Maese and the C’s in the first inning of Sunday’s series finale against Spokane. Maese gave up two singles, one of the infield variety, to find himself in an early jam.
Maese was then hit with a batted ball in the right forearm by Seth Spivey but still had the presence of mind to throw out Spivey at third. Maese had to leave the game but the good news according to this John Lott tweet is that x-rays were negative and Maese is day-to-day.
Griffin Glaude had to come into the game and he was put in a tough situation. Spokane welcomed him to the game with a run-scoring single in the first and that turned out to be all that the Rangers affiliate would need. Glaude then gave up a gopher ball to Darius Day that cleared the big wall in right field and was nicked for an unearned run in the third after Cavan Biggio made an error at second. Before that error, catcher Javier Hernandez had a chance to catch a foul pop-up behind home plate but he could not come up with it. Glaude gave up three hits and a walk and struck out one in 2-2/3 innings. His pitches ranged from 77-90 miles per hour with some 83-84 offerings in between.
Matthew Smoral made it through three innings the hard way as he had at least one baserunner to contend with in the form of four hits and one walk. The big lefty struck out two and got three groundball outs with pitches around 78-88.
Gabe Noyalis kept the shutout relief going after having to contend with a walk and an error by shortstop Yeltsin Gudino but he got an inning-ending double play. He then set down the side in order in the eighth for two shutout innings, doing so with a repertoire ranging from 77-92.
Nick Hartman needed all of 12 pitches to retire the side in order in the ninth. He threw pitches that clocked in at 78 and 93 miles per hour.
As for the bats, Vancouver had just six of them – all singles. Biggio had two of them. J.B. Woodman drew the only walk. The C’s were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position, leaving eight men on base. They had three innings in which they had two baserunners reach on a single and an error but could not capitalize with the key hit to lose this one 3-0.
Despite Maese’s injury, the C’s bullpen did a decent job in keeping the game within reach. Spokane should feel a bit fortunate they won a game in this series after being shutout in the opener and scoring just once the night before despite 12 hits.
The C’s bounced back with a 4-2 win Monday night in Salem-Keizer and will need to keep the wins coming when they return home Saturday to face first-place Tri-City for the first of a three-game set. That series will go a long way towards determining if the C’s can clinch a playoff berth in the first half of the season.