Dalton Rodriguez picked up his first victory of the season with five shutout innings in Eugene. (Photo courtesy of @VanCanadians).
After matching their last season’s win total against the Eugene Emeralds last night, the Vancouver Canadians surpassed it with their second straight victory in as many nights by downing the defending Northwest League champions 7-0 Friday night.
Chavez Young provided the winning runs with a three-run triple in the third inning. The rally began Kevin Vicuna reached on an error by shortstop Aramis Ademan (the first of five on the night for Eugene) and that was followed by a Lance Jones hit by pitch and a Reggie Pruitt walk. All three would score on Young’s three-bagger and Young would score himself on a base hit by Bryan Lizardo.
The C’s made it 5-0 in the fourth when Deiferson Barreto cued an opposite field single to right and advanced to second when Vicuna reached base again on another error by second baseman Edgar Rondon. It appeared Rondon was distracted by Barreto running towards the base. Lance Jones would load the bases with a swinging bunt single up along third base after a nine-pitch at bat that saw him battle back from a 0-2 count and foul off five pitches. Pruitt then beat out a potential double play ball to allow Barreto to score.
Vancouver would tack on two more runs in the ninth. Jones got aboard on an infield single and Pruitt would reach on an error by Rafael Naria at third. They both came around to score when Yorman Rodriguez singled along with two more throwing errors by Narea and Rondon.
Dalton Rodriguez enjoyed his best start with the C’s with five shutout innings, giving up four hits and a walk while striking out four. He racked up double digits in the groundout column, five times as many flyouts he induced on the evening.
The Canadians did catch a break when Eugene threatened to score the game’s first run in the second inning. After a pair of singles by Joe Matarano and Kwang-Min Kwon, Connor Myers lined a single to right and Matarano got the wave home from Em’s manager/third base coach Jose Feliciano before he put up the stop sign. That mix-up resulted in Matarano and Kwon arriving at third base at the same time. Kwon was tagged out for the second out of the inning before Rondon tapped back to Rodriguez on the mound to end the inning.
The bullpen took care of the rest with lefty Juliandry Higuera ringing up five batters, all swinging, to take the game to the eighth inning. Higuera—who threw a 78 MPH curveball to strikeout the final hitter of the seventh—matched Jose Espada‘s two-inning, 5-K outing from the night before. Chris Hall had a 1-2-3 frame with two K’s (both swinging) while using a curveball to induce a grounder to second. Bobby Eveld worked around a leadoff single with—you guessed it—two more strikeouts of the swinging variety before a flyout to right to end the game.
Barreto and Jones had two hits each with Barreto drawing a walk and Jones getting plunked. Jones also earned that key outfield assist in the TOOTBLAN gaffe by Eugene. Vicuna did not have a hit but he reached twice on errors and recorded the first stolen base of the season for the C’s. He also stole the first base for the C’s in 2017. Pruitt had the other stolen base and scored twice by walking and reaching on an miscue. Matt Morgan got his first start behind the plate and Jesus Severino also made his Northwest League debut as the designated hitter but the duo went a combined 0-for-8.
The C’s have a chance to clinch a series victory as they send Kyle Weatherly to the mound in another 7:05 pm contest. You can watch the game on MiLB.TV or hear it on CanadiansBaseball.com.