Juan Nunez—under the supervision of pitching coach Jim Czajowski in the bullpen—pitched 5-1/3 innings of two-run ball to earn the victory against Eugene Monday night.
The Vancouver Canadians carried the momentum of Sunday’s come-from-behind victory by defeating the Northwest League champion Eugene Emeralds 7-2 at Nat Bailey Stadium Monday night. The victory gives Vancouver not only the series victory but the overall season set against Eugene by winning six of 10 games, a start contest to the C’s 1-9 record against the Em’s in 2016.
Reggie Pruitt turns on the jets as he would begin the game with a triple.
Juan Nunez punctuated a strong first inning by striking out Miguel Amaya looking. The C’s would go to work quickly in their first at-bat as Reggie Pruitt got things rolling again with his second extra-base hit in the leadoff spot. This time, he hit a triple to right on the second pitch of the game from Javier Assad. Pruitt would score on an error by Em’s third baseman Austin Filiere on a ground ball hit by Kevin Vicuna.
Norberto Obeso jumps out of the way of a wild pitch that eludes Eugene catcher Tyler Payne, leading to Vancouver’s fourth run in the first.
Brock Lundquist would draw a walk and Riley Adams followed with a two-run double to cash in Vicuna and Lundquist. After Bryan Lizardo lined out to center, Owen Spiwak reached on an infield single to second to advance Adams to third. A wild pitch from Assad with Norberto Obeso at the plate would score Adams. Obeso grounded out but Mattingly Romanin drew a walk and stole second to try to keep the rally going but Deiferson Barreto would ground out.
Despite his best efforts, Reggie Pruitt could not get out of the way of a batted ball by Kevin Vicuna in the second inning.
Nunez navigated his way through a pair of walks in the second inning and got another run to work with in the bottom half. Pruitt got aboard again on an infield single to short but he was hit by a Vicuna grounder on his way to second, resulting in a base hit for Vicuna but an out on the basepaths for Pruitt. Vicuna would steal second base and—after a fly out by Lundquist—would score on a two-out base hit by Adams.
With a 5-0 lead, Nunez found his groove by retiring six of the seven hitters he faced over the next two frames and did not give up his first hit until there was one out in the third. He got some help from the defence as Vicuna made a nice play on a slow roller at short to retire Aramis Ademan to end the third. Lundquist tracked down a fly ball to right-center at the warning track by Kwang-Min Kwon to conclude the fourth.
The good defence continued in the fifth when Vicuna made a diving grab on a liner from Edgar Rondon for the first out of the inning. That turned out to be a huge play as the Emeralds got a two-out, two-run single off Nunez from Ademan to score base hits from Jose Gonzalez and Tolly Filotei, whose base hit was the result of a bad hop that bounced over Vicuna’s head.
Miguel Burgos provided 2-2/3 shutout innings out of the bullpen for the C’s Monday.
Nunez got out of the fifth and retired the first hitter in the sixth but he walked Tyler Payne to end his outing. Lefthander Miguel Burgos struck out Kwon and overcame a single he gave up to Rondon by getting Gonzalez to pop out to second. Burgos retired the side in order in the seventh, thanks in part to more sterling work by the defence as Cullen Large—who pinch-hit for Romanin in the fifth—robbed Filotei of a hit with a diving grab at second in what could be considered the defensive play of the year. In the bottom of the seventh, Large would bring in a leadoff walk from Lizardo with a fielder’s choice in the bottom half of the seventh before scoring on a Barreto double off Emeralds reliever Andin Diaz.
Riley Adams had a 4-for-5 night at the plate with three runs batted in.
Burgos worked around a couple of walks to keep the Emeralds off the board in the eighth. Adams picked up his fourth hit of the night with an infield single to short in the bottom half but the C’s could not add to their lead.
Orlando Pascual got the final three outs to secure Vancouver’s 12th victory of 2017.
Orlando Pascual relieved Burgos for the ninth and he gave up just a two-out hit to wrap up Vancouver’s five-run victory. Pascual had one strikeout on the night, Burgos had two and Nunez rung up four.
Adams led the charge offensively with four hits, including a double, while Pruitt and Spiwak had a pair apiece. Romanin had a hit and a walk before being replaced by Large. The C’s had four stolen bases with Romanin, Vicuna, Large and Barreto doing the honours. Large’s swipe in the seventh was impressive as he stole it off the lefty Diaz by reading his move to the plate correctly. The C’s were 4-for-15 with runners in scoring position while leaving 10 men on base.
Radar Gun Rundown
Juan Nunez had a wide range of pitches that clocked in from 76-98 miles per hour. His first three K’s came in at 97, 95 and 87.
Miguel Burgos threw from 74-90 MPH with his two K’s measured at 87 and 79. Orlando Pascual was at 82-90 MPH with his lone K at 83.
Vancouver is now alone in first place in the Northwest League North Division thanks to the Tri-City Dust Devils 10-inning loss to Salem-Keizer Monday. The C’s are now at 12-7, which gives them the best record in the NWL.
The C’s hit the road for the next seven games with the first two in Spokane and the last five in Boise. Wednesday’s game in Spokane can be heard on TSN 1040 and CanadiansBaseball.com. First pitch is at 6:30 pm Pacific Time.