David Jacob rounds the bases after hitting a grand slam Wednesday.
The Vancouver Canadians lost to the Spokane Indians for the first time this season by falling 6-4 at Nat Bailey Stadium Wednesday night. The only good news came from the out-of-town scoreboard as Tri-City was hammered by Everett, keeping the Dust Devils two games behind the C’s for first place in the North Division.
Brody Rodning got the starting assignment for Vancouver and he was put to the test right away by fielding a bunted ball from Miguel Aparicio and retiring him on a 1-3 play. He struck out Chad Smith before giving up a single to Tyler Ratliff but he retired Andretty Cordero on a deep fly ball to center that Reggie Pruitt ran down to finish the frame.
Pruitt led off the bottom of the first with an infield single to second off Spokane starter Tyler Phillips and got into scoring position by stealing his ninth base in 10 attempts. The C’s could get Pruitt over to third—let alone bring him home—as Kevin Vicuna grounded out to third, Cullen Large lined out to third and Riley Adams grounded out to short.
Rodning managed to get through the second but he had to work for it. After a leadoff walk to Isaias Quiroz, he got into an 11-pitch battle with Melvin Novoa before getting a popout to third. Kole Enright would single to right to put Quiroz at second but Kobie Taylor flied out and Yonny Hernandez hit into a fielder’s choice.
A pair of errors at first by Spokane gave the C’s two runners on base. Kacy Clemens got on base when Cordero’s throw to a covering Phillips was off the mark. To Clemens’ credit, he showed good hustle by running hard to first on what appeared to be a routing play. Brock Lundquist hit one to deep center but Aparicio made the catch for the first out before designated hitter David Jacob reached base when Phillips dropped the throw from Cordero at first. Vancouver did not take advantage as Bryan Lizardo struck out and Clemens would get picked off at second. Clemens and manager Rich Miller argued the call but it was for naught. First base coach Jose Mayorga got between a heated Clemens and the base umpire to make sure the argument would not escalate.
Brody Rodning pitched 2-1/3 shutout innings in his Nat Bailey Stadium debut.
Rodning got a first-pitch out to begin the third by getting Aparicio to ground out but a walk to Smith ended his outing. Bobby Eveld came into the game and walked Ratliff on four straight pitches, uncorking a wild pitch in the process that had already put Smith in scoring position. He got Cordero to pop up out to second and left Smith at third after a stolen base by getting Quiroz on a called third strike.
After the C’s went down in order in the third, lefty Wilfri Aleton entered the game in the fourth and Spokane got to him right away when Novoa doubled on his first pitch. A single to right by Enright and an infield single to third by Taylor loaded the bases. A walk to Hernandez scored Novoa with the first run and it was all downhill from there. Aparico singled to left to score Enright and Taylor. The cutoff throw by Norberto Obeso in left to Large at second gave the C’s a chance to cut down a runner as they had Hernandez and Aparicio hung up on the bases. They got Aparicio between first and second on a 7-4-3-4-2 play but nobody covered home plate after Adams left his position to participate in the rundown, allowing Hernandez to score to make it 4-0.
A lengthy visit to the mound from pitching coach Jim Czajkowski—who appeared to be less than impressed with what was going on and was not in a hurry to leave after the umpire tried to break up the conference—did not produce the desired result as Smith singled and eventually scored on a Cordero double to left to increase Spokane’s lead to five.
After Miller yelled to his troops in the dugout to get going, the C’s would respond when Large singled and Adams walked to start their half of the fourth. Clemens struck out swinging but Lundquist loaded the bases with an infield single to second. That brought up Jacob and he hit an opposite-field grand slam to left that landed in the seating area of the C’s bullpen to cut the Indians lead to 5-4. Obeso also singled in the inning but Lizardo and Pruitt both went down on strikes.
Aleton settled down with a 1-2-3 fifth inning that was punctuated with a strikeout of Taylor. Aleton got some help from Clemens, who made a nice pick at first and made the unassisted putout of Novoa for the first out.
The Canadians tried to seize the momentum with a Vicuna base hit to start the fifth and that led to Lucas Jacobsen relieving Phillips. Jacobsen threw one to the backstop that allowed Vicuna to reach third but Adams was called out on strikes, a call he did not agree with as he was left shaking his head on the way back to the dugout. Clemens walked to put runners on the corners but Lundquist was rung up and Jacob popped out to third to strand Vicuna and Clemens.
Aleton got the C’s back in the dugout with another perfect frame as Lizardo made a nice play at third to retire Hernandez before Aparicio and Smith struck out swinging. The offence came back knocking at the door again when Obeso and Pruitt drew a pair of one-out walks—the latter coming against Samir Vivas after he replaced Jacobsen out of the Spokane bullpen. Vicuna reached on a fielder’s choice at second as Pruitt slid in aggressively at second to break up the double play. Despite the protestations of Indians manager Matt Hagen on Pruitt’s slide, the inning was allowed to continue. Personally, I thought it was a good, aggressive play by Pruitt. This was not a case of Bill Madlock taking out Tony Fernandez in late 1987 that helped Toronto lose the AL East to Detroit. It was all for naught as Large grounded out to leave Obeso 90 feet away.
Spokane would add a run in the seventh when Ratliff doubled and made it to third by tagging up and beating a strong throw from Pruitt in center. After an intentional walk to Quiroz, Aleton could not put away Novoa as he lifted a 1-2 pitch for a sacrifice fly to left to cash in Ratliff.
Lundquist had a two-out infield single to second after the stretch and advanced another 90 feet after a throwing error by Enright but that went nowhere as Noah Bremer would strike out Jacob to end the frame. Clemens also went down on strikes before Jacob and expressed his disbelief at the call.
Spokane tried to add more insurance in the eighth when Hernandez picked up a one-out single. A wild pick-off throw from Aleton allowed Hernandez to get into scoring position but he was eventually thrown out by Adams trying to steal third to conclude the inning.
Vancouver went down in order in the eighth as Bremer struck out the side, getting Pruitt swinging after catching Lizardo and Obeso looking.
Smith forced Aleton’s exit with a leadoff walk in the ninth. Orlando Pascual entered the game and Smith would steal second before Pascual picked him off. Ratliff drew a walk but Pascual struck out Cordero and Quiroz to give the C’s one more chance in the bottom half of the ninth but Vicuna flied out before Large and Adams whiffed to end the game.
2017 first round pick Logan Warmoth arrived in Vancouver Wednesday.
The Vancouver Canadians welcomed shortstop Logan Warmoth and lefthander Zach Logue to the team. Warmoth was given #29 and Logue received #28, numbers formerly held by Javier Hernandez and Kyle Weatherly. Also, outfielder Brandon Polizzi has switched from #37 to #2.
The C’s continue their series against Spokane this evening at 7:05 pm. That game can be heard on CanadiansBaseball.com and TSN 1040.