Dalton Rodriguez allowed just an unearned run over seven innings Friday night.
The Vancouver Canadians were able to hang in long enough as they got back in the win column, defeating the Tri-City Dust Devils 2-1 at Nat Bailey Stadium Friday night. The victory allowed the C’s to snap a five-game losing streak at home.
Dalton Rodriguez got himself in trouble with his first pitch as he plunked Robbie Podorsky with a fastball at 90 miles per hour. Podorsky got to second on a groundout by Justin Lopez and to third on a flyout by Luis Almanzar but he would not score as Luis Ascunsion grounded to short.
Reggie Pruitt and Rich Miller argue after Pruitt was called out trying to steal second.
Reggie Pruitt started the bottom of the first by grounding one up the middle for a base hit off Emmanuel Ramirez. Pruitt took off for second and appeared to have his 20th stolen base of the year. However, he was called out by base umpire by Chris Presley-Murphy. Pruitt did not agree with the call and neither did C’s manager Rich Miller who argued Pruitt’s case vociferously but to no avail. David Jacob had a two-out single but that was Vancouver would accomplish in the first.
Rodriguez retired Tre Carter on a flyout to center to start the second and looked to have another quick out when Kelvin Melean grounded to third but Bryan Lizardo‘s wide throw pulled Jacob off the bag at first. Luis Anguizola flied out for the second out but Rodriguez walked Bryant Aragon to extend the inning. That allowed Chandler Seagle to drop a base hit to right field just in front of Brandon Polizzi to score Melean with the game’s first run. Podorsky nearly made it 2-0 as he made a bid for a hit down the left field line but it landed just foul. Rodriguez was able to retire the Dust Devils leadoff hitter on a grounder to short.
Melean would commit an error in the bottom of the second as he mishandled one at second base. That two-out error allowed Owen Spiwak to reach base but Vancouver could not capitalize.
Rodriguez enjoyed his first clean inning in the third as he claimed Almanzar as his first strikeout victim. Kevin Vicuna would end the inning with a nice leaping catch to rob Ascunsion of a base hit. Unforunately, Vicuna would end the other half of the third by grounding into a 1-6-3 double play to erase Pruitt after he picked up his second hit of the night.
Carter began the fourth with a single against Rodriguez and was bunted over to second by Melean but a pair of groundouts to short by Anguizola and Aragon prevented Tri-City from adding to their lead. Jacob joined Pruitt in the two-hit club with a leadoff hit in the bottom of the fourth but he would not make it any further.
Owen Spiwak singled, walked and stole a base Friday evening.
Rodriguez walked Seagle to begin the fifth but Podorsky flied out and Lopez lined into a 4-3 double play as Seagle could not scramble back to first in time. Spiwak would reach base for a second time as he picked up his first hit of the night and caught the Dust Devils napping by stealing second base but he still found himself 180 feet away from scoring when the bottom of the fifth ended.
The top of the sixth saw Rodriguez mow down the Dust Devils in order as he caught Ascunsion looking for his second strikeout of the night. The C’s looked like they were going to go down in order in their half of the sixth when Vicuna and Jacob both struck out swinging. Riley Adams would extend the inning with a base hit to center and Lizardo followed with a knock to right field. Cullen Large came up to the plate and hit what appeared to be an inning-ending ground ball to second but the ball took a crazy hop that jumped over the head of Melean, allowing Adams to race home with the tying run. Spiwak would draw a walk to load the bases but Ramirez induced a tapper back to the mound from Norberto Obeso to keep the game tied at 1-1.
Now it was up to Rodriguez to hold down the Dust Devils and he did just that with three groundball outs, spearing a comebacker to the mound from Aragon to end the seventh. Having retired eight in a row, all Rodriguez could do was hope the offence would come through for him.
David Jacob had three hits and drove in the winning run Friday.
Lefthander Fred Schlichtholz took over for Ramirez and surrendered a one-out single to Pruitt. Vicuna grounded out to short on a hit-and-run that allowed Pruitt to get into scoring position. Jacob would join Pruitt in the three-hit club when he grounded one up the middle to score Pruitt with the go-ahead run.
Rodriguez was now in a position to earn the victory as he turned the ball over to William Ouellette for the eighth. Ouellette gave up a two-out single to right by Lopez that just got over the head of Large at second but he was able to retire Almazar for the third out.
Austin Smith took care of the C’s in the ninth by striking out the side, showing why he was the San Diego Padres’ second-round pick in 2015. Ouellette showed why he is going to the Northwest League-Pioneer League All-Star Game next week as he also struck out the side to nail down the one-run victory for Vancouver.
Other than Pruitt and Jacob with three-hit games, Spiwak was the only other Canadian to reach base more than once with a single and a walk and collected his second stolen base of the year. Vancouver scratched out 10 hits but left eight men on as they went 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
The C’s did just enough to give a deserving Rodriguez his third victory as he allowed just five men to reach base over seven innings in the form of two hits, two walks and a hit by pitch. He induced 10 groundball outs to help him post a Game Score of 73. Ouellette picked up his sixth save of the year with two innings of one-hit ball that included a trio of strikeouts.
Radar Gun Rundown
Dalton Rodriguez ranged as low as 78 and as high as 93. His first strikeout was on a 92 MPH heater and his second one was at 90.
William Ouellette consistently hit 92 on the gun. His low offering was 79 and his high was 94. Two of his strikeouts were at 79 and 91.
Righthander Angel Alicea (#40) joins the C’s from the Gulf Coast League.
The C’s have a new pitcher on the roster as Angel Alicea was sent to Vancouver from the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays. The 6-foot-1 righthander made three appearances in the GCL, posting a 1-1 record with a 9.82 earned run average in three appearances but he posted a 9-1 strikeout/walk total in 3-2/3 innings. In his last outing July 27, the 22 year-old Alicea got the victory with two innings of one-run ball, striking out five and walking none.
Alicea—a native of San Isabel, Puerto Rico—pitched in Bluefield last season after being taken in the 20th round of the 2016 draft out of Alabama State. He went 2-1 with a 2.76 ERA for the Bluef-Jays, converting all four save opportunities with a 45-10 K/BB total in 32-2/3 innings. Alicea will be wearing #40 for Vancouver, last worn by Jackson McClelland last season.
In Buffalo, 2011 C’s teammates Jon Berti had a home run and Shane Opitz had two hits and two runs batted in but the Herd fell to Lousville.
Ryan Borucki (2014-2015) deserved a better fate as he pitched seven innings of one-run ball with just three hits and one walk allowed. Despite striking out seven with a groundout total of nine, he took the loss as the New Hampshire Fisher Cats lost in Binghamton.
Connor Panas (2015) went 3-for-3 with a walk and two RBI and D.J. Davis (2012) swiped his 25th base as Dunedin defeated Charlotte. Alonzo Gonzalez (2013) tossed 2-2/3 scoreless innings with three strikeouts for the hold.
In Lansing, 2016 C’s Nash Knight was 2-for-4 and Nick Sinay singled, walked and stole a base but the Lugnuts lost to Dayton. Andy Ravel (2016) had the quality start of six innings and three runs allowed (two earned) but took the loss. His 2016 C’s teammates Denis Diaz and Geno Encina teamed up to provide scoreless relief with Diaz striking out three in two innings and Encina fanning one in the ninth.
C’s Fast Forward
Nate Pearson (#32) with fellow 2017 first round draft pick Logan Warmoth.
Nate Pearson will make his Nat Bailey Stadium debut Saturday in the second game of this three-game series against Tri-City. First pitch is at 7:05 pm. The game can be heard on TSN 1040 and CanadiansBaseball.com and it can be seen on Shaw TV in Vancouver.
Wilfri Aleton is listed as the Sunday starter for Vancouver. That game is set for 1:05 pm. Vancouver has a record of 23-20 on the season and are 2-3 in the second half.