Juan Nunez kept Spokane off the board for his first four innings of relief Thursday.
The Vancouver Canadians were poised for a ninth win against Spokane in 10 games this season but suffered a walk-off 4-3 loss instead to the Indians at Avista Stadium Thursday night.
After a scoreless top of the first, Travis Bergen made his 2017 C’s debut and it did not go the way that he wanted. He walked Miguel Aparicio to start the game and served up a single to Chris Seise. Bergen would get Tyler Ratliff to strike out looking but Clayton Middleton doubled to right to score Aparicio. Melvin Novoa was Bergen’s next strikeout victim and the lefty escaped stranded Seise at third and an Austin O’Banion walk when Curtis Terry lined out to center.
Riley Adams collected the C’s first hit with a leadoff single against Hever Bueno in the second. Adams would head back to the dugout after being forced out on a Brock Lundquist fielder’s choice. Cameron O’Brien got on base with a two-out walk but Bueno struck out Bryan Lizardo to leave two men aboard.
The good news for Bergen was he struck out his third batter of the evening in Nick Kaye but the bad news was he would not get the third out of the second inning. Kole Enright hit a leadoff double and Aparicio heard ball four from the umpire for the second straight at-bat after the Kaye strikeout. Seise would fly out to right before Ratliff punched a two-run double to left to give Spokane a 3-0 lead. Bergen got the hook for Chris Hall who got the third out on a Middleton grounder to first.
Deiferson Barreto had the only multi-hit effort for Vancouver in Spokane.
Deiferson Barreto had the C’s first extra-base with a double to begin the third and he would come across with the first run when Seise threw away a ground ball at short from Reggie Pruitt. The C’s would get a second hit in the inning on a single by Kacy Clemens but Adams would line into an inning-ending double play at second.
Chris Hall held down the fort with 1-1/3 scoreless innings of relief.
Hall came back out for the bottom of the third and plunked Terry with a pitch. Terry would steal second but Enright flied out to end the frame.
After Vancouver went away quietly in the top of the fourth, Juan Nunez relieved Hall and set down Spokane in order, starting his outing with a strikeout of Kaye. He would have another perfect frame in the sixth, getting Terry on strikes for his second strikeout.
In between Nunez’s The C’s drew closer in the fifth when Pruitt—who forced out Barreto after his leadoff single—would get to second on a Norberto Obeso before coming around on two passed balls by Middleton. Clemens would get on base with a walk but Adams lined out to right for out number three.
Middleton drew a one-out walk against Nunez but his night got worse when he was doubled off after Novoa lined out to Barreto at short to conclude the bottom of the fifth.
In between Nunez’s two innings, Vancouver took advantage of some sloppy defence by Spokane to tie the game in the sixth. Lundquist reached on a fielding miscue by Terry to start the frame. After Samad Taylor singled Lundquist to second, Bueno was relieved by Joe Barlow. He got O’Brien to ground into a fielder’s choice to force out Taylor but Lizardo singled up the gut to plate Lundquist with the tying run. Barlow would strand a couple of runners by catching a popup in foul territory from Barreto before striking out Pruitt.
The C’s would strand two more runners in the seventh after Obeso and Clemens drew a couple of walks. Nunez continued to roll along in the home half of the seventh with another clean frame, striking out Aparicio and Seise for the last two outs.
Spokane would set down the C’s in order in the eighth and finally got their first baserunner against Nunez when Ratliff took one for the team. Ratliff would be picked off at first by Adams from behind the plate to keep Nunez from having to go over the minimum number of batters in his four innings.
The C’s looked poised to break Spokane’s hearts in the ninth when Pruitt lined a single to center and wound up at third on a two-base error by Lucas Jacobsen when he tried to get Pruitt at second on an Obeso groundball. Clemens then drew a walk to load the bases with nobody out, joining Pruitt and pinch-runner Brandon Polizzi. Jacobsen bent but he did not break as he broke the C’s spirits with strikeouts of Adams and Lundquist before getting Taylor to pop out to second.
Nunez came back out for the ninth and committed the cardinal sin of walking the leadoff hitter in O’Banion. He struck out Terry but issued another free pass to Enright to move O’Banion to scoring position. Matt Whatley pinch-hit for Kaye but went down swinging for the second out. That was it for Nunez as manager Rich Miller elected to go Jake Fishman in a lefty-on-lefty matchup against Aparicio and it lasted all of one pitch as the Spokane leadoff man singled to center to score O’Banion for the walk-off win.
Kacy Clemens was on base three times in Spokane Thursday night.
Barreto supplied two of Vancouver’s eight hits out of the number nine spot of the order from the shortstop position as Logan Warmoth got the night off. Clemens was on base three times with a hit and a walk while Obeso and Adams both had a base knock and a base on balls. Despite eight hits and five walks, the C’s were a dismal 1-for-12 with a baker’s dozen left on base.
Bergen struck out three but four hits and three walks led to three runs over 1-2/3 innings. Hall dropped his earned run average to 1.53 with 1-1/3 scoreless frames. Nunez took the hard-luck loss to drop to 2-7 as he pitched 5-2/3 hitless innings with a 6-3 K/BB total.
2014 Canadians lefthander Tim Mayza contributed two-thirds of a scoreless inning by striking out Wilson Ramos and Corey Dickson in Thursday’s 5-3 win over Tampa Bay. Mayza clocked in from 86-95 MPH relying on a fastball and a slider.
The New Hampshire Union Leader has a story on 2014-2015 C’s lefty Ryan Borucki.
The Herald-News out of Joliet, Illinios has a feature on 2015 righty Josh DeGraaf.
— Steve Ewen (@SteveEwen) August 17, 2017
— Emily Waldon (@emilywaldon2080) August 18, 2017
A trio of Blue Jays batters sit at the top of the league in most offensive categories over the past month. pic.twitter.com/DGyMhL8EFb
— Dunedin Blue Jays (@DunedinBlueJays) August 17, 2017
— Jays From the Couch (@JaysFromCouch) August 17, 2017
— Lansing Lugnuts (@LansingLugnuts) August 18, 2017
C’s Fast Forward
The Vancouver Canadians and Spokane Indians are back at it again Friday evening for a 6:30 pm first pitch from Avista Stadium. The game will be carried by CanadiansBaseball.com.
The C’s still remain in first place in the North Division in the second half at 13-9 but are only one game ahead of 12-10 Everett, Spokane and Tri-City.