Vancouver Canadians Tanner Kirwer

Tanner Kirwer had a multi-hit night but it was not enough for the Vancouver Canadians Thursday.

The Vancouver Canadians gave back the ground they gained the night before in the North Division race after an 8-1 setback to the Everett AquaSox at Nat Bailey Stadium Thursday. The C’s lead is down to a single game once again after Spokane slammed Tri-City at Gesa Stadium.

The C’s got the game’s first run in the bottom of the second inning. Jake Brodt earned a one-out walk and scored on a McGregory Contreras triple to the wall in left-center field off Michael Plassmeyer. Sterling Guzman could not bring in the birthday boy Contreras as he struck out swinging. That would not be the last time the Canadians would strand a runner at third.

Everett AquaSox Josh Stowers

Josh Stowers is greeted by Ryne Ogren (#16) after scoring on a bases-clearing double by Matt Sanders in the third inning.

The AquaSox roared back in the top of the third against Jose Espada. It all started when Nick Garcia lifted a fly ball to left filed but Contreras dropped it and that opened the floodgates. A single by Ryne Ogren pushed Garcia to second before a Charlie McConnell base hit found a hole in the right side of the infield to bring home Garcia. Josh Stowers loaded the bases on a swinging bunt that was chopped to the third base side. Espada got to the ball but his momentum towards the third base line did not allow him to set his feet and make a throw so he wisely held on to the ball. Matt Sanders doubled to left to clear the bases to put the AquaSox ahead 4-1. Cal Raleigh drilled a double to right field to score Sanders to increase the Everett lead to four. Nick Rodriguez struck out and Bobby Honeyman popped up to short but a four-pitch walk to Connor Kopach ended the night for Espada. Justin Watts came in to retire Garcia on a fly ball to right as Everett sent 10 men to the plate.

Garcia started the next Everett rally in the sixth when he doubled to left off Denis Diaz. A wild pitch and an Ogren single brought Garcia all the way around to make it 6-1 Everett.

The Frogs tacked on two more runs in the seventh when Rodriguez walked and scored on a Honeyman double to right. Diaz fell behind Kopach 1-0 before being lifted for Connor Law and he coughed up a run-scoring base hit to Kopach that brought in Honeyman with the eighth Everett run.

Law would work a clean eighth inning and Marcus Reyes put up a goose egg in the ninth for Vancouver.

Penn Murfee earned the victory for Everett with 1-1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Carlos Hernandez proceeded Murfee with 1-2/3 shutout frames that included four punchouts. Jorge Benitez and Dayeison Arias split the last four innings evenly to complete a shutout night for the AquaSox bullpen.

Vancouver Canadains Justin Watts

Justin Watts contributed 2-2/3 scoreless innings and stranded both of his inherited runners Thursday.


C's NotesEspada’s night started well enough. He struck out two hitters in a 12-pitch first inning and overcame a Nick Podkul error at second in the second inning. Podkul was not able to handle a sinking liner but Espada erased that mistake by picking off Rodriguez at first. Espada threw over twice and got Rodriguez on the second attempt.

Unfortunately for Espada, he could not get out of the third inning as he surrendered five runs (four earned) on five hits and a walk. Watts stranded two runners and put together 2-2/3 scoreless innings of two-hit ball while matching Espada’s strikeout total of three. Diaz surrendered three runs on three hits and two walks over one inning. Law allowed a Diaz runner to score but pitched two shutout frames of two-hit ball with one whiff. Reyes struck out one in a one-hit ninth.

Mound Meeting

Sterling Guzman (#2), Brett Wright (#17), Jose Espada (#14), Nick Podkul (#6) and Jake Brodt (right) have a mound conference during the third inning Thursday.

The C’s tried to respond to the five-run Everett third with a rally of their own in the bottom half. Brett Wright lined a single to left and Podkul went to right field with a one-out base hit but Stowers robbed Otto Lopez of extra bases with a diving catch to his right in center field. Griffin Conine would strike out to leave Wright and Podkul stranded.

The fourth inning saw Tanner Kirwer triple to right where Garcia nearly slipped and fell when trying to go back on the ball. The one-out three-bagger would be stranded as Contreras struck out and Guzman grounded out.

A two-out walk by Podkul did not lead to anything further in the fifth before Kirwer tripled again to right with two outs in the sixth. Contreras would go down swinging again to leave Kirwer 90 feet away.

Hunter Steinmetz replaced Christopher Bec as the designated hitter in the seventh to see his first game action since August 13. Steinmetz would fly out to left. Bec saw his on-base streak end at 15 games after going 0-for-3. Hat tip to Jordy Cunningham in the C’s Media Relations department for that statistic.

Lopez had a walk in the eighth that went nowhere before the C’s last gasp in the ninth. Reilly Johnson struck out swinging before Contreras got his second hit of the night with a single to left. Guzman reached base on a throwing error from the mound by Arias but Wright struck out and Steinmetz grounded out to end the game.

Contreras and Kirwer had two hits each and Podkul had a hit and a walk. Wright had the other Vancouver hit while Lopez and Brodt heard ball four once. The C’s six hits and three walks were overshadowed by 15 strikeouts and they left nine men in scoring position with just one hit in nine opportuniites.

Johnson came into the game as a defensive replacement in left field in the eighth as Contreras moved to center and Kirwer was given the rest of the night off.

The strong performances of Josh Winckowski and Otto Lopez have received recognition from the Northwest League.

Congratulations goes to righthander Josh Winckowski and infielder/outfielder Otto Lopez. The Canadians and the Northwest League announced Winckowski as the Northwest League Pitcher of the Year while Lopez earned NWL All-Star team honours as an outfielder.

Congratulations also goes to 2013 C’s shortstop Dawel Lugo who finally got onto the field for a major league game. After being called up earlier this season but not playing, Lugo went 1-for-4 with a double to help the Detroit Tigers down the New York Yankees 8-7.

Lefthander Randy Pondler (5-4, 2.67) will start the final game of this three-game series for Vancouver. Rehabbing Seattle Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma (0-0, 9.00) will be on the hill for Everett. and BNN Bloomberg Radio 1410 will broadcast the game. Rob Fai will call the action at 1:05 pm.




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