The Vancouver Canadians‘ losing streak is up to five and their series losing streak is now four after a 7-6 setback to the Everett AquaSox at Everett Memorial Stadium Wednesday.
The AquaSox grabbed a 2-0 lead when Adam Kloffenstein plunked Billy Cooke with his second pitch of the game before serving up a two-run home run to Ryan Court whose blast to right-center field cleared the generous dimensions of the park.
After being unable to do anything with a Tanner Morris walk in the first inning, the C’s tied things up in the second. Trevor Schwecke singled to start the second against Damon Cassetta-Stubbs and McGregory Contreras followed with a walk. Schwecke and Contreras pulled off the double steal with one out before Davis Schneider walked to load the bases. Adrian Ramos scored Schwecke with a fielder’s choice grounder to short before Cameron Eden lined up a single up the middle to plate Contreras.
It was Contreras who gave Vancouver the lead in the top of the third when he blasted a home run to the deepest park of the park to center field near the scoreboard. That two-run shot scored a Yorman Rodriguez infield single as Rodriguez managed to beat out a slow roller to third which Court barehanded. That home run by Contreras marked the first time a Vancouver player hit a round-tripper in 2019. Brett Wright then banged one off the wall near the scoreboard in center field but was held to a 330- to 340-foot single. Schneider then drew a free pass but Ramos tapped back to the mound to leave two men aboard.
Vancouver added another run in the fourth when Eden walked, stole second base and was joined on the basepaths by Morris when he also heard ball four. Luis De Los Santos lined a double that brought in Eden. Ivan Fortunato took over on the mound for Everett. He got Rodriguez to fly out to right that was too shallow for Morris to try to score from third. Schwecke walked to load the bases but the C’s could not deliver the kill shot as Contreras struck out and Wright flied out to leave the sacks full.
The Frogs got one run back in the bottom of the fourth when Court walked and got to second on a Trent Tingelstad grounder to short. Patrick Frick singled Court to third before Carter Bins scored Court with an infield single to third that Morris double-clutched on before making the throw to first. Kloffenstein limited the damage by getting Dean Nevarez to ground into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
The C’s had a chance to respond to that run in the fifth when Ramos burned around the bases for a one-out triple to left field. Ramos would not score as Eden popped up to short and Morris flied out to center.
Everett also threatened in the fifth when Cesar Izturis Jr. reached base when Kloffenstein mishandled one on the mound. After getting DeAires Moses to line out, Josh Almonte entered the game and bounced off the mound to retire Cooke on a roller up the third base side. He then got Robert Perez to fly out.
After Reeves Martin stranded a Rodriguez one-out single off Fortunato in the sixth, the Frogs would surge ahead with three runs in the sixth. Court and Frick would draw walks and Almonte would balk them over to third with one away. Almonte went to the set position, moved his ball out of the glove and went back to the set position without stepping off the rubber. A Bins grounder to short was thrown away by De Los Santos as his high throw skipped off the glove of Rodriguez at first to allow Court and Frick to score. Izturis grounded to first that Bins could not score on for the second out but a Moses walk led to Almonte leaving the game. Parker Caracci came into the game but uncorked a wild pitch that brought home Bins with the go-ahead run. Caracci would strike out Cooke to end the frame.
Vancouver rallied to tie the game in the sixth when Schneider and Ramos walked and Eden singled with one out to load the bases. Morris would score Schneider by lining a single to center off Martin. With a chance to take the lead, De Los Santos and Rodriguez both struck out swinging against Garrett Westberg to leave three runners on.
Caracci had to escape a jam to keep the game tied after the seventh-inning stretch. A Morris fielding error at third allowed Perez to get to first and Caracci plunked Court. An infield single to short by Frick loaded the bases. De Los Santos made a diving stop for the ball but his throw to try to get Perez sailed wide of the mark but remained in play. Caracci got Bins on a called strike three before Nevarez flied out to left.
After Vancouver went down in order in the eighth, Everett got something started with one out in the eighth when Moses laid down a bunt single to the mound and Cooke followed with a base hit. Gage Burland entered the game for Caracci and got ahead of Perez at 0-2 but would walk him. Luis Joseph would reach base on a fielder’s choice when his grounder to third saw Morris throw to Wright at the plate to force out Moses for the second out. Burland could not find the strike zone as he walked Tingelstad on four pitches to bring home Cook with the go-ahead run. Burland did strike out Frick looking on a full-count pitch to leave the bags stuffed.
Vancouver made one last gasp in the ninth when Schneider drew a leadoff walk – his fourth of the evening – against Nate Fisher after falling behind in the count at 1-2. Ramos was called out on strikes but Eden flied out to center. With Morris up at the plate, Fisher bounced a pitch that was blocked by Nevarez. Schneider took off for second but Nevarez quickly recovered and threw to the shortstop Frick and he applied the tag on Schneider to end the game.
The C’s are now 3-10 on the season. The AquaSox improve to 6-7.
Radar Gun Rundown
Kloffenstein was clocking in at 89-92 miles per hour. Three of his strikeouts were at 88, 80 (caught looking), and 79.
Almonte had a called strikeout at 90. Caracci had a strikeout at 78 and ranged from 77 to 89-90. Burland was up to 75 and 92 with an 83 in between.
The C’s will try to end this disastrous road trip on a winning note. Grant Townsend gets the start for Vancouver. Game time is 7:05 pm at Everett Memorial Stadium. The game can be heard on Sportsnet 650 and CanadiansBaseball.com.
The C’s return home to face the Spokane Indians Friday for a three-game weekend set. Vancouver really needs a sweep if they plan on contending for the first half North Division title. Game times are 7:05 pm Friday and Saturday and 1:05 pm Sunday. The Hillsboro Hops are in town Canada Day for a three-game series. Game times are 7:05 pm Monday and Tuesday and 1:05 pm Wednesday.
Vancouver has a new pitcher on its roster. Elixon Caballero has been called up from Bluefield after just one appearance June 21 in which he gave up a solo home run but struck out two over 3-1/3 innings. The 18 year-old from Venezuela signed as a free agent with the Blue Jays December 23, 2016. He will turn 19 July 9.
Over two-plus years so far with the Dominican Summer League and Gulf Coast League Blue Jays, Caballero has a 1.06 earned run average with a 56-19 strikeout/walk total over 51 innings.