The Vancouver Canadians are still looking for the first win of 2019 against their closest rivals. The Everett AquaSox pulled away in the late innings with a 7-3 victory over the Canadians at Nat Bailey Stadium Wednesday night. The Frogs are now 5-0 against the C’s this season.
Monty’s Mounties scored the game’s first run in the game’s first inning. Cameron Eden got aboard on an error by third baseman Austin Shenton after he bobbled the ball. Trevor Schwecke hit a double that hugged the left field line and went to the corner to score Eden all the way from first. Philip Clarke followed with his first hit in his first at-bat on Canadian soil to runners on the corners with nobody out but the C’s could not add any more runs. Yorman Rodriguez hit a shallow fly ball that Schwecke could not score on. Luis De Los Santos struck out looking for the second out. Will Robertson hit a ball up the middle that was knocked down by Everett starter Nate Fisher and that slowed down the ball enough for Utah Jones to throw out Robertson from second base.
The AquaSox surged ahead in the sixth against Andy McGuire. Cash Gladfelter doubled home a Trent Tingelstad single and a pair of sacrifice flies by Cade Marlowe and Cesar Izturis Jr. scored a Carter Bins walk and Gladfelter’s double respectively. The second sac fly could have been a hit had it not been for a terrific running and diving catch by Eden towards left field that may be the defensive gem of the year to date at the Nat.
The C’s tied it up in the bottom of the sixth when Clarke doubled to right and Shenton made another miscue at third to allow Rodriguez to get to first. De Los Santos dropped down a sacrifice bunt on the third base side that Ivan Fortunato pounced on from the mound but his throw sailed wide of third base to allow Clarke to cross the dish. Robertson walked to load the bases but Fortunato struck out McGregory Contreras and Ronny Brito. Just when it appeared all would be lost, Davis Schneider battled back from a 1-2 count and—after nearly picking off some unsuspecting folks with a couple of screaming foul balls down the third base side—drew a bases-loaded walk to bring in Rodriguez with the tying run. Eden worked the count full but he went down swinging after a seven-pitch battle.
The game remained tied until the top of the eighth when the AquaSox loaded the bags against Josh Almonte. A Tingelstad double that eluded the glove of a diving Contreras started the trouble. That was followed by a wild pitch, a Bins walk and stolen base and a Marlowe walk, Almonte was one out away from getting out of it unscathed. Miguel Perez would spoil the party by clearing the bases with a three-run double that Robertson did not appear to get an immediate read on.
Everett added one more run in the ninth off Luke Gillingham. Two walks to Jones and Shenton started the trouble and a double steal led to a Clarke throwing error from behind the plate and that allowed Jones to score the seventh Everett run.
The beneficiary of the Everett offence was Logan Rinehart who mowed down the first eight hitters in a row. Eden doubled and Schwecke was hit by a pitch but Rinehart got Clarke to hit into a game-ending fielder’s choice to get the victory.
Radar Gun Rundown
Kloffenstein was clocked at 76, 79, 83, 85, 86 and 88-93. His strikeouts were at 84, 81 and 88. McGuire was at 80-85 and 87-91 with a strikeout at 89. Almonte checked in at 81-94 and 92-94 and struck out the side with strikeouts at 82, 81 and 81. Gillingham had strikeouts of 84 and 86 and also threw pitches from 69-74 and 85.
Kloffenstein put together a 1-2-3 first inning after battling back from a 3-0 count against the leadoff hitter Jones. He got Jones to groundout to Brito at third who had to charge in to make a nice play to get Jones by half-a-step.
The third inning saw Kloffenstein surrender his first hit on a Luis Joseph bunt single to third and he later issued a walk to Shenton but the big right-hander helped himself out by snaring a comebacker to the mound by Jones before striking out Tingelstad to end the threat.
After retiring the first two hitters of the fifth inning, Kloffenstein got a visit to the mound from pitching coach Demetre Kokoris as his pitch limit was fast approaching. With a 1-0 lead at the time, Kloffenstein had a chance for the win if he pitched five innings. Instead, he walked Jones and was pulled from the game in favour of McGuire after throwing 81 pitches. McGuire got Shenton to fly out to left on a nice running catch by Robertson to finish the frame. Though he did walk four hitters, Kloffenstein struck out three and recorded nine of his 11 outs in play on the ground.
Eden had two nice catches in center field. He made a nice snag on a Gladfelter fly ball that was dropping in front of him and made a tumbling catch in the third inning.
Clarke got a two-out base hit in his second at-bat of the game but the C’s could do nothing else despite Schwecke hitting one right on the screws to the left fielder.
A De Los Santos leadoff double in the fourth was wasted by Vancouver as Robertson’s fly ball to center was not deep enough for De Los Santos to advance. That was followed by strikeouts to Contreras and Brito.
The C’s were burned on a batter interference call to end the fifth inning. Eden got aboard on a one-out single and tried to swipe second but Schwecke was called for batter interference on the catcher Bins after he threw down to second to get Eden and that produced the final two outs of the frame.
According to play-by-play man Rob Fai, the Canadians have dropped 10 games decided by two runs or less. Media Relations Assistant Jordy Cunningham points out the club has coughed up 45 runs from the seventh inning in their first 25 games so far.
The C’s send Luis Quinones to the hill in the series finale Wednesday. First pitch from the Nat is 7:05 pm. The game can be heard on Sportsnet 650 and CanadiansBaseball.com.