The law of averages say it had to happen sometime but that is no comfort to the Vancouver Canadians. They lost to the Tri-City Dust Devils for the first time this season after a 4-1 setback at Gesa Stadium Friday.
Jordy Barley hopped on the first pitch he saw from William Gaston in the third inning and sent it over the wall in left field to provide the Dust Devils with a 1-0 lead.
Vancouver evened things up against Cesar Minjarez in the fifth. Tanner Morris doubled to right field with one out and got to third on a fielding error by Barley at short to allow Yorman Rodriguez to reach base. Will Robertson doubled to center to score Morris and move Rodriguez to third. Robertson and Rodriguez would be stranded as Jesus Lopez grounded out and McGregory Contreras struck out.
Tri-City took the lead for good in the sixth against Gaston when Kelvin Melean singled and Matthew Acosta walked. Sean Guilbe flied out to center but Melean tagged up to go to third. Melean would score when Brett Wright made a throwing error behind the plate on a ball hit by Carlos Luis in front of the plate. Jonny Homza walked to load the bases before Alarcon singled up the middle to bring in Acosta. Nicolas Medina took over and got a pair of strikeouts but in between was a Barley single to third to score Luis with the Dust Devils fourth run.
Ramon Perez got the victory and Deivy Mendez got the save by pitching two shutout innings apiece. Nick Thwaits kept Vancouver off the board for the first three frames.
The C’s got two runners aboard in the first two innings but did not score. Rodriguez singled with one out and Lopez singled with two out in the first but Contreras lined out to center. Ronny Brito doubled and Dom Abbadessa walked with two out in the second. Brito made it to third on a wild pitch and Abbadessa stole second but Morris struck out swinging.
Lopez had his second hit of the game with a two-out base hit in the third but he would get no further.
The C’s went down in order in the fourth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings. At one point, 13 Vancouver hitters in a row failed to reach base until Brito walked with two out in the ninth. Abbadessa singled to right and he and Brito would advance 90 feet on a wild pitch but Morris struck out swinging to end the game.
Alek Manoah pitched two scoreless innings to start the game for Vancouver. He stranded a two-out walk by Melean and a single by Acosta before working a 1-2-3 second. The former West Virginia Mountaineer struck out three and threw 21 of his 31 pitches for strikes.
Medina stranded two of three inherited runners and struck out four over his 1-2/3 innings of relief. Luke Gillingham overcame a Lopez error at third to work a scoreless eighth.
Game two of the three-game set at Gesa Stadium goes Saturday at 7:15 pm. Ignacio Feliz will throw the first pitch for Tri-City. Adam Kloffenstein will do likewise for Vancouver. Rob Fai will have the play-by-play on Sportsnet 650 and CanadiansBaseball.com.
2012 Vancouver Canadians infielder David Harris is with the New Jersey Jackals of the Can-Am League.