The Northwest League All-Star break did a lot of good for the Vancouver Canadians. In their first game back after a 10-game road trip, the C’s defeated the Everett AquaSox 7-5 at Nat Bailey Stadium Thursday.
The Canadians matched their entire run total in Tri-City last weekend with a three-run third inning. Ronny Brito began the frame with a single off Jorge Benitez that just dropped in front of Cade Marlowe in left field. Adrian Ramos worked his way on base with a walk before Tanner Morris delivered a two-run triple to right field score Brito and Ramos. Jesus Lopez would score Morris with a sacrifice fly to right that was cut off in the infield to give Monty’s Mounties a 3-0 lead.
After being shutdown by Alek Manoah for the first three innings, Everett chipped away in the fourth with a two-out rally against William Gaston. Marlowe and Perez extended the frame with a pair of two-out walks before Cash Gladfelter scored Marlowe with a base hit to right. Brennon Kaleiwahea walked to load the bases but Gaston limited the damage to one run by striking out Miguel Perez.
The AquaSox added another run in the fifth when Patrick Frick and Cesar Izturis Jr. both singled to put runners on the corner. Frick would score on the front end of a double steal as Philip Clarke threw the ball to second to try to get Izturis but Morris could not hang on to the ball when he tried to make the tag.
The C’s would respond with a run of their own in their half of the fifth. Brito began the proceedings with a walk but was forced out at second on a nice defensive sequence by the AquaSox that nearly resulted in a double play. Frick gloved a hopper at short and shoveled the ball with his glove towards Izturis but his throw was not in time to get Ramos. That turned out to be huge as Ramos would rumble around the bases on a Morris double as the ball skipped by Marlowe in left and went all the way to the wall. Ivan Fortunato was called upon to get the last two outs of the fifth for Everett.
More breathing room for the Canadians came in the sixth when Cameron Eden got aboard on an error by Frick at short. McGregory Contreras would make Everett pay for that miscue by doubling to left field to send Eden home. Another double by Brito to center towards the manual scoreboard cashed in Eden with the sixth Vancouver run.
The AquaSox answered back with two runs of their own in the seventh. Luis Joseph doubled off Nicolas Medina to start the seventh. Joseph lifted a double to right that turned Contreras into a pretzel as he was unable to track it down near the outfield wall. Frick followed with a walk and Cesar Izturis Jr. singled to left to bring in Joseph. Ramos booted the ball in left and that saw Frick and Izturis move an additional 90 feet. Medina struck out Trent Tingelstad for the first out but a Marlowe sac fly to center drove in Frick and led to a pitching change. Medina was replaced by Mike Pascoe and he got Robert Perez to hit a comebacker on the first pitch he threw to end the Everett uprising.
The C’s tacked on one more run in the eighth against Garrett Westberg. Eden started the rally with a double to left and advanced to third on a base hit to right by Contreras. Ramos would get aboard on a one-out walk to load the bases and another walk by Morris plated Eden with the seventh Vancouver run. The C’s still had the bases loaded with two out but Clarke was robbed of a hit on a diving stop by Gladfelter at first who got up and made the toss to covering the bag.
The Frogs made a last-ditch effort in the ninth against Grayson Huffman when Tingelstad worked a leadoff walk and scampered over to third when a Marlowe single was mishandled by Contreras in right field. Huffman struck out Perez for the first out but then threw one to the backstop that saw Tingelstad score to make it a two-run game again. That was all Everett would get as Huffman whiffed Gladfelter before retiring Kaleiwahea on a fly ball to center for his first save of the year.
Radar Gun Rundown
Manoah touched 100 miles per hour and had strikeouts at 93, 94, 94, 95, 96, 96 and 86. He threw pitches that clocked in 82, 84-88 and 97-98. Gaston checked in at 74-75, 81, 84-87, 89, 90-92 NS 95 and had Ks of 94, 76 and 91. Medina was up to 75-76, 80-83, 88-89 and registered strikeouts at 75 and 88. Pascoe had pitches at 83, 85-87, 89 and 92. Huffman had offerings of 76, 89, and 91-94 with strikeouts of 90 and 93.
Manoah made his Nat Bailey Stadium debut a memorable one. His first pitch was a 93 mile-per-hour fastball that hit Frick but he struck out Izturis to start a strike’ em out-throw ’em out double play as Clarke nailed Frick trying to steal second. He overcame a Tingelstad walk to get Marlowe to go down swinging.
Manoah racked up two more Ks in the second and had a walk by Gladfelter erased by his batterymate Clarke who caught Gladfelter trying to swipe second.
The pitch count was a factor for the former West Virginia Mountaineer as he was facing a limit of 50 pitches. He used up 42 of those to get through the first two frames but he was given three more bullets to work. It took just 11 11 pitches for him to strike out the side to make it through three innings. Gaston was on stand-by in the C’s left field bullpen but was not needed until the fourth.
Before each of his first three innings, Manoah would face center field, make a sign of the cross, point to the sky and stretch out his arms before climbing the mound to go to work.
Morris made a nice play at short to retire Tingelstad in the fourth. He ranged over to his right to surround the ball and made a strong throw to first.
The end of the top of the sixth produced more excitement than it should have. Medina got Perez to lift a high fly ball to left field that Ramos lost sight of at first but he recovered to make the catch for the third out to strand a Perez leadoff double.
Vancouver manager Casey Candaele‘s faith in Pascoe was rewarded in the eighth inning. A one-out single by Kaleiwahea and a two-out hit by Joseph and a free pass to Frick loaded the bases. When Candaele when out to the mound, it was expected he was going to summon Huffman from the bullpen. Instead, Candaele stayed with Pascoe and the former San Jacinto Gator got Izturis to ground out to second to hold the Frogs off the board.
Brito led the hit parade with three hits while Morris and Contreras had two apiece. Eden had the other hit while Schwecke and Ramos were on base three times each via the base on balls. Ramos also swiped his fifth base of the year.
Speculation is C’s fans may have seen the last of Yorman Rodriguez as he is rumoured to be heading to Lansing to join the Lugnuts. The Northwest League All-Star is leading the league with a .369 batting average but was not in the lineup Thursday.
The Canadians continue their three-game set against the AquaSox in a 1:05 pm start at the Nat. All-Star Adam Kloffenstein gets the ball for the C’s. Everett has not yet announced a starter.