The Vancouver Canadians got back in the win column for the first time in five days. After a come-from-ahead 3-2 loss the day before, the Canadians rallied from a 2-0 deficit to down the Eugene Emeralds 3-2 at P.K. Park Monday.
Sunday’s walk-off hero Caleb Knight jump-started the Eugene offence with a leadoff single in the second against Juan Diaz. Knight stole second base and would easily score on a Edmond Americaan one-out triple to center. Americaan went to tag up on a Jake Washer flyout to center but Dom Abbadessa used his running momentum to unleash a strong throw to the plate to get Americaan for an inning-ending 8-2 double play.
The Knight-Americaan combination produced the Emeralds second run in the fourth. Knight reached first on a fielder’s choice to eliminate a Chase Strumpf walk but a throwing error by Luis De Los Santos at second base allowed Knight to move up to second. Knight would steal another base by taking third before Americaan doubled him home with two out on an 0-2 pitch from Diaz.
Vancouver got its first run in the fifth against Didier Vargas when Brett Wright got on base when Josue Huma mishandled a grounder to third. Wright then stole his third base of the year but remained at second when Ronny Brito struck out and De Los Santos grounded out. Abbadessa beat out a ground ball to second and that allowed Wright to cross the plate. Tanner Morris extended the inning with a walk but Cameron Eden grounded out to third to leave two men aboard.
A two-out rally allowed the C’s to even things up in the sixth. McGregory Contreras flared a single to right and Wright was hit by a pitch to put Contreras in scoring position. A base hit to right by Brito scored Contreras and a De Los Santos walk loaded the bases but Abbadessa was called out on strikes.
The seventh inning saw the Canadians take the lead. Eden picked up a one-out base hit off Zach Bryant and advanced to second after Will Robertson was hit by a Vargas pitch. Jesus Lopez lifted an infield pop-up and was called out on an infield fly rule but Em’s first baseman Grayson Byrd dropped the ball and an alert Eden took advantage when the ball rolled into foul territory on the first base side. Eden was able to score all the way from second to put Vancouver ahead. Robertson got to third on the play but Contreras flied out to end the rally.
Eugene tried to respond in the eighth when Americaan picked up his third extra-base hit of the night with a one-out double off Diaz. Nicolas Medina kept Americaan put by retiring the next two batters by retiring Washer and Jacob Olson on flyouts to center. Medina would strike out two in a perfect eighth before turning the ball to Grayson Huffman in the ninth. Chase Strumpf started things off with a base hit but Huffman rallied to strike out Knight and Byrd before retiring the dangerous Americaan on a grounder to third to collect his second save.
It did not look like it would be Vancouver’s night early as Michael McAvene retired six in a row—three via strikeout—to begin the game for Eugene. Brito got the first C’s hit in the third and Abbadessa drew a one out walk against Vargas but Morris hit into a 6-4-3 twin-killing.
The Canadians got two more runners on base when Robertson reached on a Huma fielding error and Lopez walked for just the fourth time this year, the first time on the road. Contreras would be caught looking at strike three and Robertson was thrown out trying to advance to third.
Vancouver could not cash in a Brito ground-rule double to center in the eighth off Riley McCauley. Fernando Kelli nearly made a diving catch in front of the wall on Brito’s double but ran down a De Los Santos drive to the warning track. Abbadessa was thrown out on a bang-bang play at first by Em’s shortstop Pedro Martinez.
The C’s left two more runners on in the ninth after a two-out double by Robertson and an infield single by Lopez were stranded by a Contreras strikeout.
Vancouver left 11 men on base after going 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Brito had the only multi-hit effort by going 3-for-4 and is hitting .306 over his last 10 contests.
Diaz scattered six hits and a walk while giving up two runs over six frames. He struck out three and got 10 outs on the ground. That improved his record to 2-4 and dropped his earned run average to 3.97.
Medina earned his team-leading fourth hold of the season after pitching 1-2/3 innings of perfect relief. Huffman became the second C’s reliever to post a second save, trailing Luke Gillingham by one in that department.
The Canadians and Emeralds play the rubber match of this series Tuesday. Nick Fraze is expected to start for Vancouver. Game time is 7:05 pm at P.K. Park. The game can be heard on Sportsnet 650 and CanadiansBaseball.com and watched on MiLB.TV.