The Vancouver Canadians won the season series against the Boise Hawks with a convincing 8-3 victory at Nat Bailey Stadium Monday night. After losing three of four in Boise in late July, the C’s rebounded to complete a three-game sweep of the Hawks to take the season series four games to three.
Boise opened the scoring with a run in the second off Luis Quinones. L.J. Hatch worked a leadoff walk before Vladimir Dilone delivered a triple to right to score Hatch. Dilone made a bid for an inside-the-park-home run. McGregory Contreras fired the ball in from the outfield to Trevor Schwecke at first. His throw to third caromed off the fence in front of the Vancouver dugout but Jesus Lopez recovered the ball and threw to Brett Wright at home to get Dilone at the plate. That was a 9-3-5-2 putout for those of you scoring at home.
Monty’s Mounties rallied in the fourth when Lopez doubled to left off Breiling Eusebio. Contreras found his way aboard on a fielding error by Hatch at third before Ronny Brito walked to load the bases. Schwecke drew another free pass to bring in Lopez with the C’s first run. Wright would lift a sacrifice fly to right to score Contreras with the go-ahead marker. Fineas Del Bonta-Smith was summoned from the Boise bullpen to face Dom Abbadessa whose fielder’s choice scored the third run. Trey Jacobs tried to throw out Brito on Abbadessa’s ground ball to first but his throw was wide of the plate towards the first base side and that allowed Brito to touch the pentagon. Morris would line a single up the gut with two outs and Schwecke tried to score from second but was ruled out at the plate when Aielts made the throw from second. Replays in the press box showed Quijada missed the tag. Surprisingly, nobody in a Vancouver uniform argued the call.
The C’s would put another three runs on the board in the sixth. Schwecke welcomed Boise reliever Rayne Supple into the game with a base hit to right. Wright would draw a walk but would be forced out at second on an Abbadessa fielder’s choice. Abbadessa stole second before he and Schwecke scored on Morris’ opposite-field double down the left field line. Cameron Eden chased Supple from the game with a singled to right to put runners on the corners. Wander Cabrera entered the game and surrendered a single to Lopez to make it 6-1 Vancouver.
The Hawks would get to Gage Burland when he entered the game in the seventh. Singles by Bryant Quijada and Joe Aielts sandwiched a Dilone walk to load the bases. Yorvis Torrealba singled to right as his line drive was lost in the lights by Contreras and that scored Quijada with the Hawks second run. Nicolas Medina was called in from the bullpen and gave up a run-scoring groundout to second to Trey Jacobs that Medina nearly came up with. Dilone would score on the play but Medina struck out Daniel Cope and retired Trevor Boone on a fly out to right to limit the damage.
Keven Pimentel started the eighth inning for Boise and ran into trouble immediately by walking Morris and surrendering a single to Eden. After Lopez lined out to short, Contreras cracked a two-run triple to plate Morris and Eden when the ball skipped by a diving Torrealba in right.
After Medina worked a perfect eighth, Parker Caracci pitched the ninth for Vancouver. He retired Dilone and Aielts on fly balls but Torrealba kept the game going by beating out an infield single to short on a bang-bang play at first. That was a call that Caracci did not agree with. He would hit Jacobs with a pitch and walk Cope to load the bases but a mound visit from pitching coach Demetre Kokoris did the trick as Caracci’s next pitch wound up in the glove of Contreras in right field off the bat of Boone to help Vancouver complete the three-game sweep.
Nick Fraze collected his first professional win with three innings of no-hit relief. He allowed just three base runners on two walks and a hit by pitch. His earned run average is down to 2.30.
Radar Gun Rundown
Quinones was clocked at 77, 79-82, 84 and 89-95 miles per hour with strikeouts at 93, 92 and 92. Fraze was timed at 80-84 and 90-92 with one of his strikeouts at 82. Burland was at 84, 90 and 92-94. Medina 77, 79, 81, 82 and 88-90 with punchouts at 89 and 90. Caracci came in at 82 and 91-94 with a K of 93.
Quinones used the song “Baby Shark” as his warm-up music prior to the game. The Boise Hawks bullpen got into the spirit by doing shark chomps with their arms.
The right-hander from San Jacinto had to battle over his three-inning stint. Aielts singled on a 1-2 pitch to begin the game and made it to second after Boise manager Steve Soliz started the runner on a Torrealba groundout to second base. Quinones struck out Jacobs but a stolen base of third by Aielts and a walk to Cope put runners on the corners before Boone popped out to first to end the threat.
After allowing a run in the second, Quinones overcame a two-out walk to Jacobs in the third to end his outing which saw him walk three and strike out three as well as two hits.
Brito had the first Vancouver hit in the second and made a bid to score the first run but he would thrown out at home after trying to score on a Schwecke double down the left field line past a diving Hatch at third. Third base coach Danny Canellas made an aggressive call by waving Brito around third but he was thrown out by Boone at the plate by a good margin to turn the Canadians back. It appeared the ball may have glanced off the stool of the security guard stationed in foul territory down the left field line.
Vancouver tried to tie the game up in the third when Adrian Ramos walked with one out and it looked like he was going to be picked off by Eusebio at first. Instead, Jacobs’ throw from first went off the helmet of Ramos who was credited with a stolen base and also managed to get to third on the error. Ramos would remain at third as Morris and Eden could not get the ball out of the infield.
Abbadessa was shaken up when he tried to put down a bunt in the sixth but the ball glanced off his bat and knocked off his batting helmet. He was okay to continue as he immediately waved off the trainer.
Morris made a nice diving stop at short to his right to snare a liner off the bat of Quijada. That helped Fraze eventually strand a pair of runners in the fourth.
You could also put a gold star on a nice play by Lopez at third. Torrealba tried to bunt his way aboard but Lopez barehanded the ball and made a strong throw to get the son of former big leaguer Yorvit Torrealba in a close play at first.
Eden led the C’s hit parade with three hits and stole a base. Morris, Lopez, Brito and Schwecke had two apiece with Schwecke walking twice and Morris and Brito walking once. Wright drew two free passes and Ramos walked once and stole a base. Contreras tripled and drove in two. Abbadessa swiped his team-leading ninth bag of the year.
The Northwest League transactions column shows Hagen Danner is back with the Lansing Lugnuts after being temporarily assigned to Vancouver. The Toronto Blue Jays second round catcher/first baseman in 2017 never set foot in YVR as the transaction was merely a paper move.
Congratulations to 2016 Canadians hurler T.J. Zeuch for pitching a no-hitter for the Buffalo Bisons against the Rochester Red Wings. 2014 C’s outfielder Jonathan Davis helped preserve it with another outstanding catch.
The latest episode of the C’s Plus Podcast is now available with Ben Steiner and myself in what may be the season finale. Fingers crossed for a playoff edition!
The Canadians head to Tri-City for their biggest series of the season. Jason Blanchard is slated to throw the first pitch for the Dust Devils at 7:15 pm. Alek Manoah gets the call for Vancouver. Rob Fai will have the play-by-play on Sportsnet 650 and CanadiansBaseball.com.