The Vancouver Canadians opened their last regular season homestand with a loss as they fell 4-1 to the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes at Nat Bailey Stadium Friday. The Canadians now trail the Tri-City Dust Devils by four games for the last playoff spot in the North Division with nine games left on the schedule.
Armani Smith took Vancouver starter Gabriel Ponce deep with a two-out solo shot in the first inning to give the Volancoes the early advantage.
Smith would score the second run in the fifth inning when he reached base on a one-out walk by Jared DiCesare and made it home on a two-out double to center by Harrison Freed. Cameron Eden appeared to lose sight of the ball in the lights as the ball dropped just in front of him.
Salem-Keizer would double their lead when a two-out, two-run bomb by Alexander Canario to left-center field off DiCesare plated a one-out Tyler Wyatt single.
Vancouver spoiled the Salem shutout bid with a run in the seventh. Will Robertson beat out a single to the mound off Jasier Herrera to begin the frame. He advanced to second on a wild pitch before making it to third on an Eden tapper back to the mound. Robertson would score on a Schwecke sacrifice fly to right.
Jorge Labrador got the two inning save after Herrera pitched the first seven. Josh Almonte and Gage Burland contributed a scoreless frame apiece for Vancouver.
Radar Gun Rundown
Ponce pitched at 79, 80, 82, 83 and 87-93 miles per hour with strikeouts at 92, 89, 89 and 87. DiCesare measured in at 77-80, 82, 84-88 and 90 with Ks of 80 and 85. Almonte registered offerings at 83, 84 and 93-95 with a strikeout of 84. Burland popped the gun at 74-76, 78, 91, 92 and 94 with whiffs at 78 and 74.
Tanner Morris had to be alert at shortstop just two pitches into the game as a ground ball by Canario took a tricky hop but Morris stayed with it and made the throw to first in time to get the Volcanoes leadoff hitter.
Vancouver threw more leather at the Volcanoes in the second inning. Philip Clarke threw out a runner from his knees as he nailed Jeff Houghtby trying to steal second after a leadoff walk. Eden saved a run with a running catch on a Chris Corbett line drive that took him to the warning track in straight-away center field to end the second. Wyatt would have scored on the play after drawing a two-out walk. Terrific photography of Eden’s catch was turned in by Canadians team photographer Mark Steffens. Kudos also to Ben Steiner for the above photo. My C’s Plus podcast partner is off to Ryerson University in Toronto for the Sports Media program. You will see more of Ben’s skill with the camera on this blog over the days and weeks to come. My thanks to Ben for all his work this season.
Schwecke made a nice pick on a low throw from short off the bat of Corbett in the fourth. Moments before, McGregory Contreras could not locate a line drive to left off the bat of Beicker Mendoza and that resulted in a leadoff double. Mendoza made it as far as third on the Corbett grounder but Canario grounded out to third to end the inning.
Contreras nearly lost a high fly ball lifted out to left from Corbett in the sixth but managed to stretch out his glove in time to make the catch. That play was made just before Canario’s two-run home run.
A sharply hit ball by Carter Aldrete—nephew of former major leaguer Mike Aldrete—went off the leg of DiCesare with one out in the seventh. DiCesare was able to shake it off and proceeded to retire the next two batters in order.
Clarke was Vancouver’s first batter to get on base with a two-out walk in the first. Eden had the first hit by dropping a bunt single down the third base side that resulted in Herrera bumping into Wyatt. With two outs, Eden would proceed to steal second base but he would be stranded.
Luis De Los Santos began the third with a double to left-center field but he remained stuck there as Clarke lined out to third for the final out.
Singles by Contreras and Robertson started the bottom of the fourth for Vancouver but Eden struck out swinging and Schwecke hit into a 1-4-3 double play.
De Los Santos was hit by a pitch with one out in the fifth but Morris rapped into an inning-ending 3-6-3 deuce.
Vancouver’s last gasp was a two-out walk by Robertson in the ninth to bring the potential tying run to the on-deck circle but Robertson was forced out at second on an Eden fielder’s choice.
Two notable prospects for Salem-Keizer are listed as injured. San Francisco Giants 2019 first-round pick Hunter Bishop and 17 year-old Dominican shortstop Marco Luciano are out with turf toe and right quad strain injuries respectively. Bishop was selected 10th overall from Arizona State. The Sun Devils outfielder was taken one pick before Toronto selected current C’s pitcher Alek Manoah from West Virginia.
Two player moves were made prior to Friday’s game. Infielder Ronny Brito was called up to Lansing while right-hander Joey Pulido was summoned to New Hampshire. Brito was the co-leader in home runs for Vancouver with four, the same total of current Lansing Lugnut Yorman Rodriguez. Pulido pitched 2-1/3 scoreless innings over two recent appearances with the C’s. This will mark the fourth team Pulido has suited up for as he has pitched for Lansing, Buffalo and Vancouver this season.
Vancouver and Salem-Keizer square off again in a 7:05 pm first pitch at the Nat Saturday. Juan Diaz is slated to start for Monty’s Mounties. The game can only be heard on CanadiansBaseball.com. This game is not being televised on Sportsnet or broadcasted on Sportsnet 650 as it conflicts with the Toronto Blue Jays being in Seattle this weekend.
The sixth and final televised game on Sportsnet Pacific will be this Wednesday at 7:05 pm when the Tri-City Dust Devils are in town. Ricky Romero and Caroline Frolic will join Rob Fai for all the action.
Check out this book on former major leaguer and former Vancouver Canadian John Cangelosi by good friend of the blog K.P. Wee.