The Vancouver Canadians are back at the .500 mark again as they shutout the Spokane Indians 2-0 at Ron Tonkin Field Thursday.
The Canadians took the lead in the second inning when Ronny Brito traded places with Luis De Los Santos on the base paths. Brito doubled to center field with one-out against Spokane starter David Hill and scored on a two-out extra-base knock to left by De Los Santos.
Vancouver had designs on a big inning in the third when Tanner Kirwer was hit by a Hill pitch on a 3-2 count but Kirwer’s attempt for revenge in stealing second was turned away when Spokane catcher Willie MacIver threw him out. With two outs and nobody on, Cameron Eden dropped a single into center and raced to third when Spencer Horwitz lined a base hit up the middle. Nick Bush relieved Hill but he came out of the short end of a lefty-lefty matchup as Ryan Gold singled to center in increase the Canadians lead to 2-0.
Gold helped guide Canadians starter Troy Miller from some early trouble in the first inning. Eddy Diaz singled on the game’s first pitch but Gold nailed Diaz trying to swipe second. Brenton Doyle drew a two-out walk and stole second but Miller stranded him to get out of the inning. The Vancouver right-hander retired the next seven hitters in a row before a Doyle single in the fourth. The only other mis-step for Miller was a leadoff walk to Hunter Stovall in the fifth before retiring the side in order.
White Rock, BC native Brayden Bouchey relieved Miller in the sixth but wound up plunking the first two men he faced by hitting Diaz and Aaron Schunk, who was hit in the elbow and was replaced by L.J. Hatch. Despite a two-out wild pitch to put the two runners in scoring position, Bouchey bounced back by getting the next three hitters.
Cobi Johnson had trouble finding his footing after a leadoff walk to Stovall in the seventh and a two-out free pass to Kyle Datres but Johnson managed to get the three outs he needed to keep Spokane off the scoreboard.
North Vancouver’s Will McAffer sat down Spokane 1-2-3 in the eighth with a pair of strikeouts but had a nervous ninth when Stovall doubled with one out and Niko Decolati got aboard with a walk. McAffer struck out John Cresto for the second out but Stovall and Decolati pulled off a double steal to put the tying runs in scoring position. McAffer got Datres to ground out to third to end the game and collect his first save of the season.
Spokane shortstop Jack Blomgren robbed Horwitz on a diving catch in shallow left field to end the first inning and prevent Eden from scoring after his two-out base hit and sixth stolen base of the year. Blomgren apparently injured himself on the play. That forced Spokane to shuffle its infield defence in the bottom of the second with Diaz moving from second to short, Schunk switching from third to second and Datres entering the game at the six-spot.
L.J. Talley had a pair of singles and Gold also singled twice against Bush who was otherwise dominant with 4-1/3 shutout innings that included eight strikeouts. Trysten Barlow struck out two in a perfect eighth for Spokane.
C’s outfielder Will Robertson has been placed on the 7-day injured list after a wrist injury suffered on a diving catch in right to end the fourth inning of Tuesday’s game.
C.J. Van Eyk gets the ball for Monty’s Mounties in the third game of this six-game set. First pitch is 7:05 pm. You can listen to the game on CanadiansBaseball.com and Sportsnet 650.
C’s Alumni Report
The banging of the drum for the Toronto Blue Jays to call up 2019 C’s hurler Alek Manoah keeps getting louder. He struck out five, giving up just hit, two walks and a hit batsman in six shutout innings as Buffalo routed Rochester 12-0. Jackson McClelland (2015-2016) also contributed a shutout frame to the cause. Logan Warmoth (2017) continues to swing a hot bat by going 3-for-4 with a home run and a walk, finishing a triple shy of the cycle. He’s hitting .370 with a 1.192 OPS. Richard Ureña (2014) had a pair of hits, including a double.
Brock Lundquist (2017) had an RBI single and a grand slam to help New Hampshire slam Somerset 7-2. 2017 C’s teammates Samad Taylor and Chavez Young stole two bases apiece while Otto Lopez (2018) had a double and a walk. Andrew McInvale—called up from Vancouver to New Hampshire—blew the save but got the win in his Fisher Cats debut. He gave up a run in two innings but struck out three. Mike Ellenbest (2016) pitched two scoreless innings that included two strikeouts.