The Vancouver Canadians picked up a rare win over the Everett AquaSox with a 5-4 walk-off victory at Ron Tonkin Field Thursday.
Dating back to 2019, the AquaSox have won 16 of their last 20 games against the Canadians but Monty’s Mounties appeared to catch a break as they did not have to face Mariners 2020 first-round pick Emerson Hancock due to “workload management”. Evan Johnson got the starting assignment instead and he had trouble finding the strike zone as he walked Tanner Kirwer, Tanner Morris and Spencer Horwitz in the first inning. Kirwer was able to trot home on a Ryan Gold walk and Luis De Los Santos produced a sacrifice fly to left field to score Eden for Vancouver’s second run. Bernie Martinez relieved Johnson and ended the inning by striking out Ronny Brito.
The Canadians scored again in the second with a two-out rally. Kirwer drew a walk on a full-count pitch and scampered to second on a Carter Bins passed ball before scoring on a Morris single to right. A single and stolen base by Eden and a Horwitz walk loaded the bases but Martinez struck Gold to stop the bleeding for Everett.
The AquaSox got to C’s starter Luis Quinones for a run in the fourth. Julio Rodriguez beat out a ground ball to third for an infield single and headed to second on a wild pitch. He then stole third base and managed to score when Brito could not handle the throw from Gold behind the plate. Quinones rebounded to strike out Zach DeLoach and Bins for the final two outs of the inning.
Vancouver restored its three-run lead in the sixth off Igor Januario. Brito started things off with a leadoff walk and D.J. Neal singled to right with one out. Kirwer then lined a base hit to left to score Brito but Neal was cut down at third base. With Kirwer at second, Morris grounded out to short to conclude the inning.
The AquaSox would fight back against Sam Ryan in the seventh. Bins came up with a leadoff single and managed to score all the way from first when Kirwer booted the ball in center field after a single by Jack Larsen. Joseph Rosa then singled to put runners at the corners with one out. Rosa swiped second and a throwing error by Clarke allowed Larsen to score and Rosa to get to third. A Connor Hoover ground ball to first allowed Rosa to score the tying run as Horwitz was unable to field the ball cleanly at first before making the unassisted putout.
The score would remain 4-4 until the bottom of the ninth. Kyle Hill walked Kirwer on four straight pitches and pitch number five was a sacrifice bunt to third by Morris to move Kirwer into scoring position. Eden followed with a five-pitch walk before Horwitz rapped a single up the middle to score Kirwer with the winning run.
After serving an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance, Quinones had a successful 2021 debut on the mound. The 2019 Canadians righty allowed just one unearned run on one hit and two walks while striking out five in his 78-pitch outing, 43 of which were strikes. He faced the minimum in three of his five frames. Gold threw out Larsen trying to steal second after Frick struck out to finish the second inning.
Ryan survived a pair of two-out walks in the sixth but allowed three runs in the seventh, two of them unearned. He gave up three hits and two walks and struck out one.
Hagen Danner walked Cody Grosse to begin the eighth but Shenton hit into a 6-4-3 double before DeLoach flied out to left on a leaping catch by Neal for the third out.
In the ninth, Danner issued a two-out walk to Frick who stole second and got to third on a wild pitch but Danner struck out Rosa on a 3-2 pitch to send the game to the bottom of the ninth. That was Danner’s second whiff of the night and he would pick up the win to even his record at 1-1.
The AquaSox had to make do with Rodriguez after he singled and scored Everett’s first run in the fourth inning. He was replaced in the bottom in the fourth by Grosse who moved to left field after DeLoach replaced Rodriguez in right.
Neal had the lone two-hit night for Vancouver in the number nine spot in the order. He had a double off David Ellingson in the fourth to represent the C’s lone extra-base knock of the night. Despite the C’s leaving 10 men on base, they did manage to come up with three hits in 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Kirwer was on base four times with a single and three walks, scoring three runs and stealing his 13th base of the year. Eden singled and walked twice and swiped his 16th bag to remain ahead of Kirwer for the High-A West lead. Horwitz had a base hit and two bases on balls to improve his on-base percentage to .524.
Every Canadians hitter got on base at least once by a hit or a walk except for Andres Guerra who had the golden sombrero in the designated hitter role. Vancouver batters struck out a combined 12 times but drew 11 walks.
Nick Fraze is expected to be on the mound Friday for the C’s as they look to even up the series against the Frogs. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. The game can be heard on CanadiansBaseball.com.
C’s Alumni Report
Nate Pearson (2017) struck out seven but gave up four runs in three innings as Buffalo lost 4-2 to Scranton-Wilkes Barre in the first game of a doubleheader. Dany Jiménez (2017) walked just one batter and struck out a pair over two shutout innings. Nash Knight (2016) homered and Riley Adams (2017) singled and walked. After a walk in Game 1, Cullen Large (2017) heard ball four again in Game 2 but the Herd lost again to Scranton 3-2.
Otto Lopez (2018) was 2-for-4 with three runs scored, drew a walk and was hit by a pitch as New Hampshire beat Somerset 10-8 in Game 1 of their doubleheader. L.J. Talley (2021) doubled home two runs, lifted a sac fly and worked a bases-loaded walk to drive in four runs. Kevin Vicuña (2017) had a single and a stolen base while Vinny Capra (2018) added a walk, a plunk and a sacrifice fly. Reggie Pruitt (2017) entered the game as a pinch-runner for Jordan Groshans who was 2-for-5 with a home run. Pruitt scored two runs as he drew a walk in the DH role. Samad Taylor (2017) had a run-scoring fly ball.
Graham Spraker (2017) hit a batter and walked two others but struck out three over 2-1/3 scoreless innings. Fitz Stadler (2018) struck out the side in his one inning of work and Willy Gaston (2019) followed with a perfect frame of his own that included a K. Jon Harris (2015) was charged with a blown save but got the final four outs for the win, striking out two to offset a hit and a walk.
Lopez saw his 17-game hitting streak come to an end in Game 2 but he drove in the Fisher Cats lone run with a sacrifice fly in a 2-1 loss to Somerset. Taylor had just one of two hits for New Hampshire and Talley heard ball four once. Troy Miller (2018, 2021) scatted three hits and three walks and struck out three, allowing just one run over five innings in his Double-A debut.
Gabriel Ponce (2019) struck out five in two shutout innings of relief, giving up just one hit and one walk but Dunedin was outscored by Tampa 10-7.
Last but not least, Alek Manoah (2019) won his major league debut with six shutout innings, allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out seven as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the New York Yankees 2-0 in Game 1 of their doubleheader. Rowdy Tellez (2014) had a hit and a walk and made two nice scoops at first base on off-target throws by Bo Bichette and Marcus Semien in the last two innings. Jonathan Davis (2014) was 1-for-3 but the Blue Jays lost Game 2 5-3.
Sportsnet 590 The Fan spoke with 2019 Vancouver Canadians manager and 2021 Bisons skipper Casey Candaele prior to Manoah’s start in the Bronx.