Photo credit – Christopher Oertell (@cjimagesnw)
The Vancouver Canadians lost their first series of the season but it ended on a winning note as they downed the Eugene Emeralds 7-3 at Ron Tonkin Field Sunday.
The C’s were held down by Aaron Phillips in the first two innings but they broke through in the third. A one-out infield single to third base by Tanner Kirwer got things started and the Sherwood Park, Alberta native got to second on the play after a throwing error by Jacob Gonzalez. Kirwer was then cashed in by a Philip Clarke single to right. Cameron Eden bunted his way aboard to get Clarke up to second. Another infield single to third by Sebastian Espino with two away scored Clarke to give Vancouver a 2-0 lead.
The Emeralds responded with a run against Paxton Schultz in the top of the third. A leadoff walk by Patrick Bailey moved into scoring position on a Will Wilson groundout before Logan Wyatt came up with a two-out single to bring in Bailey.
Vancouver would put together another one-out rally in the their third at-bat. Andres Guerra and Eric Rivera got things started by singling to right. Kirwer hit into a 5-4 fielder’s choice but would steal second while Phillips uncorked a wild pitch and that allowed Guerra to cross home plate. A Clarke double to left field drove in Kirwer and an Eden infield single to short scored Clarke to make it 5-1 C’s.
Solomon Bates took over for Phillips in the bottom of the fourth and gave up a leadoff single to Espino. A passed ball by Bailey, a wild pitch and a Luis De Los Santos groundout to third scored Espino to give Vancouver a five-run lead.
The Emeralds drew a little closer against Cobi Johnson in the seventh. A Wyatt leadoff walk and a Franklin Labour single put runners on the corners before a sacrifice fly by Gonzalez drove in Wyatt. A Tyler Flores base hit put runners on the corners again before Labour scored on a 9-6 fielder’s choice as Kirwer forced out Flores at second.
Vancouver got the game’s final tally in the eighth when Kirwer singled off Tyler Schimpf, swiped second and moved to third on a Clarke groundout to the right side of the infield before tagging up and scoring on an Eden sacrifice fly to centre.
Schultz allowed less than a baserunner per inning in his six inning outing. He surrendered just two hits, two walks and a hit by pitch and picked off a runner by catching Williams off guard at first base in the third. Schultz struck out nine and recorded five outs on the fake grass to improve to 3-0 on the season with a 2.08 earned run average.
Justin Maese worked around a hit and two walks by striking out five over the last two frames to pick up his third save on the year.
The top of the Vancouver lineup had a productive day at the office with Kirwer, Clarke and Eden going a combined 6-for-13.
Kirwer doubled, singled, walked and stole two bases and Eden stole one. Kirwer stole his 17th base and Eden swiped his 18th in the third inning. Kirwer drew even with Eden for the High-A West League in steals by pilfering his 18th pillow in the eighth. Eden and Clarke drove in a pair of runs apiece.
Rounding out the two-hit club for the Canadians were Espino, De Los Santos and Rivera with Rivera stealing his second base of the year. Every Canadians hitter was on base at least once as Rafael Lantigua drew a walk.
Vancouver was just 4-for-20 with runners in scoring position, leaving nine men on. The C’s could not take advantage of a Kirwer leadoff double in the first and a De Los Santos one-out double in the second off Phillips. However, the C’s got to Phillips this time around after he had spun six innings of one-run ball against them in the series opener.
The Canadians hit the road for a six-game series with Spokane. Sean Wymer will start the series opener Tuesday which begins at 6:30 p.m. All games except Thursday and Sunday begin at 6:30 as Thursday is a 12:00 p.m. start and Sunday’s finale is set for 5:09 p.m.
C’s Alumni Report
The rehabbing Cavan Biggio (2016) homered, Logan Warmoth (2017) walked and picked up a sacrifice fly and Cullen Large (2017) drew a free pass as Buffalo knocked off Syracuse 5-2. T.J. Zeuch (2016) pitched the final seven innings of relief for the rehabbing Thomas Hatch, scattering seven hits and allowing just one earned run out of the two he was charged with while registering nine groundball outs.
Nick Podkul (2018) belted his first Double-A home run and was hit by two pitches, Brock Lundquist (2017) singled home a pair and Reggie Pruitt (2017) took one for the team with the bases loaded but New Hampshire lost to Binghamton 9-6. L.J. Talley (2021) singled and walked and Kevin Vicuña had a base hit. Fitz Stadler (2018) struck out three and gave up just one hit over 1-1/3 shutout frames and Jon Harris (2015) walked one in a scoreless ninth.
Gabriel Ponce (2019) allowed just one hit and struck out three over two innings as Dunedin got past Bradenton 4-3. The win was the 100th of Luis Hurtado‘s managerial career. Hurtado played three games for the Vancouver Canadians in 2011 in which he went 4-for-11.
Marcus Stroman (2012) pitched 6-2/3 innings and allowed just one unearned run while striking out seven and Miguel Castro (2014) stranded a runner for Stroman in relief and tossed 1-1/3 scoreless frames as the New York Mets upended San Diego 6-2.