The Vancouver Canadians are just a half-game back of first place in the High-A West standings as they slammed the Spokane Indians 10-2 at Avista Stadium Wednesday night.
The C’s jumped all over Spokane starter Chris McMahon by sending all nine men to the plate in the first inning. Tanner Kirwer began the proceedings with a leadoff walk and then stole his league-leading 20th base of the year. Philip Clarke also walked before Cameron Eden drove in Kirwer with a single to left field that deflected off Kyle Datres at third. Spencer Horwitz then singled to right to score Clarke from third to make it 2-0 Vancouver. Luis De Los Santos kept the line moving on his 23rd birthday as his base hit up the middle cashed in Eden. Ryan Gold then took one for the team to make it six Canadians who have been hit by pitches this series to load the bases. McMahon threw a wild pitch that allowed Horwitz to cross the plate with the fourth Vancouver run. Sebastian Espino produced a sacrifice fly to left to score De Los Santos for run number five.
Spokane also wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as Isaac Collins crushed the first pitch he saw from C.J. Van Eyk over the left field fence to make it a 5-1 ballgame.
The home side inched a little closer in the fourth as Michael Toglia dropped in a leadoff single to left. A throwing error by Espino at third allowed Datres to reach base safely. Cade Harris bunted both runners over before Daniel Cope‘s run-scoring fly ball brought in Toglia to cut Vancouver’s lead to three.
The Canadians dropped the hammer in the sixth inning against Spokane reliever Boby Johnson. Eric Rivera got things started with a base hit to center and scampered to third on a Kirwer double to right. Clarke was hit by a pitch (that’s seven HBPs from Spokane hurlers!) before Eden doubled to center to cash in Rivera and Kirwer. Tanner Morris was given an intentional walk with one out to join Clarke at third base. Gold then delivered a two-out to right to plate Clarke and Eden to increase Vancouver’s advantage to 9-2.
Run number 10 for the C’s came in the eighth. Morris singled to center with one out off Jared Biddy as the ball went off Collins at second. An error by Niko Decolati in center allowed De Los Santos to reach second and move Morris to third. Gold was given an intentional pass to load the bases before Espino’s infield single to third scored Morris.
Eight of the nine Canadians hitters had at least one base hit and all nine reached base with Clarke drawing three walks and getting hit by a pitch.
The on-base leader was Gold as he got aboard all five times he went up to the dish. He had three singles, an intentional walk and a hit by pitch. Gold now leads the High-A West League with two intentional ball fours as he was also waved over to first in the series opener. Morris was also gifted with an on-purpose free pass and is in a five-way tie for second place.
Eden and De Los Santos had two-hit efforts with Eden knocking home three and De Los Santos driving in one. Horwitz had a base hit and a walk. Vancouver had 12 hits and eight walks and was 7-for-18 with runners in scoring position, stranding 12.
Van Eyk earned his first victory in six starts. He made it through five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks. His strikeout and groundout totals were five apiece.
After Van Eyk gave up Collins’ leadoff home run, Kirwer helped him out when he threw out Decolati at second base from right field after Decolati tried to stretch his single into a double.
Brandon Eisert and Adrian Hernandez tossed two shutout innings with four strikeouts each to finish things out. Eisert got around two hits and a walk and Hernandez allowed just one hit in his C’s debut.
All the best to right-hander Troy Watson as he underwent successful Tommy John surgery on his elbow. His lone appearance in a Vancouver uniform came May 8 when he pitched three shutout innings in Tri-City.
Other C’s pitchers on the injured list are lefty Luke Gillingham and righties Hagen Danner, Edisson Gonzalez, Colton Laws and Donnie Sellers. Only Gillingham and Danner has pitched this season. Danner is sidelined with a back injury according to C’s broadcaster Tyler Zickel.
Position players on the IL include infielders John Aiello and Trevor Schwecke and outfielder Will Robertson. Only Robertson has seen action with the Canadians this year.
It’s a quick turnaround for the Canadians as they play Spokane in a 12:00 p.m. start Thursday. Luis Quinones will be on the slope for Monty’s Mounties. The game can be heard on CanadiansBaseball.com.
The Canadians come into the game with a 19-13 record, one-half game back of Everett and tied with Eugene for second place in the standings.
C’s Alumni Report
Samad Taylor (2017) homered to tie the game in the eighth but New Hampshire lost in Portland 5-4. Taylor had a three-hit night in the leadoff spot and made another start in centre field. Brock Lundquist (2017) and Nick Podkul (2018) added base hits. Lundquist also threw out a runner at third from left field. Jon Harris (2015) retired all six hitters he faced in relief.
Alex Nolan (2019) picked up his first win in a Dunedin uniform. The pride of Burlington, Ontario pitched four shutout innings of one-hit, one-walk ball while whiffing three as the D-Jays outlasted Lakeland 5-4 in 11 innings.
Alek Manoah (2019) allowed two runs (one unearned) on four hits and two walks and struck out four over five innings and Tim Mayza (2014) finished the game with a one-walk ninth as Toronto upended the Chicago White Sox 6-2. Rowdy Tellez (2014) had an RBI single and Riley Adams (2017) drew a walk and scored his first big league run in his second game.
Kevin Pillar (2011) homered twice in a 3-for-4 night and drove in four runs as the New York Mets ran over Baltimore 14-1.