The Vancouver Canadians got their offence rolling again as they knocked off the Spokane Indians 9-4 at Avista Stadium Friday.
The C’s struck early in the first off Spokane starter Will Ethridge. Tanner Kirwer watched four pitches sail wide of the strike zone and stole second base. Philip Clarke also walked before Cameron Eden put one over the left field fence for a three-run home run.
Ethridge rallied to strike out the side in the first and kept the Canadians in check until the fifth. Sebastian Espino tripled to center on the second pitch of the inning and Ronny Brito doubled to right two pitches later to score Espino. Brito advanced to third on the play after an error by right fielder Cade Harris. Another fielding miscue by Isaac Collins at second plated Brito to make it 5-0 Vancouver. Kirwer then singled to right to spell the end of the night for Ethridge. Moises Ceja was summoned from the bullpen and gave up a Philip Clarke single to left to load the bases. Eden then drove in his fourth run of the game with a bases-loaded walk to bring in Neal. Tanner Morris singled to right to send Kirwer home with Vancouver’s seventh run. Ceja would strike out Luis De Los Santos but would give up another run when Clarke tagged up and scored on a Ryan Gold sacrifice fly. Eden tried to get to third but was thrown out by center fielder Brenton Doyle for an inning-ending 8-5 double play.
Spokane broke the shutout with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Adam Kloffenstein hit Kyle Datres to start the inning and threw a wild pitch to put Datres at second. A one-out double by Collins scored Datres to make it an 8-1 game. Kloffenstein sandwiched Collins’ double with walks to Cristopher Navarro and Aaron Schunk but got Doyle to ground out into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
The Canadians scored their final run in the eighth when Morris singled to center, made it to second on an error by Datres at first on a Gold ground ball, advanced to third on an Espino base hit to left and scored on a Brito fly ball to center.
Spokane did not go away quietly as they staged a rally in the ninth. Willie MacIver led off with a single before Justin Maese plunked Michael Toglia and Niko Decolati to load the bases. Datres singled home MacIver and Toglia to cut Vancouver’s lead to six. Harris walked to re-load the bases before Navarro singled to score Decolati. With a save situation suddenly in play, Parker Caracci was called in from the bullpen and turned a liner back to the mound from Collins into a 1-3 double play to get Navarro at first. Caracci then retired Schunk on a line out to second to finish the game.
The Canadians offence was feast or famine as they were set down in order in each of the six innings they did not score. Morris and Espino had two-hit games while Kirwer, Clarke and Eden had a hit and a walk apiece. Eden collected his second homer of the year and Kirwer stole his 21st base of the year to lead Eden by three for the league lead.
Kloffenstein made it through five innings, allowing just one run on three hits, three walks and a hit by pitch. He struck out six, threw 48 strikes over his 80-pitch outing and got four of his six outs in play recorded on the ground.
Marcus Reyes bridged the gap with two shutout innings, walking one and striking out one. He erased his leadoff walk in the sixth with an inning-ending 4-3 double play.
Maese also took care of a leadoff walk in the eighth with a 6-4-3 twin killing to end the frame before running into trouble in the ninth.
Caracci picked up his fourth save of the year in five opportunities. Maese and Will McAffer have three apiece. Reyes and Hagen Danner also have a notch in the SV column.
The Canadians defence was on point as they turned four double plays—three of the inning-ending variety—and committed zero errors.
Spokane had three miscues on the night but at least its pitchers did not hit a Canadians batter for the first time in the series. The pendulum swing the other way as Kloffenstein plunked one batter and Maese drilled two. Spokane still holds the HBP series lead at 8-5.
Sam Ryan will make his first start of the season for Vancouver as the Canadians try to clinch a series victory. Game time is 6:30 p.m. You can tune in at CanadiansBaseball.com.
Vancouver had 20 wins on the season against 14 losses, tied for second place with Eugene and one-half game back of Everett in the High-A West standings.
C’s Alumni Report
Cullen Large (2017) was 3-for-4 out of the leadoff spot and Nick Allgeyer (2018) worked four innings of one-run ball and struck out seven as Buffalo doubled by Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 4-2. Richard Ureña (2017) had two hits, Logan Warmoth (2017) walked, singled and stole a base and Nash Knight (2016) walked twice.
Samad Taylor (2017) singled home the winning run and Mike Ellenbest (2016) struck out five over two shutout innings as New Hampshire punched out Portland 14-6 in 10 innings. Taylor had two hits and Nick Podkul (2018) homered and doubled. L.J. Talley (2021) doubled twice with three runs batted in as part of a 4-for-6 night and Kevin Vicuña also had four hits with two RBI. Otto Lopez (2018) singled and walked and Reggie Pruitt singled and took one for the team.
Gabriel Ponce (2019) plunked a hitter but earned the save with a scoreless ninth as Dunedin held on to beat Lakeland 8-7 in 10. Ryan Sloniger (2019) had an RBI double.
Rowdy Tellez (2014) and Cavan Biggio (2016) had base hits and Tim Mayza (2014) worked a scoreless inning but Toronto blew another one to Boston 6-5.
Tim Locastro (2014) was hit by a pitch for the seventh time this season in a pinch-hit appearance in Arizona’s 6-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
Chase De Jong (2013) allowed two runs over five innings on four hits and four walks and struck out a pair. He had a no-decision in Pittsburgh’s 7-4 loss in Milwaukee.
Jon Berti (2011) had an RBI single, a walk and a run scored to help Miami get by Atlanta 4-3.
Kevin Pillar (2011) doubled and scored a run as the New York Mets slipped by San Diego 3-2.
Lane Thomas (2015) drew a pinch-hit walk but St. Louis fell to the Chicago Cubs 8-5.
Congratulations goes to 2011 Vancouver Canadians infielder Andy Burns. He is back in the bigs with the Los Angeles Dodgers after hitting .330 with 11 doubles, five home runs, 20 runs batted in and seven stolen bases with Triple-A Oklahoma City. That is Burns’ second call-up to the majors. He played 10 games for Toronto in 2018 where he was hit by a pitch and scored a pair of runs in his 10-game stint.