The Vancouver Canadians are now two games below .500 after a 6-4 loss to the Spokane Indians at Ron Tonkin Field Saturday.
Spokane struck first in the second inning against Canadians starter Willy Gaston with a two-out rally. Hunter Stovall singled and would run the rest of the way home on a Javier Guevara double.
The visitors added to their lead in the third. Gaston walked Luke Morgan and Isaac Collins and uncorked a wild pitch to move the runners up another 90 feet. An RBI groundout to short by Jack Blomgren scored Morgan to give Spokane a 2-0 lead.
Mitchell Kilkenny was perfect through the first three innings but Luis De Los Santos finally solved the righthander by elevating one over the fence in left-center field to start the fourth to make it a 2-1 game.
Spokane restored its two-run advantage in the fifth off Sean Mellen. A one-out single by Blomgren was driven in by a Michael Toglia double. Toglia tried to make it to third on the play but he was thrown out on a 7-2-5 play to end the inning.
The C’s would draw to within a run again in the bottom of the fifth. Andres Guerra lined a two-out single to right off Kilkenny before D.J. Neal worked his way aboard with a walk. Guerra came in to score when Stovall made a throwing error at third on a groundball by De Los Santos.
Justin Maese had a tough time on the mound for the C’s in the seventh. Cade Harris bunted his away board on Maese’s first pitch and that was followed by Maese plunking Morgan on a 1-and-2 pitch. Collins laid down a bunt to advance Harris and Morgan 90 feet and they would come in to score on a Blomgren base hit. Blomgren got into scoring position on an Aaron Schunk groundout and managed to come home when Guerra threw the ball away on a pickoff attempt. That increased Spokane’s lead to four.
The C’s got one run back in the seventh with a two-out uprising. Neal singled to right and raced home on a De Los Santos double to center off Kilkenny.
In the ninth, Davis Schneider singled up the middle off Boby Johnson with one out and tried to score on a Guerra double to left but Schneider was cut down at the plate on a 7-5-2 play. Neal would keep the rally going when he drove one up the gut to score Guerra and that brought up De Los Santos as the potential tying run. De Los Santos would ground out to third to end the game.
Gaston looked like he was going to get through the second inning unscathed after getting a 5-4-3 double play turned behind him off the bat of Brenton Doyle to erase a Michael Toglia single. That was before Spokane started its two-out rally to open up the scoring. Gaston also got Aaron Schunk to line out into a 4-3 double play to end the first as Blomgren could not get back to first base on time after a one-out walk. The 25 year-old from Havana, Cuba was charged with two runs on three hits and three walks over three innings. He did not strike out anybody but got five of his six outs in play on the ground.
Mellen took care of the next three frames and allowed a run on three hits and a walk and struck out three.
Maese gave up three runs (two earned) over two frames on two hits and a hit by pitch. He struck out four with three groundball outs.
Parker Caracci walked one and struck out one in a shutout ninth.
The Canadians had a golden opportunity to tie the game after De Los Santos’ team-leading seventh home run of the season. Sebastian Espino tripled to left field with one out and tried to score on a Ryan Gold ground ball to second but he was thrown out at the plate by Schunk. Gold got into scoring position on a Guevara passed ball but Spencer Horwitz struck out.
Another chance to add more runs came in the fifth. After De Los Santos reached second on the throwing error by Stovall that led to a run, Neal advanced to third on the play after his walk but Tanner Morris popped up the first pitch to short from Kilkenny to leave two runners in scoring position.
De Los Santos, Neal, Espino and Guerra all had two-hit games with De Los Santos driving in a pair and Neal getting a walk. Schneider had the other base knock. Vancouver was just 1-for-7 with runners 180 feet away or less and left six men on.
Neal tumbled into the seats in foul territory along the right field side after making a catch to retire Collins for the first out in the fifth.
The Canadians now fall to 28-30 and are now tied with Spokane for third place in the High-A West. Both teams are 10 games behind first-place Everett and 6-1/2 games behind second-place Eugene.
C.J. Van Eyk gets the ball for Vancouver in the fourth game of this series. He’ll be opposed by Will Ethridge in another 7:05 p.m. first pitch. You can tune in to CanadiansBaseball.com for all the action.
The C’s will go with Adam Kloffenstein in the series finale Sunday afternoon. Looking ahead to their next series against Hillsboro in which the C’s will be the visiting team, Luis Quinones and Paxton Schultz are listed as the probable starters for the first two games.
C’s Alumni Report
New Hampshire was a 7-3 winner in Binghamton Friday.
- Chavez Young (2017) – 1/3, 2BB, 2RBI, SB (5)
- Otto Lopez (2018) – 1/4, BB
- Vinny Capra (2018) – 1/4, BB
- L.J. Talley (2021) – 1/5
- Tanner Kirwer (2018, 2021) – 1/5, SB (4)
- Will McAffer (2018) – 3.0IP 0H 0R/ER 1BB 3K (W, 1-0)
- Fitz Stadler (2018) – 2.0IP 0H 0R/ER 1BB 5K
Alek Manoah (2019) struck out nine in 3-2/3 innings but was saddled with the loss as Toronto dropped a 7-1 decision in Tampa Bay. Tayler Saucedo (2015) stranded the bases loaded for Manoah and pitched 1-1/3 shutout innings. Cavan Biggio (2016) had a walk and a stolen base.