The Vancouver Canadians put an end to a three-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory over the Spokane Indians at Ron Tonkin Field Saturday.
Vancouver starter C.J. Van Eyk began the game by striking out Isaac Collins on three pitches but he lost Jack Blomgren on a 3-2 pitch to walk him. Blomgren went wild on the basepaths by stealing second and third and came in to score on a grounder to third by Niko Decolati who got on base when John Aiello dropped the throw from Tanner Morris.
The Canadians fought back in their first turn at the plate. Leadoff man Rafael Lantigua singled to right off Trent Fennell and Morris lined one to left to put two men. Luis De Los Santos drilled a double to left that went off Spokane third baseman Aaron Schunk and that allowed Lantigua to score and Morris to get to third. Sebastian Espino then produced a sacrifice fly to score Morris to put Vancouver ahead 2-1.
The lead was gone two batters later as Hunter Stovall and Kyle Datres hit back-to-back doubles off Van Eyk to even the score.
Spokane regained the lead in the fourth inning when Datres took Van Eyk deep for a solo shot to left-center field with two outs.
The Canadians battled back to tie the game in the sixth. Ryan Gold ripped a triple to right field off Alex Moore and would score on a sac fly to right by Ronny Brito.
Vancouver would surge ahead in the eighth inning against Stephen Jones. A single by D.J. Neal and a walk by Eric Rivera put two runners on with one away. Lantigua then delivered a base hit to right to score Neal with the go-ahead run. Morris got Rivera home with a sac fly to left for the insurance marker.
Connor Law was the beneficiary of the C’s eighth-inning rally as he picked up the win by tossing two shutout innings. He stranded a one-out single and a two-out stolen base by Brenton Doyle in the eighth and struck out three. He battled back from a 3-0 deficit to Datres and rung up him with three called strikes to begin the ninth. Datres did not like the call from home plate umpire Kevin Mandzuk and he was tossed from the game.
Alex Nolan bridged the gap from Van Eyk to Law with two shutout innings of his own. He issued just one walk and struck out a batter to reduce his earned run average to 2.89.
Van Eyk made it through five innings and gave up three runs on five hits and two walks. His strikeout and groundout total were six apiece. The Jays second-round pick from 2020 was able to limit the damage on a number of occasions. He stranded Decolati at second base after Spokane opened the scoring in the first inning and left Datres 180 feet away in the second inning after his RBI double by retiring the next three hitters in a row. Van Eyk had retired eight in a row before Datres’ homer in the fourth. A pair of singles by A.J. Lewis and Cristopher Navarro followed but Van Eyk got back on track by striking out Collins to leave them on base. The fifth began with a leadoff walk to Blomgren but Gold would throw him out trying to steal second, helping Van Eyk face the minimum in that frame.
The Canadians were knocking on the door to tie the game in the fifth. Lantigua doubled to left with two outs off Fennell and Morris worked the count full before hearing ball four to trot to first base. Luis De Los Santos would hit into a 6-4 fielder’s choice to end the threat.
Vancouver had a chance for a bigger rally after tying the game in the sixth. Just before Brito’s sac fly drove in Gold’s triple, Aiello was hit by a pitch from Moore before being wild pitched over to second. A walk by Neal spelled the end for Moore as Spokane skipper Scott Little brought in Fineas Del Bonta-Smith. Another walk to Rivera loaded the bases but Lantigua struck out swinging for the final out.
The C’s had another crack at taking the lead in the seventh when De Los Santos got a one-out single off Del Bonta-Smith and Sebastian Espino got aboard on a fielder’s choice after a ground ball to third produced no outs for Spokane on the play. Gold forced out Espino at second on a grounder to short toe put runners on the corners with two outs. Aiello then barrelled one up towards first but Datres made a diving catch to send the C’s away empty-handed.
Lantigua had one-third of Vancouver’s nine hits with a double and two singles and De Los Santos had the other multi-hit performance with a double and a base knock. Rivera was on base three times with a hit and two walks. Morris, Gold and Neal all had one hit and one base on balls apiece. Vancouver had two hits in nine at-bats with runners in scoring position and stranded 10.
At 29-30 on the season, the C’s gained a game on the Eugene Emeralds for second place in the High-A West as they are now 5-1/2 games back of a playoff spot. First-place Everett remains 10 games ahead of Vancouver.
Monty’s Mounties will try to end the first half of 2021 on a winning note and reach the .500 mark. Adam Kloffenstein will face Spokane again in the series. Breiling Eusebio will be on the slope for the visitors. Game time on CanadiansBaseball.com is 1:05 pm.
C’s Alumni Report
The Buffalo Bisons lost 7-3 in Game 1 of their doubleheader to Rochester.
- Richard Ureña (2014) – 0/3, BB, R
- Cullen Large (2017) – 1/3, BB, HR, RF Assist
- Logan Warmoth (2017) – 1/3, BB, R
- Nash Knight (2016) – 2/4, RBI
The Herd also lost 4-3 to the Red Wings in Game 2 at Frontier Field.
- Warmoth – 1/3, 2B
- Knight – 1/3, R
- Ryan Borucki (2014-2015) – 1.1IP 0H 0R/ER 1BB 1K
The New Hampshire Fisher Cats were doubled up by Binghamton 6-3.
- Chavez Young (2017) – 0/3, SF
- Otto Lopez (2018) – 0/3, HBP
- L.J. Talley (2021) – 1/3, BB, 3B, R
- Chris Bec (2018) – 1/4, SB, R
- Reggie Pruitt (2017) – 1/3, R
- Mike Ellenbest (2016) – 1.0IP 1H 0R/ER 0BB 0BB 2K
- Brody Rodning (2017) – 1.0IP 0H 0R/ER 1BB 0K
Kevin Pillar (2011) was 2-for-3 with an RBI and Marcus Stroman (2012) surrendered three runs on five innings, striking out five but the the New York Mets lost to Pittsburgh 6-2.
Jon Berti (2011) was 1-for-4 in Miami’s 5-4 loss to Atlanta.
Rowdy Tellez (2014) was 0-for-1 with a walk in Milwaukee’s 4-3 setback to Cincinnati.