The Vancouver Canadians had another fun day Sunday to a 6-3 victory over the Spokane Indians at Avista Stadium.
Zac Cook got things cooking for Vancouver with his first home run for Monty’s Mounties off Chris McMahon to start the third inning.
The C’s added on in the fourth inning when Spencer Horwitz doubled on a 1-2 pitch from McMahon with nobody out before Philip Clarke deposited the ball over the right field fence to put Vancouver in front 3-0.
Spokane got all of those runs back in the fifth. Niko Decolati jumped on the first pitch from C’s lefty Brandon Eisert for a home run to left-center field to get the home side on the board. Daniel Cope kept the inning going with a two-out base hit before A.J. Lewis tied with a two-run blast to to right.
Vancouver would surge ahead in the ninth against Alex Moore. D.J. Neal was hit by a pitch to open the inning and went to third on a Tanner Morris base hit to left with one out. Luis De Los Santos got Neal home with a groundout to short to put the C’s in front. They loaded the bases with a Horwitz walk and a hit by pitch to Will Robertson to get Moore out of the game. Noah Gotsis threw four consecutive balls to Clarke to bring home Morris with Vancouver’s fifth run. Ronny Brito brought in one more insurance with an infield single to score Horwitz.
Rafael Lantigua singled off McMahon on the first pitch of the game but was thrown out trying to get an extra base.
Clarke was the first Vancouver hitter to get to second base when he doubled with two outs in the second inning but was stranded.
Neal singled in the fifth inning and Morris drew a walk but in between was a 6-3 double play from Lantigua to spoil that rally.
Cook and Neal drew consecutive walks with one out in the seventh with Cook stealing second beforehand but Lantigua struck out swinging before Morris lined out to second.
Vancouver’s best chance to snap the tie came in the eighth when Horwitz singled to left with one away off Stephen Jones and was followed by base hits to right by Robertson and Clarke to load the bags. Jones fought back by striking out Brito and Cook to leave the bags full.
Clarke finished a triple short of the cycle as he drove in half of Vancouver’s six runs. Morris and Horwitz also got on base three times with two hits and a walk. Cook and Neal had a hit and a walk in the bottom two spots of the order with Cook stealing his second bag of the year. Robertson had a hit and a plunk.
Eight of the nine Canadians batters had one hit except for De Los Santos but his RBI groundout in the ninth turned out to be the game winner. That gave De Los Santos a team-high 49 runs batted in for the season.
Nick Fraze was perfect through four innings, striking out four in an economical 48-pitch outing. He split his six outs in play evenly between his infielders and outfielders. It appears the former Texas State Bobcat will be ready to go five-innings plus in his next outing after a pair of two-inning outings and a three-inning stint since returning from injury last month.
Eisert gave up all three runs on four hits in the fifth with one strikeout. Robertson helped Eisert out by starting a 4-6-3 play to cut down Kyle Datres at second base after his base hit. Adrian Hernandez struck out four over two perfect frames.
Justin Maese stranded a leadoff walk in the eighth and worked a perfect ninth, picking up one strikeout to earn his second win of the series and season to improve to 2-0.
The Canadians will be the “home team” against the “visiting” Hillsboro Hops Tuesday. Starting pitchers have not been announced. First pitch is at 7:05 pm on CanadiansBaseball.com. Vancouver is a half-game back of fourth place Hillsboro, two back of third place Spokane and nine off the pace from second-place Eugene which holds the second and final playoff spot. The C’s are now 35-43 on the year.
Hernandez and Eisert will be heading to Manchester, New Hampshire instead of Hillsboro, Oregon as the two have been promoted to the Double-A Fisher Cats. The 21 year-old Hernandez won three of four decisions and posted a 1.88 earned average, striking out 44 and walking eight in 28-2/3 innings.
Eisert will be leaving the comforts of home as the Portland native heads out east. The 23 year-old southpaw posted a 5-1 record with a 4.05 ERA with a 60-16 K/BB ratio in 46-2/3 innings. Both Hernandez and Eisert started the year at Low-A Dunedin.
Coming up from the D-Jays is highly-touted shortstop Orelvis Martinez. The 19-year old from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic clubbed 19 home runs with 68 runs batted in over 71 games, batting .279/.369/.572. The right-handed hitting Martinez has been compared to Adrian Beltre and is rated the Blue Jays fourth-best prospect by MLB.com and sixth best by Baseball America. That’s great news for the folks in Hillsboro but whether Martinez will set foot on Vancouver soil before the year is out remains to be seen given the pandemic/border closures in place. The Canadians have already announced they will remain in Hillsboro for the month of August. The location of their final homestand—September 7-12 against Spokane and September 14-19 versus Hillsboro—has not been announced.
Joining Martinez from Dunedin will be right-handers Gabriel Ponce and Andrew Bash. Ponce was with Vancouver in 2019. The 22 year-old from San Luis, Arizona struck out 50 and walked 20 over 34-1/3 innings and collected seven saves. Bash—a 30th round pick by the Los Angeles Angels in 2019 out of California Baptist University—struck out 26 and walked 11 in 28 innings with Dunedin, winning four of five decisions.
Hayden Juenger—Toronto’s sixth round pick in this year’s draft from Missouri State—will also join Monty’s Mounties. The 20 year-old from St. Louis—who turns 21 on August 9—struck out 31 batters and walked six over 21 innings and racked up six saves for the Bears. 2015 C’s hurler and Blue Jays first-round pick Jon Harris also pitched for Missouri State.
Martinez will wear #22, Bash gets #25, Ponce will take #29 and Juenger will be #32 on your program. Catcher Ryan Gold, Hernandez, lefty Marcus Reyes and Eisert were the previous owners of the four sets of digits mentioned.
2018 Vancouver Canadians infielder Otto Lopez has been promoted from Double-A New Hampshire to Triple-A Buffalo. Lopez batted .330 with an OPS of .857 in 69 games with the Granite State club. Lopez’s 2018 C’s teammate Vinny Capra is going back down to New Hampshire after a brief taste of Triple-A ball with the Herd.
My thanks to acclaimed author and press box colleague K.P. Wee for having me on his podcast once again as we discuss a lot of baseball. Check it out below.
C’s Alumni Report
Buffalo was walloped by Worcester 8-1 Sunday.
- Cullen Large 1/3, BB
- Richard Ureña – 1/3, BB
- Logan Warmoth – 0/3, BB
New Hampshire held off Portland 7-6.
- Samad Taylor – 0/4, BB, RBI, SB (20)
- Chavez Young – 1/4, BB, RBI, SB (8)
- Otto Lopez – 0/3, 2BB, R
- L.J. Talley – 1/5, 2R
- Kevin Vicuña – 3/5, 2B, 2R, SB (8)
- Nick Podkul – 2/2, 2BB, 3RBI, R
- Chris Bec – 1/3, BB
- Tanner Kirwer – 2/4, 2B, RBI, R, RF Assist
- Mike Ellenbest – 1.0IP 1H 0R/ER 0BB 0K
- Fitz Stadler – 1.0IP 0H 0R/ER 0BB 1K
Cavan Biggio drew a walk and Tim Mayza struck out three in 1-2/3 innings of one-run relief as Toronto beat Kansas City 5-1.