The Vancouver Canadians won the latest instalment of the ‘Battle for the Boro‘ with a 5-2 win over the Hillsboro Hops at Ron Tonkin Field Tuesday.
The C’s and Hops matched zeros in the first four innings but Barley’s Boys blinked first in the bottom of the fifth. Luis De Los Santos worked a leadoff against Hillsboro starter Justin Vernia and Eric Rivera singled to left field with one out. Zac Cook dropped down a safety squeeze that scored De Los Santos with the first run and moved Rivera to second base. Rafael Lantigua traded places with Rivera by hitting a ground-rule double to left-center to make it 2-0 C’s. Cook would tag up from third and score on a Tanner Morris sacrifice fly for the third Vancouver run. That brought Orelvis Martinez to the plate and the 19 year-old Dominican went deep to left for a two-run home run to increase Vancouvers’ lead to 5-0.
Hillsboro would get on the board in the eighth inning against Roither Hernandez. A fielding miscue by De Los Santos at second allowed Jorge Barrosa to reach first with one out. He would make it to third on an Eduardo Diaz single before scoring on an Andy Yerzy two-out base hit. Blaze Alexander followed two pitches later with a single of his own to score Diaz.
Lantigua drew a leadoff walk to open the bottom of the first inning but was thrown out trying to steal second base by Hops catcher Nick Dalesandro, son of former Vancouver Canadian (1993-1995) and Toronto Blue Jay Mark Dalesandro.
De Los Santos had the first base hit for Vancouver with a two-out single in the second.
Rivera worked Viera for the C’s second leadoff walk in the third but was forced out on a Lantigua double play that went 6-4-3 to end the frame.
Morris began the fourth with a double to right and got to third when Martinez flied out to right but Spencer Horwitz grounded out and Will Robertson flied out to leave Morris 90 feet away.
Robertson started the sixth with a leadoff walk from Bobby Ay but De Los Santos hit into a 4-3 double play to put a dent in that rally.
Lantigua singled in the seventh off Denson Hull with two outs but that did not go anywhere. Geraldo Ogando was the only Hops pitcher to retire the Canadians in order in the eighth.
The only multi-hit game belonged to Lantigua who had a double and drew a walk to get on base three times. De Los Santos reached twice with a single and a walk. Morris and Martinez contributed the other extra-base hits with Morris getting his 12th double of the year and Martinez getting his first home run in High-A to go along with the 19 homers he hit with Low-A Dunedin earlier this year.
C.J. Van Eyk improved his record to 3-5 with five shutout innings in which only five men got on base. He struck out three and threw 44 strikes among his supporters 70 pitches. The former Florida State hurler overcame a Barrosa leadoff single in the first and walks to Dalesandro and Cam Coursey in the third inning thanks to a 5-4-3-5 inning-ending double play from Diaz that resulted in Dalesandro getting tagged out at third.
Gabriel Ponce‘s return in a C’s uniform went well in the sixth. The 2019 C’s hurler struck out the first two batters he faced and stranded Yerzy at first after reaching on error by Horwitz at first.
Andrew Bash had a successful debut on the mound in the seventh as he retired all three men he faced, including a called strikeout of Dalesandro to end the inning.
Hernandez struck out one in the eighth in which he gave up two runs on three hits before Parker Caracci enjoyed a 1-2-3 ninth, punctuating his eight save of the year with a punchout of Coursey to end the game.
Vancouver grabbed sole possession of fourth place in the High-A West by half-a-game over Hillsboro. Both teams are even in the loss column but Vancouver has one more win at 36-43. The C’s are two games back of Spokane and nine back of Eugene for the final playoff spot.
Adam Kloffenstein gets the ball for Vancouver in the second game of this series against Hillsboro. The Hops aren’t telling us yet who will start for them. Game time is 7:05 pm on CanadiansBaseball.com.
The C’s have announced their starting rotation for this series. Alex Nolan will start Thursday, Paxton Schultz goes on Friday and Nick Fraze will throw on Saturday. Van Eyk will get the start in Sunday’s series finale.
The Toronto Blue Jays have released Canadians infielder Ronny Brito and outfielder D.J. Neal. Brito—who was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers for catcher Russ Martin in January 2019—spent the bulk of 2019 with Vancouver with stops in Dunedin and Lansing. After hitting .216 with four home runs in 59 games two years ago, the 22 year-old Dominican launched seven homers for the C’s and drove in 22 runs this season but was hitting just .166 in 41 games.
Neal had been in the Jays system since 2017 when he was selected in the 26th round out of South Carolina-Sumter. The 24 year-old from Lithonia, Georgia batted just .206 in 47 games with Vancouver this season, collecting five doubles, a triple and eight stolen bases.
All the best to Brito and Neal in their future endeavours.
Baseball America has unveiled its mid-season ranking of the top 30 prospects in the Toronto Blue Jays system. A total of 11 players have ties with Vancouver. You can check out the entire list right here (subscription required).
- 2. Alek Manoah, RHP (2019)
- 3. Nate Pearson, RHP (2017)
- 4. Orelvis Martinez, SS (2021)
- 8. Otto Lopez, 2B/OF (2018)
- 10. Adam Kloffenstein, RHP (2019, 2021)
- 20. C.J. Van Eyk, RHP (2021)
- 24. Patrick Murphy, RHP (2016)
- 25. Samad Taylor, UTIL (2017)
- 27. Tanner Morris, INF (2019, 2021)
- 29. Josh Palacios, OF (2016)
- 30. Will Robertson, OF (2019, 2021)
C’s Alumni Report
Buffalo lost to Lehigh Valley 6-1 Tuesday.
- Cullen Large – 1/4
- Logan Warmoth – 0/4, LF Assist
- Richard Ureña – 1/3
- Dany Jiménez – 1.0IP 0R/ER 0BB 3K
New Hampshire hammered Hartford 8-2.
- Samad Taylor – 3/3, BB, HBP, 2R, SB (21)
- Chavez Young – 0/3, BB, 2 SB (10)
- L.J. Talley – 2/5, RBI, R, SB (3)
- Kevin Vicuña – 2/4, HBP, 3 RBI, R
- Nick Podkul – 2/4, HR (6), 2 RBI
- Tanner Kirwer – 2/2, 2 BB, R
- Reggie Pruitt – 0/3, BB
- Connor Law – 1.0IP 1H 0R/ER 0BB 1K
- Marcus Reyes – 1.0IP 0H 0R/ER 0BB 1K
Ryan Borucki pitched a perfect ninth with one strikeout as Toronto clipped Cleveland 7-2.