The Vancouver Canadians woes in series openers continue after a 5-4 loss to the Spokane Indians at Ron Tonkin Field.
The Canadians scored a run an inning in the first two frames against Spokane starter Noah Davis. Rafael Lantigua took four pitches out of the strike zone to lead things off, stole second base and swiped third one out later. A throwing error by catcher Daniel Cope allowed Lantigua to continue his journey home for the game’s first run.
The C’s loaded the bases in the second with one out. Philip Clarke was hit by a pitch to start the inning before a Trevor Schwecke one-out single to center field and an Eric Rivera walk. Zac Cook then produced a sacrifice fly to center to score Clarke.
Spokane would roar back against C’s starter Alejandro Melean in the third. Daniel Cope hit a one-out triple and Ezequiel Tovar doubled him home to put the visitors on the board. Brenton Doyle singled Tovar to tie the game at 2-2. Doyle moved into scoring position on a Grant Lavigne groundout to second and came home when Tanner Morris booted a ball at third off the bat of Aaron Schunk. After getting to second on the error, Schunk scored on a Hunter Stovall base hit to make it 4-2 Spokane.
The Canadians drew to within a run in the sixth. Boby Johnson retired the first two men he faced but gave up a Lantigua single to center. Lantigua would steal second base and came in to score on a Morris base rap up the middle.
Willy Gaston allowed three straight hits that produced a Spokane run in the sixth. A Cope single advanced to third on a double by Jack Blomgren and scored on a Tovar single.
Clarke homered to right field with one out in the seventh off Stephen Jones for the game’s final run.
Spencer Horwitz singled to right in the third to keep his hitting streak going at 25 games. He is now one game shy of equalling the league mark for the longest hitting streak. His one-out single was forced out on the front end of an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play by Luis De Los Santos.
Will Robertson worked a one-out walk in the fourth before Davis left the mound with an apparent arm injury. Johnson got Schwecke to line out into a 6-3 double play to end the inning.
The C’s last hit of the game was Clarke’s sixth inning home run as the last 11 hitters in a row were retired, the last six by Dugan Darnell.
Clarke and Lantigua were the only Canadians to get on base twice with Clarke getting hit by a pitch while Lantigua singled, walked and stole three bases to run his total to 26.
Morris’ RBI single in the sixth pushed his on-base streak to 33 games.
Melean allowed two earned runs out of four over 4-2/3 innings to take the loss. He allowed 10 baserunners on eight hits, a walk and a hit by pitch but struck out six and produced five outs on the ground.
Gaston gave up a run on four hits but struck out four over 2-1/3 innings. Jol Concepion worked around a hit and a walk to post two shutout innings.
Vancouver’s record drops to 51-58 and are on the verge of being eliminated from postseason play. The C’s are 10-1/2 games behind Eugene for second place with 11 games left to go. Spokane now leads Eugene by half-a-game for first place and are two games ahead of Everett. The AquaSox blew a 5-0 lead and fell to Eugene 9-6 Tuesday.
Tri-City’s game against Hillsboro was cancelled due to COVID issues and tonight’s game has also been scrubbed.
Adam Kloffenstein will pitch for Vancouver in the second game of this series Wednesday. He’ll face Helcris Olivarez in a 7:05 pm start on CanadiansBaseball.com.