The Vancouver Canadians have been officially eliminated from playoff contention after a 4-1 loss to the Spokane Indians at Ron Tonkin Field Friday.
The first run of the game was scored by Spokane against C’s starter Sem Robberse In the top of the third inning. A pair of one-out singles by Jack Blomgren and Isaac Collins put runners on the corners and Ezequiel Tovar scored Blomgren on a tapper back to the mound.
Spokane upped their lead to 2-0 in the sixth. Collins opened the inning with a single off Robberse and was sacrificed over to second on a bunt by Tovar. Grant Lavigne extended the rally with a two-out walk before Brenton Doyle singled home Collins.
The C’s finally got on the scoreboard in the eighth inning against Spokane starter Mitchell Kilkenny. A one-out double to right field by Zac Cook was scored on a base hit to right by Spencer Horwitz to make it a one-run game.
The visitors put the game away in the ninth with two insurance runs off Thomas Ruwe. A leadoff double by Niko Decolati was pushed to third on a Brenton Doyle base knock. One out later, Javier Guevara broke his bat but hit the ball hard enough to bloop a single to center to score Decolati and Doyle.
Tanner Morris ran his on-base streak to 34 games with the C’s first hit, a one-out single in the bottom of the first then went no further.
Will Robertson was the first C’s batter to get into scoring position after he singled to left with one out in the second inning. Robertson stole his second base of the year before Trevor Schwecke got on base with a walk but Anthony Morales hit into an inning-ending 4-3 double play.
Cook was hit by a pitch with one away in the third inning but was stranded and Rafael Lantigua began the fourth by reaching on a fielding error by Tovar at short but Lantigua was thrown out stealing.
Morales had a single up the middle with one out in the fifth but was thrown out trying to make it a double. Eric Rivera would then double to right but Cook struck out to end the inning.
After being retired in order in the sixth inning, Robertson singled to left with one out and was wild pitched over to second but Schwecke flied out to right and Morales popped up to short.
Stephen Jones struck out Lantigua to end the eighth in relief of Kilkenny to strand Horwitz’s RBI single and Dugan Darnell retired the next three hitters in a row, the last two by strikeout, to end the game.
Robertson had the lone two-hit game for Vancouver and Cook got on base twice with a single and a hit by pitch. The C’s had just seven hits and a walk, finishing 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranding half-a-dozen runners.
Robberse gave up a two-out hit to Hunter Stovall in the first inning but Stovall was thrown out trying to steal second by catcher Philip Clarke. Spokane had another opportunity in the second when Doyle singled and stole second with one out but Robberse struck out Daniel Montano to end the frame.
After retiring the side in the fourth, Robberse faced the minimum in the fifth. After a one-out base hit by Guevara, Robberse fielded a comebacker to the mound and started a 1-6-3 inning-ending double play off the bat of Blomgren.
Alex Nolan relived Robberse in the seventh and got some help from Clarke who threw out Montano attempting to steal second after his leadoff single. Nolan would plunk Blomgren with two away but struck out Collins looking to get out of the frame.
The eighth inning saw Nolan give up a leadoff double to Tovar before retiring Stovall on a sacrifice bunt. Lavigne flied out to left for the second out and Cook completed the double play by throwing out Tovar at the plate on a 7-2 play to keep the Vancouver deficit at one.
Ruwe had posted a 0.00 earned run average in his first 6-2/3 innings with the C’s but that streak came to an end at seven innings even after Guevara’s broken-bat blooper. Ruwe got out of the inning by striking out Blomgren and Clarke nailing Guevara on a steal attempt at seond. In total, Ruwe gave up two runs on three hits to inflate his ERA to 2.35.
The Canadians are now 53-59 on the season and that leaves them 10 games behind Spokane for second place in the High-A West. With just eight games remaining for the C’s, they are out of the playoff picture. Eugene remains in first place by a game over Spokane and by 3-1/2 games over Everett. The Emeralds and AquaSox split a doubleheader Friday night.
The pitching matchup Saturday sees Paxton Schultz toe the rubber for Monty’s Mounties. He’ll go up against Spokane’s Will Ethridge at 7:05 pm on CanadiansBaseball.com.
It appears C’s shortstop Orelvis Martinez may have played his last game of 2021. The 19 year-old Dominican was placed on the seven-day injured list. He has not played since last Friday in Everett. Martinez would be eligible to return for the final weekend of the season against Hillsboro but Blue Jays brass may just decide to pull the plug on his season as the C’s are no longer in playoff contention. Here is hoping fans in Vancouver will get to see Martinez at Nat Bailey Stadium in 2022.