The Vancouver Canadians had two early leads but 17 strikeouts and three errors resulted in a series opening loss to the Tri-City Dust Devils 7-5 at Gesa Stadium Tuesday.
The C’s opened the scoring for the first time this season when P.K. Morris pulled a double to right and Addison Barger hit an opposite two-bagger with two outs against Dust Devils opener Landon Marceaux. An infield single to third by Miguel Hiraldo got Barger over to third before Davis Schneider singled up the middle to score Barger. Hiraldo was thrown out at third by Tri-City center fielder Jordyn Adams for the third out.
Adams got the home side on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first with a sacrifice fly to right to cash in a Kyren Paris leadoff single off Vancouver starter Naswell Paulino.
The Dust Devils evened things up in the second. Osmy Gregorio got aboard on an error at third by Riley Tirotta after a collision with Barger at short. After a Mike Peabody walk, Paulino struck out Kyle Lovelace and Steven Rivas but walked Kenyon Yovan and Paris to bring home Gregorio with the tying run.
Vancouver pushed ahead again in the top of the third against Glenn Albanese Jr. A leadoff walk and stolen base by Tirotta was driven home by a Morris single to right. A Barger bloop single to left moved Morris to second but Hiraldo hit into a 5-3 double play that left Barger at second. An infield single to short by Schneider would bring in Barger to make it 3-2 for the visitors.
That lead was gone in the home half of the third. Adams singled and got into scoring position on a Paulino wild pitch before crossing home plate on a Gregorio single to tie the game at 3-3.
A Gregorio single, a Peabody hit by pitch and a Rivas base hit load the bases with one out in the sixth against Sean Mellen. Yovan worked the count full before drawing another RBI walk to put the Dust Devils in the lead for the first time.
Tri-City put the game away in the eighth against Thomas Ruwe. A Rivas double and an error by Hiraldo at second on a ground ball by Yovan put two runners in scoring position. A ball four pitch to Jose Guzman allowed Rivas to score the fifth Dust Devils run. Adams then greeted Mark Simon with a triple to plate Yovan and Guzman.
Vancouver opened the ninth against Brandon Dufault by getting the first three men on safely. Trevor Schwecke reached on a Paris error at short, got to second on a Cardona single to left and scored on a Zach Britton double to right. Cardona tried to score on a pitch that did not get far enough away from the catcher Lovelace who got the ball to Dufault covering the plate in time to get Cardona. An RBI grounder to short by Tirotta scored Britton but Morris struck out on a 3-2 pitch for the final out.
Cardona had two doubles as part of a three-hit night and stole a base, which came after a two-out double in the second inning but he was left at third.
Garrett Spain came up with the bases loaded and two outs in the third inning but struck out against Albanese.
A Schwecke leadoff single in the fourth was wasted when Dakota Donovan struck out the side. Hiraldo had a two-out knock in the fifth but Donovan struck out two more. Donovan would strike out the side again to strand a two-out extra-base hit by Cardona.
The Canadians went down in order against Nick Jones in the seventh and eighth innings. Jones struck out two in the seventh and whiffed the side in the eighth.
Morris, Barger, Hiraldo and Schneider all had two hits with Morris and Barger collecting a double and an RBI. Britton and Schwecke singled and Tirotta walked and stole a base but Garrett Spain went 0-for-4.
After an errorless season opener, Vancouver has committed 11 errors in its last three games.
Paulino gave up three runs (two earned) on three hits and three walks but struck out five. Mellen suffered the loss despite striking out eight batters over 2-2/3 innings, including the first five batters he faced. He allowed a run on a hit, a hit by pitch and a walk.
Ruwe had three unearned runners on two hits and a walk with two strikeouts over 1-2/3 innings. He did escape a two-on, nobody out situation in the seventh when Adams singled and Gabe Matthews reached on a Schneider fielding error at left. Ruwe picked off Adams trying to steal third before striking out Gregorio and getting Peabody to ground out.
Simon got the final out after giving up a two-run triple.
The pitch clocks have not made a huge difference in pace of play for the Canadians in their first four games. Tuesday night’s game was the longest at three hours and 22 minutes. The first three game in Spokane came in at 3:15, 2:59 and 3:07. The umpires have not cracked down on time violations but that time is soon coming.
It was another chilly night for the C’s as the temperature was 46 degrees Fahrenheit at game time in Pasco, Washington. The temperatures in Spokane were 57, 50 and 39 degrees with strong winds at times and a few flurries on Sunday.
The Spokesman-Review in Spokane recaps the season opening series with game stories and photos.
24 year-old Cuban pitcher Yosver Zulueta—who turned heads at spring training with the Blue Jays in 2021 with his high-octane fastball—has been assigned to Vancouver. The transaction came down Saturday but there’s no word on when the righthander will report to the team. After recovering from Tommy John surgery, Zulueta missed all of last year with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.
The Canadians have three players on the injured list. Outfielder Cameron Eden and pitchers Roither Hernandez and Alejandro Melean are sidelined until at least April 16. All three spent time with Monty’s Mounties last year with Eden also spending 2019 in a C’s uniform.
Chad Dallas makes his professional debut for the 2-2 Canadians in game two of this series against Tri-City. First pitch is at 6:35 pm at Gesa Stadium. That game can be heard at CanadiansBaseball.com. Hunter Gregory, Adam Kloffenstein, Trent Palmer and Sem Robberse are the listed probable starters for the final four games of this nine-game road trip.