The Vancouver Canadians blanked the Tri-City Dust Devils 5-0 in their series opener at Nat Bailey Stadium Tuesday.
Addison Barger provided the only run the C’s would need when he deposited a Ryan Costeiu pitch over the right field wall with one out in the second inning.
Vancouver would pad its lead in the fifth with a two-out rally against Dust Devils reliever Brandon Dufault. Steward Berroa made it to first on an infield single to short, stole second base and took off for third just before Cameron Eden crushed a double off the right field to bring Berroa home.
The Canadians went back to work on Dufault in the sixth when P.K. Morris singled to right and Barger doubled to right. They were driven in by a Trevor Schwecke double to send Dufault to the showers.
The C’s had another two-out rally in the eighth against Kyle Molnar. A base hit to left by Eden came around to score on a double to left by the birthday boy Leo Jiménez who celebrated his 21st birthday.
Sem Robberse pitched six shutout innings for the win. Abdiel Mendoza put up two more zeros on the line score before Jimmy Burnette finished things up in the ninth.
The Canadians hit a couple of balls hard in the first but had nothing to show for it. Berroa hit a comebacker to the mound that Costeiu made a nice grab of before Eden was robbed of extra bases when he lined out to Mike Peabody who made a running catch at the warning track.
The C’s got two runners aboard on walks by Zach Britton and Berroa with one out. Britton tagged up to go to third on an Eden fly ball to right and Berroa stole second but Jiménez was retired on a check swing back to the mound for out number three.
P.K. Morris began the fourth by lining a double to right but that was all the Canadians could muster.
Schwecke’s stay at second base after his two-run double in the sixth did not last long. He was caught in a 1-4-5-6 rundown on a Riley Tirotta fielder’s choice against Dufour. Hiraldo then hit into a 5-4-3 inning-ending twin killing.
Eden, Morris and Barger had two hits apiece with all of them collecting a double. Barger now has six homers and six doubles on the season. Berroa singled, walked and stole two bases.
Robberse got a first pitch fly out to center from Kyle Kasser to start his outing. The second out saw Jiménez deftly charge in on a chopper and make a nice pick at short to get Osmy Gregorio by a step. A double by Jordyn Adams over the head of Schwecke in right and a walk by Peabody extended the inning but Jiménez made another nice pick at short and stepped on the second base for the final out.
The second inning saw Robberse face the minimum. Straton Podaras reached base when Barger could not handle a ground ball at third but Podaras was taken care off when Miguel Hiraldo handled a hard hit grounder from Francisco Del Valle at second, spinning and firing to Jiménez at the second base bag and started an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
A leadoff single by José Guzman opened the top of the third for the Dust Devils but Robberse induced a 5-4 fielder’s choice from Kasser before Gregorio sharply grounded out just to the right of the second base bag where Hiraldo made a nice pick to begin a 4-3 twin-killing.
A two-out double to center by Peabody was the only blemish for Robberse in the fourth as he struck out the reigning Northwest League Player of the Week Edwin Yon swinging to end the frame.
Six consecutive groundouts ended the night for Robberse, one of which was played nicely by Hiraldo at second who had to hang back on a bouncer hit by Del Valle in the fifth. Robberse finished with six shutout frames, allowing just three hits and a walk. He struck out two and racked up 13 outs on the ground to improve his record to 2-1. He threw just 66 pitches, 45 of them for strikes. That’s the kind of performance that is going to lead to a promotion to Double-A New Hampshire sooner than later.
Mendoza relieved Robberse and navigated his way around a Yon walk, a wild pitch and a Peabody single with one out in the seventh. Mendoza then showed his mettle in the eighth by overcoming a pair of one-out throwing errors by Hiraldo. Kasser reached when Tirotta could not keep his foot on the first base bag. Gregorio then got aboard when Hiraldo’s throw missed the mark at first. The Panamanian struck out Adams and retired Gabe Matthews on a pop up to short to get out of the jam.
Burnette walked Peabody to begin the ninth and uncorked a wild pitch but struck out Yon swinging on three pitches before getting Podaras looking and Del Valle swinging to wrap things up in a game that lasted just 2 hours and 14 minutes in front of 2.495 customers at The Nat.
A flock of geese decided to catch the last couple of innings of the game Tuesday. A pair of geese took up residence in right field where Dust Devils right fielder Del Valle was lustily booed for trying to chase them away.
Schwecke saw his first action since May 4 by going 1-for-3 with a two-run double. He was replaced by Mack Mueller in right field for the top of the seventh. Mueller grounded out to third against Zac Kristofak as part of a 1-2-3 inning, the first frame the C’s were retired in order since the first.
Eden is back for a third tour of duty with Monty’s Mounties after stints in 2019 and 2021. The 24 year-old righthanded hitter got in four games with Dunedin and batted .400 with a double, two home runs and four runs batted in. The 2019 sixth-round pick from California batted .274 with the C’s with 30 stolen bases in 32 attempts. He is wearing number 29.
Eden comes off the injured list but outfielder Garrett Spain is now on the shelf. He has been placed on the seven-day injured list retroactive to Monday.
Outfielder Steward Berroa switches from 29 to 19 and lefthanded pitcher Ricky Tiedemann will be donning number 31.
Weather permitting, the second game of this series goes at 7:05 p.m. Chad Dallas climbs the slope for Vancouver. Tyler Zickel will have the call on CanadiansBaseball.com and MiLB.TV.
The rest of the C’s rotation for the week is TBA, Tiedemann, Adam Kloffenstein and Trent Palmer. TBA will likely be Yosver Zulueta but he has not been added to the official roster as of yet.
Radar Gun Rundown
Robberse had strikeouts at 84 and 93 miles per hour and was around 82-93. Mendoza had a punchout at 92 and was in the 80-95 range. Burnette rung up batters at 92, 98 and 95 and was at 82 on the other end of the spectrum. For Tri-City, Dufault lit up the gun at 99.