The Vancouver Canadians saw their five-game winning streak against the Tri-City Dust Devils come to an end in a 6-0 loss at Nat Bailey Stadium Wednesday.
The Dust Devils broke through against C’s reliever Hunter Gregory in the sixth inning. In a “Greg-on-Greg” matchup, Osmy Gregorio led off with a sharp single to left that Zach Britton quickly cut off in left field towards the line to prevent a double. However, Gregorio would get to second when Gregory committed a balk. Gregory was put through the ringer by Mike Peabody who fouled off five straight pitches in an 11-pitch at-bat before moving Gregorio to third with a ground ball to second. With the drawn-in infield, 2018 Los Angeles Angels first round pick Jordyn Adams singled back up the middle on the next pitch to score Gregorio with the game’s first run. Adams would steal second and head home on a Francisco Del Valle base hit to right on a bouncer that snuck underneath the glove of first baseman P.K. Morris. Gabe Matthews—who drew a full-count walk just after Adams’ base hit—would come home with Del Valle on a two-out double by José Reyes that sailed over the head of Steward Berroa in right field to make it 4-0 for the Double-D’s.
Tri-City would expand their lead in the eighth when Adams worked a leadoff walk against Thomas Ruwe in the eighth. Adams proceeded to steal second, moved to third on a balk and came home on a Matthews base hit to right that eluded a diving Miguel Hiraldo at second.
The Dust Devils picked up one more in the ninth with a two-out rally against Will McAffer. Gregorio heard ball four and came all the way around to score on a Peabody double to left.
Chad Dallas—aka “Cheese”—ran his scoreless inning streak to nine innings against the Dust Devils. Retiring 15 batters in a row after a leadoff walk in his previous start in Tri-City April 13—an effort that earned Dallas the Northwest League Pitcher of the Week honours—Dallas gave up his first hit against Tri-City when Matthews got to him for a single over the head of Hiraldo to right field. Dallas would strike out Del Valle before inducing a comebacker off the bat of Straton Podaras. Dallas’ throw was delivered perfectly to second base to lead shortstop Leo Jiménez coming across the bag to turn a 1-6-3 double play to end the second.
Dallas rung up Reyes to begin the third and then continued to display his defensive chops by hustling over to first to cover the bag on a 3-1 putout off the bat of José Guzman. Dallas needed just 10 pitches to get out of the inning.
The fourth inning saw Dallas ring up Gregorio before covering the bag on another toss from P.K. Morris at first base for a 3-1 putout but a fielding error by Addison Barger who could not come up with the ball charging in from third allowed Adams to get aboard. Matthews moved Adams to second on a base hit to right but Dallas struck out Del Valle swinging to end his night.
Dallas allowed just two hits and punched out four over his four frames. He also racked up seven of his eight outs in play on the ground.
Gregory had a scoreless fifth inning, battling back from a 3-0 count to strike out Reyes who had flipped the bat and ran a good way up to first before being summoned back to the plate by umpire Hector Cuellar. Gregory issued a two-out walk to Guzman but struck out Christian Sepulveda for out number three.
Righthander Ryan Boyer struck out two in a perfect seventh inning but he was pulled from the game after completing his warmup tosses before the eighth with what appeared to be an arm injury. Nobody was warming up in the C’s left field bullpen at the time so Ruwe was summoned to begin his warmup on the mound. The 6-foot-9 righty gave up a run on a hit and a walk before settling in to strike out the side all swinging.
McAffer struck out the first two batters he faced but was nicked for a run on a hit and a walk in the ninth.
Jiménez got the first base hit for Vancouver with a two-out knock to right field in the first inning off Tri-City starter Braden Oltholff.
The first walk came with two outs in the third when Berroa got a free pass but he was picked by Olthoff on a 1-4-3 play.
The first extra-base hit was off the bat of Trevor Schwecke with an opposite field double down the right field corner with one out in the fifth inning against Olthoff. He was left at second after Peabody ran down a ball off the bat of Hiraldo towards the left field warning track to end the frame.
Andrés Sosa started the sixth with a double down the left field corner that eluded the glove of a diving Sepulveda at third. Peabody would rob Berroa of a hit with a sliding catch in left-center field and Sosa would remain stranded at second.
Berroa was the last baserunner with his second walk of the night to start the ninth against Emilker Guzman but Cameron Eden grounded out into a 6-3 double play before Jiménez gave one a ride to center short of the warning track but Adams ran it down and knocked out the zero on the manual scoreboard of the Canadians first inning run total to end the game. Making contact was a moral victory for Jiménez as Guzman used a deceptive delivery hiding the ball, almost appearing to pull the ball out of his right pocket before coming to the plate.
As for the rest of the Dust Devils pitching staff, Olthoff was Olth-on as he blanked the C’s over seven innings, scattering three hits and a walk and striking out six. Glenn Albanese Jr. struck out one in a spotless eighth.
Despite a lengthy top of the sixth inning, the game finished up in two hours and 25 minutes in front of 1,968 fans at The Nat.
In addition to being shutout for the fifth time in 2022, the C’s reached an unfortunate milestone Wednesday as the club committed its 40th error of the season in 31 games.
Vancouver dips below the .500 mark with 16 losses against 15 wins. Thursday’s starter has not been officially announced but it is expected to go to righthander Yosver Zulueta who is at the ballpark after beginning the year with Dunedin. The Cuban fireballer will get to throw the first pitch in the Canadians retro jerseys for the first Throwback Thursday game of the season (weather permitting!) after the first two Thursday games of the year were rained out. Lefty Nick Mondak goes for the Dust Devils in another 7:05 p.m. first pitch. Tyler Zickel will call the action on CanadiansBaseball.com and MiLB.TV.
Ricky Tiedemann, Adam Kloffenstein and Trent Palmer are the listed starters for Vancouver for the back half of the series, all 1:05 p.m. starts Friday to Sunday.
Radar Gun Rundown
Dallas registered strikeouts at 85, 87 and 79 miles per hour and touched 95. Gregory was pumping the gas with punchouts of 97 and 98. He was at 81 and 82 as well. Boyer had a strikeout at 93 and was around 92-94 before his untimely exit. Ruwe recorded K’s of 95, 96 and 82 and reached 98. McAffer had one strikeout at 87 and was around 84-86 and up to 93.