The Vancouver Canadians tried to stage a huge comeback but they lost 6-5 to the Spokane Indians at Nat Bailey Stadium Wednesday.
Spokane got down to business two pitches into the game when Braiden Ward tripled to the right field corner off Vancouver starter Chad Dallas. One out later, Drew Romo doubled down the left field line to drive in Ward. Dallas then walked Grant Lavigne and Colin Simpson to load the bases. A slow bouncer to short by Julio Carreras scored Romo to make it 2-0 for the visitors.
The Tribe doubled their lead in the fifth as Zac Veen worked C’s reliever Conor Larkin for a leadoff walk. The next pitch was taken out out the yard to right field by Romo for a two-run homer.
Spokane put up two more runs in the seventh against Garrett Farmer. A one-out walk by Zac Veen was pushed to second after Romo was hit by a pitch. A double steal and a two-run single to right by Lavigne past a diving Miguel Hiraldo at second with a drawn-in infield made it a 6-0 ballgame.
After being held off the scoresheet by Spokane starter Tony Locey for 6-2/3 innings, Vancouver got a gift from Spokane defence to start the eighth against Robinson Hernandez. A fly ball to left hit by Davis Schneider was allowed to drop in for a double as the shortstop Carerras and the left fielder Ward both stood around, expecting the other to make the catch. Schneider advanced to third on an Addison Barger fly ball to center. A fly ball to left by Trevor Schwecke that was caught by Ward this time allowed Schneider to tag up and score the C’s first run.
The Canadians made their final push in the ninth against lefty Tanner Propst. A leadoff walk by Hiraldo, a one-out walk to Harry Ray and a pitch hitting Mack Mueller on the left foot loaded the bases. Hiraldo tagged up and scored on a fly ball by Steward Berroa to cut Spokane’s lead to four. Davis Schneider lined a single to center to load the bases and that led to a pitching change as Shelby Lackey entered the game. Barger then drove in Ray with a base hit to right for the Canadians third run. Schwecke followed with a walk to make it a two-run game. A wild pitch by Lackey allowed Schneider to scamper home to cut the Spokane advantage to a run. P.K. Morris would walk to load the bases and Spokane skipper Scott Little went to the bullpen one more time as Luke Taggert entered the game to face Hiraldo, who started the inning with a leadoff walk. Taggert would strike out Hiraldo swinging to end the game, leaving the tying and winning runs in scoring position.
Dallas kept the damage at two runs in the first as he got Restituyo to pop up to first to strand two runners in scoring position.
The second inning saw Dallas continue to battle his control as he walked Navarro to start the frame before throwing ball four to Veen with one out. However, the man known as “Cheese” helped himself out by fielding a comeback from Ward to force out Cristopher Navarro at second on a 1-6 fielder’s choice. Ward moved to second on a passed ball but he covered the bag on a grounder to first from Romo to end the inning.
Dallas got the side in order in the third thanks to Schneider as he went back to the warning track in left field to rob Carreras of a home run in front of the Canadians bullpen to wrap up the frame.
The Spokane fourth saw Bladimir Restituyo beat out a grounder to third as Ray was unable to get the throw away quickly enough. Compounding the issue was a close call at second when Restituyo stole second. Hiraldo and Barger were in disbelief that the Spokane center field was not called out by base umpire Hector Cuellar after an on-the-money throw from catcher Andrés Sosa. Dallas would strand the runner at second by striking out Navarro and Ward with a flyout to right by Nic Kent in between to end his outing.
Larkin gave up a one-out single to Simpson after Romo’s homer in the fifth but Sosa threw out Simpson trying to steal second for out number three.
The defence helped Larkin out in the sixth when Hiraldo ranged to his right near the second base bag and his throw was dugout by Morris at first to just get Navarro for the first out. Sosa would then gun down Kent trying to steal second after the Spokane second baseman had singled with two outs.
Farmer struck out Carerras to strand Lavigne’s two-run single in the seventh. He began the eighth by striking out Restituyo before Berroa ran down a deep fly ball with an over-the-shoulder catch near the warning track in center and that helped Farmer record a 1-2-3 inning.
Ward started the ninth with another triple to right and took off for home when Mueller unleashed a high throw. However, Morris was able to relay the ball to home in time as Sosa applied the tag on Ward. Farmer went on to strike out Veen swinging and got Romo to fly out to deep center as Berroa had to turn on the jets again to send the game to the home half of the ninth.
Dallas was charged with two runs on three hits and four walks but struck out four and split his six outs in play evenly on the ground and in the air. Of his 74 pitches, 42 were strikes.
Larkin allowed two runs on t 1/hree hits and a walk over two innings while Farmer gave up two runs as well on two hits, a walk and a hit by pitch but recorded three K’s over his three frames.
Barger was retired on a check-swing strike three and was bewildered by the call from home plate umpire Sean Sparling as the ball went to the backstop. Romo got to the ball and tagged Barger to end a 1-2-3 first inning for Locey.
Schwecke was the first baserunner for the C’s as he drew a full-count walk to open the second inning but he would not get any further.
The Canadians next runner on base was Sosa as he was drilled near the left shoulder with two outs in the fifth but he would be stranded.
Mueller found his away aboard to begin the sixth when his grounder to third was thrown away by Navarro. A wild pitch by Locey moved Mueller into the scoring position as a C’s runner finally made it to second. Barger kept the inning going with a walk and Schwecke lined a single up the middle for Vancouver’s first hit. Canadians manager Brent Lavallee put up the stop sign for Mueller at third as Restituyo got the ball back in quickly for Spokane. WIth the bases loaded, Morris came up to the plate but he was rung up on three pitches by Locey for the final out.
Ray extended the seventh inning with a two-out walk and that ended the night for Locey. Hernandez got Mueller to hit a grounder to third but Navarro made another throwing miscue to put two men in scoring position. Berroa worked the count full but struck out swinging to squelch that rally.
Schneider turned in the lone two-hit game for Vancouver but Schwecke led the on-base parade with a single, two walks and two RBI, including a sac fly. Barger was on board twice with a hit and a walk. Ray heard ball four twice while Sosa and Mueller each took one for the team. Hiraldo walked to extend his on-base streak to 10 games but his nine-game hitting streak came to on end.
The third game of this six-game set goes Thursday in a 7:05 p.m. start. Yosver Zulueta is expected to throw that first pitch against Evan Shawver. Tyler Zickel will be on the air with the call on CanadiansBaseball.com and MiLB.TV.
Radar Gun Rundown
Dallas had strikeouts at 83, 81,,83 and 80 miles per hour with a range of 77-95. Larkin was at 92-94 on the high end and 78-79 on the low end. Farmer struck out batters at 74, 73 and 82 and was at 87.
The radar gun readings from Tuesday are now included with Tuesday’s recap which you can find right here.