The Vancouver Canadians lost their third in a row to the first-place Eugene Emeralds 9-4 at Nat Bailey Stadium Tuesday.
The Canadians scored first in their first at-bat against Randy Rodriguez. A leadoff walk by Steward Berroa, a stolen base and a Davis Schneider bloop single to center field put runners on the corners. Addison Barger doubled to the wall in right to bring home Berroa and Tyler Keenan produced a sacrifice fly to center to score Schneider with Vancouver’s second run.
That lead disappeared in the second when C’s starter Sem Robberse gave up a two-out single to left by Carter Aldrete on a 2-2 pitch after getting ahead in the count 0-2. Robberse had to pitch from the stretch for the first time after retiring the first five men he faced from the windup. The young Dutchman fell behind to Luis Toribio 3-0 who eventually launched a 3-1 pitch over the right field wall to tie the game at 2-2.
The C’s would regain the lead in the home half of the second. Rodriguez plunked Andrés Sosa on the left arm with one out and the C’s catcher would slide home safely on a Garrett Spain double off the right field wall.
Eugene would respond in the fourth when Robberse hit Hunter Bishop on the right foot with a pitch to begin the frame. Bishop swiped second before Patrick Bailey drew a one-out walk and Aldrete had an infield single when he cued one off the end of his bat as P.K. Morris could not make a diving grab at first base. Toribio lined a single to left to plate Bishop and Bailey but Schneider started a 7-2-5 putout to cut down Aldrete at third.
The Emeralds continued to pour it on in the fifth against Robberse. Ghordy Santos led things off with a double that just got over the head of Berroa in center. Santos got to third when Miguel Hiraldo made a fielding error on a slow roller at second by Luis Matos. A Bishop 4-6 fielder’s choice brought home Santos to put the Emeralds up 5-3. Casey Schmitt tripled to right, sliding in headfirst to beat the throw to drive in Bishop. Aldrete snuck one past Barger at short for a single to left with two outs to send Schmitt home with the Emeralds seventh run.
The Canadians got one run back in the home half of inning number five. Schneider doubled off the wall in center field and blew a tire went he thought about going to third but he managed to scramble back to second in time. Schneider then went to third on a one-out grounder to first by Keenan on a 3-1 pitch and tagged up to score on a Trevor Schwecke base hit up the middle.
The Em’s would add on in the eighth against Mark Simon as Toribio went deep again to right to start the inning. Two pitches later, Najee Gaskins took a pitch off the batting helmet which came flying off but he remained in the game. That drew the ire of Emeralds hitting coach Cory Elasik but nothing else came of it. Gaskins made it around the bases on a wild pitch, a Simon Whitehead groundout to second and a Santos sac fly.
The Canadians could not cash in a third run in the first inning. With Schneider at third with one out, Schwecke popped up to the mound and Hiraldo struck out swinging.
Vancouver would load the bases with two outs when Schneider and Barger walked after Spain’s double but Keenan flied out to left.
The C’s were turned away in the third when Santos ran down a fly ball to center from his shortstop position to retire Morris for the third out in a three-up, three-down inning.
Spain kept the sixth inning going by lining a single up the middle that glanced off the back of Emeralds reliever Abel Adames and sent him cap flying. Adames remained in the game and retired Berroa on a flyout to right to end the inning.
Brooks Crawford, Clay Helvey and Nick Avila all retired the side in order over the last three innings to finish up the game for the Emeralds.
Schneider had a double, a single and a walk and recorded and assist from left field. Spain had a double and a single while Barger was aboard twice with a base hit and a base on balls. Schwecke had the other base knock. Berroa had a walk and swiped his 12th base of the year.
Sosa was hit by a pitch for the 10th time this season in just 28 games (hat tip to C’s play-by-play announcer Tyler Zickel for pointing that out during Tuesday’s broadcast). The pride of Hermosillo, Mexico leads the Northwest League in that department. Teammate Leo Jiménez has been targeted by enemy pitchers eight times. Jiménez caught the ceremonial first pitches Tuesday but he did not play. He’s been out since a collision at second base during a tag play resulted in his bell getting rung during the last homestead against Spokane.
Robberse had 1-2-3 innings in the first and third. He needed just six pitches to finish off the first. The 20 year-old hurler then helped himself out by ranging towards the third base side of the mound to field a weak tapper back to get Santos at first for the second out. Sosa then went to the warning track behind home plate to catch a popup from Matos to end the frame.
The end of the line came for Robberse after a Gaskins base hit to left extended the fifth inning with two outs. Alejandro Melean stranded two runners for Robberse by striking out Gaskins.
Melean gave up a leadoff single to left by Whiteman who would steal second and third base but Santos struck out swinging, Matos popped up to short and Bishop lined out to second when Hiraldo made a leaping catch.
Robberse took the loss as he surrendered seven runs (five earned) on eight hits, two walks and a plunk over 4-2/3 innings. Melean struck out four in 2-1/3 innings and allowed just one hit. Simon gave up a two-run home run after a hit by pitch but struck out one in the eight. Lefthander Braden Scott struck out the side in the ninth in his C’s debut, getting Bishop and Schmitt swinging and Bailey looking.
Congratulations to utilityman Davis Schneider for winning the Northwest League Player of the Week Award for June 6-12. The 23 year-old right-handed hitter from Voorhees, New Jersey batted .480 with five doubles, two home runs, six runs batted in in Tri-City. Schneider was a 28th round selection by Toronto from Eastern High School in Voorhees in the 2017 MLB draft. He spent part of the 2019 season with Vancouver before playing with the club in Hillsboro last year.
Also, congrats goes out to 2019 and 2021 C’s first baseman Spencer Horwitz as he won Eastern League Player of the Week honours. He batted .450 with a 1.477 OPS for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, homering once, doubling thrice and drawing six walks.
Righthander Sean Wymer is back in Vancouver for the first time since 2018. The Jays fourth-rounder from Texas Christian that year began his pro career with the C’s. The 25 year-old from Flower Mound, Texas was also with the club in Hillsboro in 2021. Wymer is coming off an injury that sidelined him in late June of last year. He made his 2022 debut with Dunedin and pitched three shutout innings in two appearances with three strikeouts. Wymer will wear number 41 after wearing 27 and 26 in his first two years with the club.
Chad Dallas will take the ball for Vancouver in the second game of this series against Wil Jensen. The game is available on MiLB.TV and CanadiansBaseball.com. Tyler Zickel will have the call beginning at 7:05 p.m.
Yosver Zulueta is listed as the probable starter Thursday for Vancouver. Ricky Tiedemann and Naswell Paulino are scheduled to start in Friday’s doubleheader while Jimmy Robbins will make his Nat Bailey Stadium debut Saturday. A starter for Sunday has yet to be announced.
Congratulations to Lansing Lugnuts broadcaster Jesse Goldberg-Strassler as he gets the call to the bigs. He will handle the play-by-play for the Oakland Athletics radio broadcast for their three-game series in Boston.
Also congratulations to Doug Fox of FutureBlueJays.com on the publishing of his new book On Account of Darkness – The Summer Ontario Baseball Broke the Colour Barrier.
If you want to find excellent observations about the Toronto Blue Jays minor league system, FutureBlueJays.com is a must read. That site is the very inspiration for this blog here, which may proclaim plus coverage of the C’s but FutureBlueJays.com contains plus-plus coverage of all the minor league news affiliated with Canada’s Team. On the traditional 20-80 scouting scale, it’s a 200.
In case you missed it, you can also hear Doug’s insights about Blue Jays prospects from a recent episode of Jays Talk.
Radar Gun Rundown
Robberse rung up batters at 83 and 84 miles per hour, ranging from 82 to 93. Melean K’d batters at 79, 92, 94 and 95. Simon punched out a batter at 90 and was around 79-92. Scott struck out the side at 91 for all three batters and had an offspeed pitch at 79.