The Vancouver Canadians continue to struggle at Ron Tonkin Field after a 6-2 loss in the series opener against the Hillsboro Hops Tuesday.
The Hops began the scoring in the top of the second against Sem Robberse. A one-out single to right by Ryan Bliss moved up to third when Leo Jiménez made a sliding stop of a ground ball by Tristin English but his throw was too high for Miguel Hiraldo to handle at second, resulting in an infield single and an error to allow English to get to second. Lyle Lin lifted a sacrifice fly to bring home Bliss.
Hillsboro added to their lead in the fourth. Bliss singled to center and stole second base and Tristin English drew a walk. Bliss was thrown out by Andrés Sosa trying to steal third but English moved up to second. Lin singled to right to score English with the Hops second run.
The C’s got on the board in the fifth when Sosa was hit by a Kenny Hernandez pitch on the right foot. Sosa was forced out on a 6-4 fielder’s choice by Steward Berroa but Berroa got to second on an Addison Barger grounder to first. The ball was hit to Lin near the first base bag and Lin stepped on it which eliminated the force play at second. Berroa was able to beat the tag at second and would score on a Jiménez base hit to right to make it a 2-1 game.
The Hops were back at it against Robberse in the fifth. Caleb Roberts was behind 1-2 in the count before earning a leadoff walk and he proceeded to steal second and move to third on a wild pitch. A.J. Vukovich lined one to short that Jiménez could not hang on to resulting in an infield single to short. Adrian Del Castillo chopped a seeing-eye single to center to score Roberts and put Vukovich at second. Robberse induced a 5-4-3 double play from Bliss but Vukovich would score on a two-out base hit to left by English to up Hillsboro’s lead to 4-1.
The Hops padded their lead in the eighth against Mark Simon. Bliss looped one over a leaping Hiraldo for a single to center and swiped second with one out. Lin was hit by a pitch on the left arm. With two outs, Fox Semones skied a fly ball to center field that Berroa did not see and Hiraldo could not get to, allowing Bliss and Lin to score.
Vancouver’s last gasp was a two-out rally in the ninth. Berroa beat out an infield chopper to third against lefthander Kyle Backhus and took second on defensive indifference. Barger then lined a single to left to score Berroa for the game’s final run.
Barger had the C’s first base hit with one out in the first inning with an infield single to third and Jiménez followed with a walk. A Schwecke groundout to short moved the runners up but Keenan tapped out to the mound.
The C’s threatened again to score in the second when Britton and Hiraldo picked up one-out singles. Britton singled up the middle and jumped over the ball on Hiraldo’s base hit to right. Sosa flied out to shallow right before Hiraldo was picked off at first on a 2-3-4-3 play.
Berroa lined a single to center to begin the third on a 0-2 pitch that Hernandez had to duck from but was hit in the left foot when Barger put one into play, resulting in Berroa being called out and Barger getting credited with a hit but Jiménez lined out to right and Schwecke struck out.
Morris blooped a single to center to begin the fourth after pinch-hitting for Tyler Keenan and went to second on a two-out passed ball by Del Castillo but Hiraldo grounded out to third. Keenan fell to the ground after an off-the-mark throw from Barger at third forced Keenan to make the tag into a charging Tawa at first for the first out of the third inning.
A leadoff walk to Morris started the sixth against lefty Julio Frias. Morris made it to second on a wild pitch. A two-out fielding error by Lin allowed Hiraldo to reach base and move Morris to third but Sosa struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch.
José Santamaria walked Berroa with nobody out in the seventh and the C’s leadoff man stole second with one out. He got to third on a Jiménez groundout to short but Schwecke flied out to center.
Barger had three hits and drove in a run while Berroa had two hits and a walk along with his 15th stolen base of the year to take over the team lead from Hiraldo. The C’s second baseman was caught stealing for the first time this year when he was picked off in the second inning after his base hit. Jiménez had a hit, a walk and an RBI while Morris had a base hit and a base on balls. Britton put a notch in the hit column and Sosa was hit for a Northwest League-leading 12th time this year.
Robberse had a 1-2-3 first inning but gave up nine hits and three walks in 4-2/3 innings, resulting in four runs (three earned). He struck out four and six of his eight outs in play were on the ground but he also uncorked two wild pitches.
Garrett Farmer was perfect in relief, stranding a runner for Robberse to end the fifth and retiring the side in order in the sixth with one strikeout.
Will McAffer needed just nine pitches in the seventh for a three-up, three-down frame but Simon surrendered two runs on three hits and two hit by pitches in the eighth. Simon should have not given up any runs if the fly ball to center by Semones was caught.
The Canadians announced a number of roster moves Tuesday. Righthanders Hunter Gregory and Alex Nolan have been placed on the seven-day injured list and activated catcher/outfielder Zach Britton from the IL.
Third baseman Damiano Palmegiani has also been called from up Dunedin to join Monty’s Mounties. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Venezuelan-born, Surrey, B.C.-raised infielder was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 14th round of the 2021 draft out of the College of Southern Nevada. Palmegiani slashed .256/.351/.508 with 11 home runs, 14 doubles and one triple with Dunedin. The 22 year-old righthanded hitter will wear number 36.
Just before hitting publish on this article, the C’s sent another media advisory indicating that infielder Trevor Schwecke is on his way to Double-A New Hampshire. The 24 year-old Marshfield, Wisconsin native batted .232 with an on-base percentage of .308 along with 10 doubles, one triple and four home runs for the C’s this season. The 2019 13th-round pick from Wisconsin-Milwaukee has played 117 of his 122 games in a Vancouver uniform.
The C’s and Hops square off again Wednesday with Chad Dallas on the hill against Ross Carver. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. on CanadiansBaseball.com and MiLB.TV. Yosver Zulueta, Ricky Tiedemann, Jimmy Robbins and Alejandro Melean are the probable starters for the C’s for the rest of the six-game series.