The Vancouver Canadians held off the Hillsboro Hops 10-7 at Ron Tonkin Field Thursday.
The C’s did not waste time opening the scoring. Steward Berroa tripled to center field on the third pitch of the game from Jamison Hill and he would score on a Davis Schneider groundout that was chopped to third.
Vancouver would work over Hill with a big second inning. Damiano Palmegiani walked on four pitches, Mack Mueller singled to center with one out and Garrett Spain got a free pass to load the bases. Anthony Morales singled to left to score Palmegiani and Mueller.
Schneider then unloaded on Hill for a three-run home run to left field to plate Morales and Spain.
A walk to Addison Barger spelled the end of the night for Hill. A single to left by Leo Jiménez off Andrew Saalfrank got Barger over to third. Both Barger and Jiménez came in to score on a Palmegiani double to left to up Vancouver’s lead to 8-0.
Hillsboro scored their first run off Yosver Zulueta with two outs in the third inning. Caleb Roberts doubled to center and scored on an A.J. Vukovich single to right.
Vancouver restored its eight-run lead in the fifth. A leadoff walk to Palmegiani moved around the bases on two wild pitches by Saalfrank before coming home on a Mueller base hit to center.
The Canadians picked up their 10th run in inning number six against Marco Tineo. A one-out single by Berroa was advanced to second by a Schneider walk before scoring on a base knock to right by Barger.
The Hops staged a furious rally in the ninth when Tristin English, Ryan Bliss and Jarrod Watkins walked with nobody out to load the bases against Jol Concepcion. A sacrifice fly by Danny Oriente brought in English with Hillsboro’s second run. Lyle Lin singled to left scored Bliss and a Mueller error in left allowed Watkins to get to third. Lin took second on defensive indifference and moved to third when Channy Ortiz singled home Watkins to make it a 10-4 game. Mark Simon replaced Concepcion but his first pitch resulted in a Roberts RBI double to drive in Lin and Ortiz. A wild pitch and Vukovich groundout to third scored Roberts to bring the Hops to within three. Adrian Del Castillo was hit by a pitch, stole second and got to third. A walk by English brought Bliss to the plate as the potential tying run. Mueller was summoned from left field to the mound for his third pitching appearance of the season. With Hugo Cardona entering the game in left, Mueller struck out Bliss swinging to end the game.
Yosver Zulueta got his first win in a Vancouver uniform by pitching five innings of one-run ball. The Cuban yielded three hits, two walks and a hit by pitch while racking up five strikeouts and five groundouts.
The first walk by Zulueta was issued to Roberts to start the first inning but Morales threw him out trying to steal second just after Vukovich struck out swinging.
According to the MiLB.TV broadcast, Zulueta developed a blister after the first inning and put his finger in iodine. The umpiring crew told him to wash his finger as it was stained, leading to an argument with C’s manager Lavallee.
Zulueta hit Cam Coursey with a pitch on the side of the left knee in the second inning, causing Coursey to slam his batting helmet to the ground in frustration. He was replaced on the base paths and at second base by Jarrod Watkins. The inning ended on a 6-4-3 double play as Palmegiani stretched out to handle a wide throw by Hiraldo and stay on the bag to complete the twin-killing.
The third inning saw Zulueta induce another double play ball as Lin hit into a 6-4-3 DP to take care of an Oriente leadoff walk.
Mueller led the C’s 10-hit attack with three hits to go along with his save. Berroa had two hits, including a tripl, but the on-base leader was Palmegiani who doubled and walked three times. Schneider drew two walks to go with his eighth home run of the season while Barger singled, walked and was hit by a pitch. Morales drove in his first two runs of the season with a base hit and threw out one of two runners trying to steal from behind the plate. Jiménez had the other base knock.
Bobby Ay and José Alcantara kept the C’s from scoring in the last two innings but Vancouver had at least one runner on base in every inning save the third. The visitors were 5-for-11 with runners in scoring position with seven runners left on.
Justin Kelly worked two shutout frames with just an infield single to second by Watkins with two outs in the seventh.
Concepcion worked around a hit and a walk with a punchout in the eighth but only got one out in the ninth as he coughed up five runs on three hits and four walks with one strikeout.
Simon allowed two Concepcion runners to score and one of his own on a hit, a walk, a hit by pitch and two wild pitches. Mueller earned his first professional save in his third appearance on the mound this season.
The Canadians announced before Thursday’s game that righthander Alejandro Melean was placed on the seven-day injured list dating back to June 22. Coming up from Dunedin is righty Juan Nuñez. The 26 year-old from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic is back for a third tour of duty with the C’s after pitching for the club in 2017 and 2018. Nuñez joined the Toronto Blue Jays as a free agent on July 2, 2013 and pitched in the system until 2019. After being out of pro ball for 2020 and 2021, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound hurler signed as a free agent with the Jays again on March 15, 2022. This season with Dunedin, he went 0-2 with a 3.60 earned run average with 21 strikeouts and nine walks over 15 innings. He will wear number 36.
The Canadians and Hops open up the second half of the schedule in a 7:05 p.m. start at The Tonk. Ricky Tiedemann will be on the slope for Vancouver against Scott Randall. The game is on CanadiansBaseball.com and MiLB.TV.