The Vancouver Canadians doubled up the Hillsboro Hops 8-4 at Ron Tonkin Field Saturday.
Vancouver crossed home plate first in the first inning against Luke Albright. A double to the left-center field gap by Leo Jiménez with one out came around to score when Garrett Spain flared an infield single to short. The throw from Hops shortstop Channy Ortiz was spiked into the ground, allowing Jiménez to score.
The C’s added their second run in the second stanza. Albright thought he had rung up Andrés Sosa on a 2-2 pitch to end the inning but Sosa tripled to the gap in right-center and Anthony Morales worked the count full after falling behind 0-2 to bloop a single into right field to drive in the C’s second run.
Hillsboro would tie things up in the bottom of the third against Jimmy Robbins. A single by Tristin English on a 2-2 pitch led off the frame and one out later, he would score on a Neyfy Castillo home run to left field.
Steward Berroa hit a ball to right field that bounced over the head of Jarrod Watkins in right field and Berroa turned on the jets to slide into third for a leadoff triple in the fifth. Jiménez then doubled to left-center to bring home Berroa to help the C’s regain the lead and chase Albright from the game. Lefty Julio Frias uncorked a wild pitch to send Jiménez to third before a Damiano Palmegiani sacrifice fly to right field brought Jiménez home to up the C’s lead to 4-2.
The Hops got back on the board in the home half of the fifth against Abdiel Mendoza. A slow roller to third by Channy Ortiz started the inning before Fox Semones doubled by keeping one fair down the left field line to score Ortiz all the way from the first.
The C’s would increase their lead again in the seventh against lefthander Kyle Backhus. A pair of four-pitch walks to Jiménez and Palmegiani and another walk by Spain made it three straight one-out free passes. Miguel Hiraldo then lined a two-out single up the middle to score Jiménez and Palmegiani but Spain was cut down at third on a 8-1-5 play to end the inning.
Hillsboro answered back again a half-inning when Ortiz swatted a solo home run to right off Ryan Boyer to make it a 6-4 game.
Harry Ray began the eighth with the C’s fourth triple of the game as he got there standing up after visiting the gap in right-center. Morales then hit a one-out ground-rule double that stayed fair and bounced over the fence in foul territory to score Ray. That was followed by another double by Berroa that sliced fair down the right field line to plate Morales.
Robbins was called for a pitch-count violation in the first inning against Vukovich but still managed to retire the Hops in order.
A double by Jarrod Watkins followed the Castillo home run in the second as it bounced just fair down the right field line before going into the seats in foul territory but Roberts got Ortiz to line out to short and Semones flied out to center.
Robbins struck out Cam Coursey and Caleb Roberts swinging to bookend a perfect third inning and stranded a Castillo two-out single to left in the fourth to finish his outing. Over four innings, Robbins gave up two runs on four hits but struck out three and walked nobody while throwing 47 strikes out of his 64 pitches.
Mendoza allowed an English single in the sixth but faced the minimum thanks to strikeouts of Bliss and Castillo and Morales throwing out English trying to steal second. Giving up a run on three hits with two strikeouts over two innings, Mendoza improved to 4-0 on the season.
Boyer gave up his first run of the season after beginning his C’s tenure with 9-1/3 shutout innings but he picked up his fourth hold of the year.
Sean Wymer worked the eighth inning and saw Vukovich try to get to second after a throwing error by Jiménez at short but Morales backed up the play from behind the plate and threw a seed to second where Hiraldo tagged Vukovich out. Wymer would whiff Roberts and English to face the minimum three batters.
Wymer would retire the next three hitters he faced by striking out Bliss before getting Castillo and Watkins to ground out. Palmegiani charged the chopper from third to make a strong throw to get Castillo before Wymer covered the bag on a Watkins grounder to first to wrap up the win. Wymer struck out three to lower his ERA to 1.59.
Palmegiani flared a double near the right field line with a one-out double after taking over for Addison Barger at third base but he would be stranded. Barger had fouled a ball off his right foot and he was replaced in the bottom of the second inning. There was speculation on the MiLB.TV broadcast that Barger had been called up to New Hampshire but there has been no official word as of yet.
Sosa drew a two-out walk in the fourth after falling behind 0-2 but nothing else developed out of that.
Hiraldo started the sixth with a triple off the wall in right field and Sosa worked a one-out walk to put men on the corners but Morales hit into an inning-ending 6-3 double play.
Palmegiani was hit in the backside by a Bobby Ay pitch and Spain drew a walk to open the ninth. A Mack Mueller grounder to second advanced the runners but Hiraldo and Ray struck out.
Berroa, Jiménez, Hiraldo and Morales all had two-hit efforts. Jiménez drew a walk to reach b base three times while Spain and Sosa had one hit and two walks apiece. Palmegiani also got on base thrice with a hit, a walk and a hit by pitch. Ray tripled and scored a run in his first game back off the injured list.
Vancouver had four doubles and four triples and went 6-for-18 with runners in scoring position with eight men left on base.
More roster moves were made prior to Saturday’s game. Utilityman Davis Schneider was replaced midway through Friday’s game because he was promoted to Double-A New Hampshire. The 23 year-old from Voorhees, New Jersey tore it up during the month of June by winning the Northwest League Player of the Week Award for June 6-12 and batting .329 with a 1.084 on-base plus slugging mark in 21 games, raising his OPS to .813 on the season.
The C’s did activate Ray off the injured list but infielder Tyler Keenan and righthander Alex Nolan were placed on the IL. Keenan is on the seven-day list but Nolan will be out for 60 days.
It also appears righthander Yosver Zulueta is not coming back to Vancouver if the below tweet is to be believed.
The Canadians try to make it five in a row as they conclude this series with the Hops at 1:05 p.m. Sunday. Lefty Naswell Paulino gets the ball for Vancouver while Kenny Hernandez goes for Hillsboro. The game is on CanadiansBaseball.com and MiLB.TV.