The Vancouver Canadians dropped their second-half home opener by a score of 6-4 to the Spokane Indians at Nat Bailey Stadium Tuesday.
A leadoff walk to Braiden Ward by Sem Robberse put Spokane in business in the first inning. Ward stole second without a throw and got to third on a wild pitch with one out and scored on a Zac Veen single to center field. Veen got to second on a slow bouncer to short by Drew Romo and scored on a Grant Lavigne base hit up the middle that eluded the glove of a leaping Hugo Cardona at short.
Vancouver got their first run in the fifth against Mike Ruff. A leadoff walk by Mack Mueller was erased on a Harry Ray 5-4 fielder’s choice. Ray would steal second and Cardona would draw a one-out walk. Cardona then jumped over a ball hit to right field by Steward Berroa to bring home Ray.
Spokane surged ahead in the seventh against Garrett Farmer as Cristopher Navarro reached second base on a throwing error by Miguel Hiraldo at second as his throw went into the bench next to the Spokane first base dugout and that area is marked off as out of bounds. A flare single by Ward that would have been a popup to short had Cardona not been shifted over put two runners on. Navarro and Ward both tagged up on a one-out fly ball to deep center by Veen. The next pitch was driven to the right field corner by Romo for a two-run triple to make it 4-1 Spokane. Lavigne then delivered a two-run home run that landed into the seating area of the C’s left field bullpen to put the visitors ahead by five.
The Canadians got one run back in the seventh off Anderson Pilar when Cardona walked with one out and Morales singled to second. Berroa then banged a double off the right-center field wall to score Cardona.
Zach Britton bashed a leadoff double off Blake Goldsberry to begin the eighth inning and Hiradlo singled to right before stealing second. Ray popped one up to first base with one out but Lavigne lost the ball in the lights allowing Britton to score.
Berroa was hit by a pitch on the left foot by Boby Johnson to start off the ninth. An errant throw by Romo allowed Berroa steal second and advance to third. Garrett Spain picked up a base on balls but all the C’s could manage was a sacrifice fly by Palmegiani.
Spokane shot themselves in the foot to end the first inning. Carreras doubled down the left field line with two out and manager Scott Little decided to send Lavigne in from first but Lavigne was thrown out easily on a 7-6-2 play.
Robberse gave up a broken bat single to Navarro and Ward was hit in the right hip with two outs the team but the Netherlands hurler snared a high bouncer on the mound by Restituyo to complete the 1-3 putout.
The third inning saw Robberse win a foot race on a 3-1 play to get Veen for the first out. He would strand a Romo infield single to third by striking out Lavigne and Carreras swinging.
Kent hit a ground-rule double to right that landed just fair down the line with one out in the fourth but Robberse got two groundouts to keep Kent 180 feet away.
Cardona had to run one down near the left field line to retire Restituyo to begin the fifth. Robberse ended his outing by getting Romo to go down swinging. He gave up two runs on six hits, a walk and a hit by pitch over five innings with four strikeouts and six groundouts.
Farmer stranded a two-out double off the center field wall from Martin in the sixth and left another runner at second in the eighth after Kent reached on a throwing error by Cardona at short and stole second. The pitching line for Farmer was four runs—all unearned—on five hits.
Simon gave up an infield single to third by Lavigne and another base rap by Carreras before pitching a shutout ninth.
Palmegiani hit one on the screws in his first at-bat at Nat Bailey Stadium but the sinking liner from the Surrey, B.C. native was caught by Navarro at third for the third out of the first.
Britton was the first C’s baserunner as he was hit on the left foot in the second inning. He stole second base with one out but was picked off by Ruff on a 1-5 play to kill that rally.
Cardona snuck double down the left field line with one away in the third. He moved up 90 feet on an Anthony Morales roller to second but he was left there when Berroa was thrown out by Carreras at short.
Palmegiani also doubled down the line in left for his first professional hit on Canadian soil with one out in the fourth inning but he was also stranded.
The C’s had the bases loaded with two outs in the fifth when Berroa swiped second after his RBI single and Spain walked to get Ruff out of the game. Pilar came in to retire Palmegiani on a fly ball to center.
Berroa’s run-scoring double resulted in two runners in scoring position but Goldsberry relieved Pilar and struck out Spain and Palmegiani swinging to end the threat.
The C’s had runners at second and third after Ray stole second following his pop-up RBI single but Cardona struck out and Morales flied out to shallow center.
Hiraldo represented the tying run with Britton at second on a 3-6 fielder’s choice and a wild pitch but he struck out on a 3-2 pitch to end the game.
Berroa had an RBI single and double with a hit by pitch and two stole bases to give him 18 on the year. Cardona doubled and walked twice. Spain also had two free passes. Britton added his ninth steal to go with his double and Ray pilfered his second and third bags of the year to go along with a base hit. Hiraldo stole his 15th bag after going 1-for-5. Every C’s batter reached base safely by a hit or a walk but went 4-for-16 with runners in scoring position, leaving 10 men on.
Chad Dallas is scheduled to throw the Canadians next pitch at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday. He’ll be opposed by fellow righty Tony Locey. The game is on CanadiansBaseball.com and MiLB.TV.
The C’s have yet to announce a starter for Thursday’s game but Ricky Tiedemann is slated to start Friday. Yosver Zulueta will not start Thursday as he has apparently been promoted to New Hampshire but the Blue Jays have still not announced it officially.
The C’s have two new additions to the roster. Righthander Nick Frasso—Toronto’s fourth round pick in 2020 out of Loyola Marymount—has been summoned from Dunedin. The 23 year-old from Torrance, California has not given up a run in four starts covering 15-2/3 innings over the month of June with the D-Jays. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound hurler has only allowed two runs over seven starts, striking out 42 batters and walking eight over 25-2/3 innings.
Frasso will take over number 25 for Zulueta but it’s unlikely Frasso will replace Zulueta in the rotation Thursday as he pitched for Dunedin on Sunday as he he struck out seven over four shutout innings against Bradenton. Frasso has been on a seven-day schedule.
Glenn Santiago has also joined the team from Dunedin according to the transactions page on CanadiansBaseball.com. The 6-foot-0, 165-pound shortstop from Yauco, Puerto Rico signed as a free agent with Toronto on June 18, 2019. The 21 year-old slashed .257/.317/.405 in the Florida State League with five doubles, two home runs and 13 runs batted in to go along with three stolen bases in four attempts. No word yet on what number Santiago will be wearing.
Addison Barger sat out Tuesday’s game as he is still recovering from a sore ankle as the result of fouling a ball off his right foot in Hillsboro Saturday.
Radar Gun Rundown
Robberse rung up batters two batters at 87 miles per hour and was around 84-95. Farmer was around 72-90 and Simon was at 77-93.