The Vancouver Canadians saw an early lead slip away but rallied for a 6-5 victory over the Spokane Indians at Nat Bailey Stadium Wednesday.
The Canadians got to Tony Locey early as Steward Berroa homered to right field to begin the first inning.
Addison Barger was hit by a pitch on his right leg and Garrett Spain kept the rally going with a two-out walk. Miguel Hiraldo doubled to left to bring in Barger and move Spain to third. Mack Mueller drove in Spain with a base hit to but Hiraldo was thrown out by Robby Martin at the plate for the final out.
Hiraldo did not slide as he bumped into the right shoulder of catcher Drew Romo. That drew the ire of Locey and the Spokane bench as words were exchanged but a repeat of 2011 did not happen.
Vancouver was back at it again in the second when Hugo Cardona walked, Harry Ray ground-rule-doubled to the left field corner and Berroa heard ball four to load the bases. A Barger sacrifice fly shy of the warning track in center scored Cardona to give the C’s a 4-0 lead.
Spokane rallied with two runs in the fourth against Chad Dallas. A Zac Veen single to center eluded a diving Barger at short. Veen made it to third after a stolen base and a balk before scoring on a Romo sac fly to center. Grant Lavigne worked the count full before drawing a walk and he would race home on a Julio Carreras double to left that got by a diving Ray at third to cut the C’s lead in half at 4-2.
The visitors came all the way back in the fifth. Braiden Ward hit into a fielder’s choice at short with two away to erase a Nic Kent leadoff single but would score on a Veen triple to off the wall to center field. Romo then went up the middle to bring in Veen with the tying run.
Spokane grabbed their first lead in the seventh against Sean Wymer. It began with Ward taking one for the team as he was hit above his left knee and he made it to third on a stolen base and a throwing error by Zach Britton behind the plate. A two-out wild pitch by Wymer that bounced a few feet in front of home plate resulted in Ward scampering home with the go-ahead run.
The C’s responded after the seventh inning stretch against Robinson Hernandez. A leadoff walk by Ray and a one-out free pass to Barger set up a game-tying RBI single to center by Damiano Palmegiani to allow Ray to slide home safety and advanced Barger over to third.
Britton then lifted a sac fly to the warning track in right-center bring in Barger.
Dallas fielded a high chopper behind the mound from Ward to record his first out. He gave up a Romo single that was lined past a diving Hiraldo at second but that was his only blemish in the opening frame.
The righthander from Tennessee was perfect in the second and third innings, striking out Navarro. He limited Spokane to two runs in the fourth by stranding Carreras’ RBI double by getting Colin Simpson to fly out to center and Martin on a sliding stop by Palmegiani who made the unassisted play at first.
Barger made a nice leaping grab to snare a liner off the bat of Cristopher Navarro for the first out of the fifth. The C’s shortstop looked to start an inning-ending 6-3 double play when Ward hit one his way but Palmegiani dropped the ball at first. Instead, Spokane went on to score runs. Romo stole second base after his game-tying single and was balked over to third but Dallas struck out Lavigne swinging to end his outing.
Wymer stranded a Carreras lead-off single and a Martin one-out double with one out in the sixth. A Kent grounder to third resulted in Ray throwing the ball to the plate where Britton ran Kent down to tag him for the second. Kent made it to second during the rundown with Martin making it to third but Wymer froze Navarro looking for the third out.
The TCU Horned Frog almost got out of the seventh inning unscathed when he got Veen to fly out to shallow left and Romo to pop up to short as Barger made the catch just over his head. Lavigne drew a walk and Carrera was hit in the left arm and that led to Wymer’s exit from the game. Ryan Boyer gave up a single to Simpson to right on a 2-2 pitch but Mueller threw out Lavigne at the plate to keep Spokane from adding an insurance run.
Ray and Berroa moved up 90 feet on Barger’s sac fly in the second but they were stranded when Palmegiani popped out to second and Britton flied out to left.
Mueller singled to left with two outs in the third but was left on base. The C’s were retired in order by Locey, sawing off Ray on a 3-2 pitch for a 1-3 putout. They also went down 1-2-3 in the fifth as Navarro made a nice barehanded play at third to throw out Spain who tried to get on base with a bunt. The middle innings were of no use as the C’s could only send three men to the plate.
The C’s did manage to get a runner aboard in the eighth when Mueller worked a one-out walk against Tanner Propst. He made it to second on a wild pitch but Cardona and Ray struck out.
Mueller had the lone two-hit game for Vancouver and drew a walk. Berroa homered and walked and Ray doubled and drew a free pass. Barger was also on base twice with a walk and a hit by pitch. All nine C’s hitters reached base safely with a hit or a walk and collectively went 3-for-7 with runners in scoring position while stranding six.
Dallas pitched five innings and gave up four runs on six hits and a walk and struck out two. Wymer was charged with a run on two hits, two plunks and a free pass and struck out one over 1-2/3 innings. Boyer got the win with 1-1/3 shutout inning of one-hit ball with two strikeouts. He stranded two Wymer runners thanks in large part to Mueller throwing out Lavigne at home to end the eighth. McAffer had a three-up, three-down ninth as he went through the top of the Spokane order for save number three.
Radar Gun Rundown
Dallas was in the 79-96 miles per hour range and struck out batters at 90 and 82. Wymer had a whiff at 78 and was at 77 and 95. Boyer had strikeouts at 93 and 94 and was up to 95 and down at 78. McAffer was around 84-93.
Abdiel Mendoza gets the start for Vancouver tonight for game three of this series against Spokane who counter with Evan Shawver. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. on CanadiansBaseball.com and MiLB.TV. Former C’s starter Yosver Zulueta is expected to make his Double-A debut for New Hampshire against Chris Sale in Portland.
Glenn Santiago will be wearing number 1 after being called up from Dunedin. That number was worn previously by Davis Schneider who is now a Fisher Cat.