The Vancouver Canadians won their second in a row over the Spokane Indians by a score of 8-4 at Nat Bailey Stadium Thursday.
Spokane scored the game’s first run in their first at-bat against Abdiel Mendoza. A two-out single to second base by Drew Romo extended the inning as the ball just was nicked at the mound by Mendoza. Romo moved to second on an errant pickoff throw by Mendoza and would come in to score on a Grant Lavigne single to left.
Vancouver also scored in their first at-bat in quick order off Evan Shawver. Back-to-back doubles by Steward Berroa and Addison Barger to center field with Berroa’s blast off the balls and strikes scoreboard below C’s Diamond Vision tied the game at 1-1. Damiano Palmegiani moved Barger to third on a groundout to third. That was followed by a walk from Zach Britton and he and Barger would come home on a Miguel Hiraldo double off the wall in center to give Vancouver a 3-0 lead.
Berroa and Barger ignited another rally in the second inning off Austin Kitchen with the former singling to right field and the latter doubling off the wall in right with one out. Berroa came home on a Palmegiani muscled a base hit to right over Kent at second. Britton then bashed a three-run home run over the right field wall to make it 7-1 Vancouver. Spokane catcher Ronaiker Palma took exception to Britton’s celebration at home plate and had some choice words for his counterpart.
Spokane tried to find their way back with a run in the fifth off Justin Kelly. A leadoff walk by Nic Kent went to second on a wild pitch. Restituyo reached on an error by Barger at short before Kent scored on a one-out single by Veen.
The visitors were back at it again in the sixth when Julio Carreras led off with a double that Berroa could not hang on to at the warning track in front of the manual scoreboard. Palma then reached on an infield single to second and made it to second on a passed ball by Britton before Kent’s groundout to second scored Carreras with Spokane’s third run.
Spokane kept clawing their way back in the seventh. Bladimir Restituyo began the inning with an infield single to shirt and Romo got aboard on a one-out walk. Lavigne singled to right that got by a diving Hiraldo at second to cut Vancovuer’s lead down to 7-4.
Mack Mueller accounted for the game’s final run when he took Boby Johnson deep for a one-out solo shot in the eighth.
Mendoza got into a bases-loaded jam after Lavigne’s two-out RBI single in the first when Carreras had a seeing-eye single to center on a 0-2 pitch and Simpson walked but Palma grounded into a 5-4 fielder’s choice with Palmegiani handling a tricky hop before throwing it to second.
The second inning saw Mendoza recorded his first three-up, three-down frame and faced the minimum in the third when Romo grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to erase a Veen leadoff walk. The rightander from Panama ended his four innings with another 1-2-3 frame that began with a strikeout of Carreras. Hiraldo ranged to his right over the second base bag before throwing out Palma to end the fourth. Mendoza gave up a run on three hits and two walks over four innings, striking out one with a whopping nine outs on the ground.
Kelly was charged with three runs on five hits, walking two and whiffing one over 2-1/3 innings.
Juan Nuñez took over for Kelly after Lavigne’s RBI single in the seventh. He hit Carreras with a pitch on the left hand to load the bases but it appeared the ball hit the bat. Romo tried to score when a pitch glanced off Britton’s glove but a generous carom off the backstop allowed Britton to dive towards the plate and make the tag on Romo. Nuñez then stranded runners at second and third by striking out Simpson swinging. That was the first of four straight strikeouts as he sat down Palma, Kent and A.J. Lewis in the eighth.
Of note, Nuñez wore number 32 instead of 36 as there was no number 36 retro jersey available.
Jol Concepcion surrendered a leadoff single to left by Restituyo on a 0-2 pitch in the ninth. Veen hit a grounder to first then Glenn Santiago fielded and he stepped on the bag for the first out. He threw the ball to Barger at short to try to complete a 3-6 double play but Restituyo dislodged the ball from Barger’s glove with his feet-first slide. Concepcion retired the next two hitters to finish the game, getting Romo to line out to second and inducing a grounder to short from Lavigne.
Canadians manager Brent Lavallee was ejected from the game in the first inning for arguing balls and strikes. He was upset with home plate umpire Paul Roemer for ringing up Garrett Spain on a check swing without appealing to the base umpire Matt Blackborow. Position coach took over managerial duties and Tyler Keenan replaced Ponce as first base coach. That all happened before Hiraldo’s two-run double. Hiraldo stole third and Morris walked to chase Shawver from the game but Kitchen got Mueller to ground out to short to leave runners on the corners.
The C’s had their first two batters reach when Morris doubled off the center field wall and Mueller reached on a throwing error at short but nothing else developed out of that rally.
Morris and Mueller were again on base in the fifth inning when Morris reached base after Veen dropped a fly ball in right field and Mueller drew a walk with one out. Shelby Lackey relieved Kitchen and induced a ground ball double play by Glenn Santiago to end the frame.
Hiraldo had a two-out base knock to right against Boby Johnson in the seventh but he was picked off by the Spokane righty to finish the inning. Hiraldo could not keep his foot on the bag and Lavigne tagged him on the right foot to record the out.
Barger, Berroa and Hiraldo all had two-hit performances with Hiraldo stealing his 16th base of 2022. Britton and Mueller both homered and walked. Palmegiani and Morris had the other safeties. Vancouver was 4-for-12 with RISP and left five men on.
The Canadians take on Spokane again on Canada Day in a 1:05 p.m. start at Nat Bailey Stadium. Lefty Ricky Tiedemann will get the ball for Monty’s Mounties. Will Eithridge will go for Spokane. Tyler Zickel will have the play-by-play on CanadiansBaseball.com and MiLB.TV.
The Canadians announced that righthander Conor Larkin has been placed on the seven-day injured list retroactive to June 29. The move of righty Yosver Zulueta to Double-A New Hampshire was finally made official. The Cuban hurler gave up two runs in 1-2/3 innings against Portland Thursday.
Radar Gun Rundown
Mendoza had a strikeout at 79 milers per hour and was up to 93. Kelly had a K at 95 and checked in at 77. Nuñez lit up the gun at 96. 99, 89 and 98 and was also around 80. Concepcion was up to 95.