The Vancouver Canadians laid down the hammer against the Hillsboro Hops with a 10-3 win at Nat Bailey Stadium Tuesday.
Hillsboro was first on the scoreboard in the first inning as Ryan Bliss took Nick Frasso deep to left-center field for a one-out solo home run.
Vancouver got that run back in their first turn with the bat when Zach Britton and Leo Jiménez produced back-to-back doubles to center field off Scott Randall. Britton’s drive found the right-center field gap while Jiménez drilled one off the wall.
The Hops took the lead again in the second when Neyfy Castillo got on board with a leadoff walk. He would make it to third when Damiano Palmegiani made a fielding error on a Danny Oriente grounder to first. Castillo and Oriente would pull off a double steal with Castillo crossing the plate with Hillsboro’s second run.
The C’s battled back again in the fourth inning. Riley Tirotta doubled to left with one out and made it to third on a fielding error by Channy Ortiz.
Miguel Hiraldo lifted a sacrifice fly to center to allow Tirotta to cross the pentagon to even the game at 2-2.
Vancouver grabbed its first lead in the sixth when Jiménez led off with a single to center against Randall. Tirotta then hit a one-out ground rule double to left that skipped through the gate of the C’s bullpen in the left field corner that would have scored Jiménez.
It was all academic when Hiraldo drove in Jiménez and Tirotta with a double to center to make it 4-2 C’s.
The Hops cut the deficit to one when Castillo smacked a home run to left-center off Juan Nuñez to begin the seventh.
The C’s matched that leadoff blast with one of their own when Hugo Cardona crushed one to center field off Gerald Ogando to restore their two-run lead.
Steward Berroa followed that with a triple to center.
Berroa would tag up and score on a Jiménez sac fly to the middle outfield.
Vancouver would pile on in the eighth against Julio Frias who issued a leadoff walk to Hiraldo and one-out free passes to Mack Mueller and Cardona with a wild pitch in between to load the bases.
Britton would bring in Hiraldo with a two-out walk to chase Frias from the game. Fellow lefty Dillon Larsen fared no better as he uncorked a wild pitch that scored Mueller.
Jiménez followed with a base hit up the middle to drive in Cardona and Britton.
Palmegiani atoned for his error in the first inning by tracking down a foul ball near the wall in first base territory to retire Bliss and help Frasso record his first 1-2-3 inning in the third.
The defence was on display for Vancouver in the top of the fifth after tying the game a half-inning earlier. A Lyle Lin leadoff walk from Wymer was doubled off at first when Garrett Spain made a leaping catch at the warning track in right field and unleashed a bullet to first to complete a 9-3 double play. Cam Coursey followed with a single to left but Britton threw out Coursey trying to steal second to close out the inning.
Hiraldo helped Wymer finish out a 1-2-3 sixth with a sliding stop of a Caleb Roberts ground ball before starting the inning-ending 4-3 putout.
Frasso gave up two runs in three innings but one run was unearned on one solo homer and one walk. He reached two strikes on eight batters but his only strikeout victim was Caleb Roberts who went down swinging to end the first. Frasso finished up strong by retiring the last six men faced and four of his six outs in play were on the ground. He threw 40 strikes out of his 66 pitches.
Wymer got the victory to improve to 2-0 by scattering two hits and a walk over three shutout frames. Nuñez allowed a solo homer and walked a batter but struck out one in the seventh. Concepcion collected save number four two shutout innings with no hits, two walks and three whiffs.
Jimenez went 3-for-4 with four runs batted in and picked up his 11th double of the season. Britton hit his 14th two-bagger and walked twice. Palmegiani singled and walked, Hiraldo doubled, walked and drove in three runs and Cardona drew a walk to go along with his first home run of the season. Berroa and Spain tripled, giving them five and two on the year respectively. Vancouver was 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position with seven men left on base.
Tirotta had two doubles in his return to the C’s lineup after missing the entire month of June due to a wrist issue. He was on a rehab assignment last week with the Florida Complex League and Dunedin Blue Jays before returning. After wearing number 24, Tirotta has taken over Addison Barger‘s number 9 and if Tuesday is any indication, there may still be a few more hits in that jersey yet. Speaking of Barger, he went 2-for-4 in his Double-A debut with New Hampshire but the Fisher Cats lost in Reading 6-0.
Taking over Tirotta’s number 24 is infielder Francisco Fajardo who was recently called up to the club from Dunedin.
Sem Robberse gets the start in game two of this series against Luke Albright. Tyler Zickel will call the action on CanadiansBaseball.com and MiLB.TV.
Vancouver is now 9-6 in the second half of the year, giving them a half-game lead on Everett for top spot.
2011, 2014 and 2015 Vancouver Canadians manager John Schneider is the new manager of the Toronto Blue Jays as Charlie Montoyo has been relieved of his duties and 2019 C’s skipper Casey Candaele is the interim bench coach.
Radar Gun Rundown
Frasso reached 100 miles per hour on the gun and was around 94-98 and 81-82. His strikeout came in at 90. Wymer was in the 76-90 range. Nuñez lit up the gun at 97-99 and was at 78 and 82. His strikeout was at 83. Concepcion registered whiffs at 96 and 98 and was also at 83.