The Vancouver Canadians hammered the Hillsboro Hops 12-2 at Nat Bailey Stadium Saturday.
The C’s went to work early against Jackson Goddard in the first inning when Leo Jiménez tripled to the right-center field gap which short-hopped the wall with one out. A trio of two-out walks to Miguel Hiraldo, Damiano Palmegiani and Garrett Spain brought Jiménez home with the game’s first run.
Hillsboro would tie it when a Caleb Roberts single to right off Jimmy Robbins on an 0-2 pitch wound up at third base. Steward Berroa tried to throw out Roberts at first even though Roberts was well across the first base bag. The ball wound up hitting one of the Canadians bat boys in foul territory. A one-out 4-6 fielder’s choice by Lyle Lin got Roberts home to tie the score at 1-1.
The Canadians would untie it as Jiménez went shopping again in the right-center field gap to collect his second triple to open the second inning against José Santamaria. Tyler Keenan then delivered a one-out single to right to bring in Jiménez to make it 2-1 C’s.
The fourth inning saw Vancouver pull away from the visitors with a four-run fourth. Harry Ray lit the fuse with a leadoff walk off Santamaria and went to second on a wild pitch. He would come on an Anthony Morales triple to right-center. Jiménez then homered into the C’s bullpen seating area to up Vancouver’s lead to four. Palmegiani drew a walk to force Santamaria’s exit from the game. Lefty Julio Frias came in and could not put out the fire right away as Palmegiani stole second base. A walk to Keenan and a passed ball by Ramses Malave moved the runners up.before walks to Spain and Andrés Sosa led to Palmegiani crossing the plate with Vancouver’s sixth run.
Hillsboro would get one back in the sixth off Justin Kelly. A Roberts leadoff walk went to third when Sosa tried to throw out Roberts at second from first base but Jarrod Watkins reached on the error to put runners at first and third. A Lin 5-3 fielder’s choice would then score Roberts.
Palmegiani would bang a double off the wall io right-center off Gerald Ogando to begin the sixth and he would come on a Miguel Hiraldo home run to left. He knew he got all of it as he flipped the bat as the ball went off the top of the left field porch. Sosa would follow one out later when he went yard to left to make it a 9-2 game for the Canadians. Ray then tripled to center and he would come home on a wild pitch to give the C’s double digits in the run column.
Vancouver continued to add on in the seventh against Hugh Fisher. Jiménez was drilled in the back by a pitch and Palmegiani also took one for the team. Fisher and Hops manager Vince Harrison were eventually ejected from the game. Dillon Larsen took over on the hill and walked Keenan and Hiraldo to bring home Jiménez. A Spain sacrifice fly allowed Palmegiani to tag up and score the game’s final run.
Spain’s bases-loaded walk in the first led to Hops starter Goddard leaving the game as throwing just 12 strikes out of his 32 pitches. Santamaria needed one pitch to get out of the inning as Sosa grounded out into a fielder’s choice at second to leave the bases loaded.
Ray was robbed of a hit to start the second when Ortiz made a leaping grab in shallow center field.
It was fireworks night Saturday night but it was not just limited to the real thing and the C’s offence. After Hiraldo’s home run, an Ogando low-and-inside pitch drew the ire of Spain and that led to both benches clearing but no punches were thrown. Home plate umpire Zee Zidek issued warnings to both teams. Though Spain popped up to short, Sosa exacted some revenge on Ogando with his two-run bomb to left.
The Hops were not done hitting batters yet. Fisher plunked Jiménez in the ribs and amazingly was not ejected by Zidek after warnings were issued earlier. I’m not buying it was an accident either after Jiménez racked up 10 total bases already. Palmegiani was then drilled in the elbow and was obviously less than thrilled but Fisher finally got the heave-ho. There’s no way that should have happened to begin with. Zidek did a horrible job managing that situation and was fortunate things did not escalate into a Pier 6 brawl.
The C’s made a couple of defensive changes in the eighth inning when Francisco Fajardo and Hugo Cardona took over for Hiraldo and Jiménez in the middle of the diamond.
The Hops were threatening to take the lead in the second when Channy Ortiz doubled off the short left field fence to bring Lin to third with two outs but Robbins struck out Malave looking.
Robbins struck out six batters in his four innings of work, allowing just one run on five hits without a walk and induced four outs on the ground. Kelly was the winning pitcher by allowing an unearned run over three frames, offsetting two walks with two strikeouts. Simon scattered two hits over two shutout innings and struck out one to finish the game.
Jiménez was on base four times with two triples, his fourth homer of the season and a hit by pitch. Hiraldo was 2-for-4 with his sixth bomb of the year and drew a pair of walks. Keenan was also on base with a single and three free passes. Ray had a triple, a single and a base on balls. Sosa drilled his second dinger of the year and also walked and Morales tripled and walked. Spain heard ball four twice.
Congratulations to C’s lefthander Ricky Tiedemann and righthander Yosver Zulueta for their showings at the MLB Futures Games in Los Angeles. Zulueta retired the lone batter he faced with one pitch and Tiedemann completed a 1-2-3 innings.
The Canadians go for the six-game sweep Sunday afternoon. No starter has been announced for Vancouver. Scott Randall gets the ball for Hillsboro. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. on CanadiansBaseball.com and MiLB.TV.
The C’s are 13-6 in the second half and have a two-and-a-half game lead over Everett and Eugene for first place. Vancouver is now 43-39 overall for the year.
Radar Gun Rundown
Robbins rung up batters at 77, 86, 91, 77, 86 and 83 miles per hour and was between 73 and 96. Kelly had one strikeout at 94 and was at 84 to 92-95 and 98. Simon struck out a batter at 93 and was at 79 on the low end and 98 on the high end.