The Vancouver Canadians picked up another come-from-behind win as they throttled the Tri-City Dust Devils 10-4 at Nat Bailey Stadium Friday.
The Dust Devils were first on the scoreboard in the first inning when Gabe Matthews drove a Sem Robberse offering over the wall in the right field for a two-out solo home run.
Tri-City tallied another run in the second. Mike Wilson picked up an infield single to third with one out on a close play at first. He would steal second base and come in to score when P.K. Morris muffed a two-out fly ball in left field by José Reyes to make it 2-0 Dust Devils.
After being held down by Tri-City starter Nick Mondak who has perfect over five frames, the Vancouver bats would break through in the sixth against reliever Nathan Burns. It all started with a Garrett Spain home run to right to begin the inning.
A base hit to left by Hugo Cardona followed and he would steal second and third base. Anthony Morales and Leo Jiménez worked the count full before drawing walks to load the bases. Andrés Sosa sliced an opposite field single to right to drive in Cardona to tie the game at 2-2.
Houston Harding replaced Burns on the hill and he allowed all three inherited runners to score when Surrey, B.C. native Damiano Palmegiani put one over the fence in left field for a grand slam home run.
Tri-City would trim the lead in the eighth inning. A D’Shawn Knowles one-out walk would score when Osmy Gregorio took Eric Pardinho deep to center to cut the Vancouver advantage to 6-4.
The C’s would respond in the bottom of the eighth against lefty Connor Higgins. Jiménez began the inning with a single up the middle before Sosa drew a walk. With one out, Jiménez and Sosa pulled off a double steal and were joined on the bases when Riley Tirotta earned a free pass. Morris then drove a ball over the head of Knowles in center field to score Jiménez and Sosa to increase Vancouver’s lead to 8-4.
Glenn Santiago then singled up the gut to plate Tirotta and Morris.
Robberse retired D’Shawn Knowles on the first pitch of the game and struck out Gregorio for two quick outs. After the Matthews home run, Christian Sepulveda hit a sharp grounder that was snared by Sosa on his backhand at first base and he made the unassisted play for the third out.
Sosa had to call off Robberse who got Kyle Lovelace to pop up near the mound to strand Reyes at second after reaching on Morris’ error that produced the second Tri-City run.
In the third inning, Sosa was called upon again to show off his defensive acumen at first base when he stretched to handle a throw from Cardona at short for the second out. Robberse ended the frame by striking out Matthews swinging.
The fourth inning saw Sepulveda sneak a double down the left field line as the ball got past Tirotta at third base. Mike Peabody swung at strike three and Morales threw the ball to second to try to pick off Sepulveda but the ball went into center field. Sepulveda managed to slide in safely feet first to third despite a strong throw by Spain in center. Peabody made it to first base on the strikeout/wild pitch as the strike three offering bounced in the dirt before Morales made his errant throw. However, Morales redeemed himself by getting Sepulveda napping at third for a big first out. Robberse rebounded by striking out Wilson swinging and Christian Molfetta looking to get out of the jam.
In inning number five, Robberse struck out Reyes and Lovelace swinging for the first two outs before Knowles drew a walk and stole second base. Though Morales throw went to center field, Knowles was unable to get up in time after his headfirst slide. Knowles would get no further when Gregorio grounded out to second.
After Wymer struck out Sepulveda in a spotless sixth, Pardinho struck out Wilson and Molfetta in his C’s debut on the way to a perfect frame in the seventh.
The Dust Devils had runners at second and third in the eighth after Gregorio’s home run as Matthews singled to right and Sepulveda singled to center. A Peabody grounder to first put Matthews and Sepulveda in scoring position but they would stay there as Juan Nuñez entered the game and stranded both runners by whiffing Wilson.
Nuñez surrendered an infield single to short by Molfetta to open up the ninth despite a good effort from Cardona. The C’s shortstop spun and fired from second base but his throw pulled Sosa off the first base bag. Reyes popped up to Cardona for the first out. The second out came when Morales threw out Molfetta trying to steal but Jiménez—covering the bag from second base—came away limping as his left foot was slid into on a feet-first slide by Molfetta. Jiménez would remain on the field to complete the game. Lovelace walked on four straight pitches but he was forced out on a 5-4 fielder’s choice by Knowles to wrap up the ball game.
Robberse pitched five innings of two-run ball with one of those runs being earned. He allowed three hits and a walk while striking out eighth. Wymer got the W with a perfect sixth inning that included a strikeout giving up four wins out of five decisions. Pardinho yielded two runs on three hits and a walk but struck out three over 1-2/3 innings. Nuñez struck out a batter and worked around a hit and a walk in the ninth for his first save of the year. Spain and Palmegiani went deep for the sixth and seventh times of the year respectively.
Morris made the hardest contact against Mondak as he was robbed of extra bases when Knowles made a leaping catch up against the wall in center with two outs in the fifth. Mondak needed just 55 pitches over his five perfect frames—42 for strikes—as he struck out three.
All nine Canadians hitters reached base safely by a hit or a walk. Jiménez and Sosa were on base two times apiece with a hit and a walk and they both stole a base. Spain homered in the sixth for his sixth blast of the year. Palmegiani went yard for the seventh time. Cardona singled and stole his 12th and 13th bases of the year. Morris and Santiago drove in two runs each with their double and single respectively. Vancouver was successful in four of five tries with runners in scoring position and left just one runner on base.
The Canadians will try to clinch the series Saturday in a 7:05 p.m. first pitch. Trenton Wallace will take to the bump for Vancouver against fellow southpaw Brett Killam. The game is on CanadiansBaseball.com and MiLB.TV with Tyler Zickel calling the play-by-play.
Vancouver’s record matches the title of Rush’s 2112 album with 21 wins and 12 losses. That puts the C’s in first place with a half-game lead on Eugene in the second-half of the Northwest League standings. Monty’s Mounties also have a 1-1/2 game lead on Spokane for second place in the overall standings with a record of 51-45.
Radar Gun Rundown
Robberse rung up batters at 87, 92, 90, 86, 91, 90, 86 and 91 miles per hour and was around 80-95. Wymer had a strikeout at 80 and was up to 90. Pardinho punched out batters at 86, 80 and 82 and was touched 93. Nuñez ran it up to 99 for a strikeout and was at 83, 89 and 97.