The Vancouver Canadians collected their fourth straight win over the Everett AquaSox 3-1 at Funko Field Friday.
The AquaSox opened the scoring against Trenton Wallace in the third inning. Justin Lavey led off with a walk, stole second base and advanced to third on a Victor Labarada sacrifice bunt as C’s catcher Jommer Hernandez‘s throw just beat Labrada in time for the out. Robert Perez Jr. would score Lavey with a groundout to first.
After being held off the scoreboard by AquaSox starter Bryan Woo, Kevin Nuñez and Jorge Benitez over the first eight innings, the C’s bats going things going in the ninth. Alex De Jesus fell behind in the count at 1-2 before lining a 2-2 offering from Tim Elliott for a single to left field past a diving James Parker at short. Leo Jiménez was also down 1-2 in the count but he would double to center to bring in De Jesus with the tying run. P.K. Morris then drilled a double to right field and Jiménez beat the throw to the plate with a headfirst slide to give Vancouver a 2-1 lead.
Gabby Martinez then poked a solid single to left to advance pinch-runner Hugo Cardona to third. Damiano Palmegiani would then cash in Cardona with a base hit to left.
Vancouver’s first hit of the night came with one out in the second inning when Palmegiani lined a single to center but Labrada threw out Palmegiani trying to go for second. That helped Bryan Woo face the minimum through the first three frames.
Jiménez walked with one out and Martinez heard ball four with two outs in the fourth but Woo got Palmegiani on a questionable check swing call on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
Hernandez had a double to right with two outs in the fifth but Woo gave up no further ground. That was the last baserunner Wood allowed. He finished up with 11 strikeouts as he struck out Jiménez who was ahead 3-0 before taking three pitches for strikes. The C’s designated hitter was not as upset with the strike two call from home plate umpire Austin Snow but was definitely not happy with the called strike three. Woo’s final strikeout came as the result of an automatic strike three call against Morris to end the sixth as the Vancouver first baseman was apparently not ready in the batter’s box when the pitch clock expired. C’s manager Brent Lavallee came out to discuss the call with Snow but it was not an animated conversation.
Glenn Santiago started the eighth by beating out an infield single to third on a bang-bang play at first against Benitez but the Frogs lefty would pick off Santiago to retire the side in order.
Palmegiani’s RBI single in the ninth was erased on a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Hiraldo. Pinch-runner Dasan Brown—who replaced Martinez—made it to third but Santiago grounded out to second for the final out.
Palmegiani had the only two-hit night for the C’s. Jiménez walked and doubled home the tying run in his return to the lineup after being hit in the wrist by a pitch in Eugene August 10. Martinez also reached base twice with a double and a walk. Morris and Hernandez doubled while De Jesus and Santiago singled. Vancouver was 3-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left four men on base.
Wallace gave up a hit to Perez with one out in the first inning but struck out Ramirez on the way to strand Perez at first. Gomez doubled to right to start the second and he was advanced to third on a Salvador ground ball with one out but Wallace struck out Ty Duvall and Trent Tingelstad swinging.
That started a string of nine men set down by Wallace before he walked Lavey with two outs in the fifth but he retired Labrada on a pop out to second to finish that frame and went on to have a 1-2-3 inning in the sixth. Garrett Spain made a nice running catch towards right-center on a line drive by Ramirez for the second out.
Matt Svanson also had a perfect frame in the seventh that started with a called strikeout of Gomez.
Justin Kelly mowed down the first five hitters he faced as he rung up Ramirez for the second out of the ninth but Parker kept the Frogs in the game with a base hit to right on a 3-2 pitch. Connor Cooke was called into the game to face Gomez and wound up hitting Gomez in the foot with his third pitch. Cole Barr pinch-ran for Gomez and Alberto Rodriguez pinch-hit for Salvatore and Rodriguez put a 3-2 pitch into play that looked like it might leave the yard but it settled into the glove of Brown in center field to end the game.
Brown took over for Spain in the eight-spot and Spain moved from center to right. Riley Tirotta replaced Morris at first base after he was replaced on the base paths by Cardona.
Wallace put together a quality start with just one run allowed on two hits and two walks. He struck out seven and produced five of his nine outs in play on the artificial turf. Svanson worked a perfect inning with one strikeout. Kelly improved to 9-2 on the year with 1-2/3 innings of one-hit ball with one whiff. Cooke plunked a batter before getting the final out for his fourth save.
It is status quo in the standings as Eugene and Spokane both won Friday. The Emeralds maintain a half-game lead on the C’s for first place in the second half standings. Spokane remains 1-1/2 games behind Vancouver for second place in the overall standings. The Canadians are 28-17 in the second half and 58-50 overall.
The Canadians and AquaSox square off again Saturday night. Dahian Santos will make his first start in a Vancouver uniform. Logan Rinehart gets the ball for Everett. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. on CanadiansBaseball.com.
The AquaSox will continue to wear their Seattle Mariners 70’s theme jersey throughout the weekend.
Thanks a million to the Everett AquaSox for extending media privileges for Friday night’s game and for July 8. A big thanks to AquaSox director of corporate partnerships Mike MacCulloch, broadcasters Pat Dillon and Steve Willits and public address announcer “Tall Tom” Lafferty for the hospitality.
Radar Gun Rundown
Wallace was around 78-89 miles per hour. Svanson was in the 94-96 range, Kelly was around 80-95, Cooke was up to 97.