The Vancouver Canadians ran away with a 9-4 victory over the Spokane Indians at Avista Stadium Tuesday.
Leadoff walks to Dasan Brown and Andrés Sosa began the game but Spokane starter Ryley Widell looked he was going to get out of the inning when he struck out Rainer Nuñez looking before Ronaiker Palma threw out Brown trying to steal third. Instead, Damiano Palmegiani poked an opposite-field home run to right to score Sosa and give Vancouver a 2-0 lead.
Gabby Martinez also went oppo-taco to right to lead off the second against Widell. Miguel Hiraldo reached on an infield single to third but was picked off and thrown out trying to steal second. Undeterred, Vancouver forged ahead when Alex De Jesus singled to center, Michael Turconi had a base hit to left and Brown drew a walk. A sacrifice fly by Andrés Sosa scored De Jesus and a base hit to right by Nuñez combined with a throwing error by Bladimir Restituyo brought in Turconi and Brown to boost the C’s lead to 6-0.
De Jesus played a big role in Vancouver’s final three runs. He dialled long distance to left off Widell to open the fourth and worked a leadoff walk off Robinson Hernandez and scored all the way from first on a Brown double to center in the sixth. De Jesus would double to right off Hernandez with two outs in the seventh to score a one-out Martinez double to center.
After being shut down by Abdiel Mendoza for the first six innings, Spokane spoiled the shutout bid in the seventh against Eric Pardinho. A triple to center by Colin Simpson to begin the inning that Brown nearly caught before crashing into the wall came home on a wild pitch. A Palma single to left was moved to third on a Mateo Gil base hit to center before another wild pitch allowed Palma to cross the plate.
In the eighth, Spokane loaded the bases against Matt Svanson with nobody out on a single to right by Eddy Diaz before base knocks to left by Drew Romo and Hunter Goodman. A one-out sac fly by Palma and a Gil single to third brought in Diaz and Romo respectively.
After being retired in order in the third inning, Sosa and Martinez had two-out singles to center in the fourth and fifth respectively but did not go any further.
Brown was caught stealing third again in the sixth after his RBI double. A Sosa walk and Nuñez infield single to second followed but they would be stranded.
Nuñez doubled to center with two outs in the eighth off Anderson Bido and Hiraldo made it aboard on a fielding error in left by Simpson with two outs in the ninth.
The hit parade was led by Nuñez, Martinez and De Jesus with three apiece. De Jesus drew a walk and belted his first homer in a Vancouver uniform. Martinez went deep for the second time as a Canadian and Palmegiani hit his 11th dinger of the season. Brown and Sosa were on base three times with a hit and two walks with Sosa stealing a base and getting a sacrifice fly. Sosa has an 11-game hitting streak on the go (hat tip to Tyler Zickel’s game story). Hiraldo and Turconi had the other base hits for Vancouver, who were 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.
Mendoza earned the first win by a Vancouver starter since Sem Robberse on July 13 thanks to six shutout innings. He stranded a Romo two-out base hit to right field in the first inning, a two-out walk by Gil in the second and a two-out Diaz single to right and Romo double to center in the sixth by striking out Hunter Goodman swinging to end his outing. Mendoza struck out Nic Kent swinging to end the second, began and ended the third with whiffs of Yorvit Torrealba and Diaz and sat down Simpson to wrap up the fourth. The righthander sat down 12 in a row by ringing up Restituyo two outs into the sixth. There were just four baserunners on three hits and a walk with six K’s and four groundball outs.
Pardinho was popped for two runs on three hits and a walk and struck out one in the seventh but uncorked three wild pitches. Svanson surrendered the other two runs on four hits but struck out one. Sam Ryan overcame a one-out Hiraldo fielding error at second in the ninth that allowed Restituyo to reach base by starting a 1-4-3 double play by Diaz to end the game.
Vancouver is now 62-55 on the season and they now hold a 2-1/2 game lead on Spokane for the final playoff spot. The C’s remain 1-1/2 games back of first place Eugene in the second half with a mark of 32-22.
Vancouver and Spokane will play a doubleheader tonight at 6:35 p.m. The two teams will make up a game that was rained out in Vancouver between the clubs back on July 2. Joe Rock and Anderson Amarista will start for Spokane. Michael Dominguez and Naswell Paulino get the ball for Vancouver. Both games can be heard on CanadiansBaseball.com.
Devereaux Harrison will not be wearing 34 for the C’s. The recently-promoted righthander from Dunedin will be donning number 36 instead according to a team press release.