Dasan Brown started Game 1 with a leadoff walk against Spokane starter Joe Rock and scampered to third on a one-out double to left field by Rainer Nuñez. Gabby Martinez got Brown home with a groundout to short. Alex De Jesus then lined a double to left to score Nuñez to make it 2-0 C’s.
Spokane would tie it up in a span of four batters to start the second inning against Michael Dominguez. A leadoff double to left by Hunter Goodman came around to score on a Colin Simpson single to center. After a Mateo Gil base hit to right, Robby Martin produced a sacrifice fly to left to drive in Simpson.
The C’s regained the lead when Miguel Hiraldo hit a solo home run to left off Rock with one out in the fourth.
Vancouver kept the pressure on Rock in the fifth by loading the bases with nobody out after a Michael Turconi infield single to short and walks by Brown and Andrés Sosa. Turconi was thrown out at the plate on a Nuñez grounder to third but Martinez’s infield single to short and De Jesus’ sac fly to right and a Hiraldo base hit to left scored Brown, Sosa and Nuñez to increase the Vancouver lead to 6-2.
Spokane scored the final two runs of the game in the sixth when Goodman led off with a double to center and scored on a Simpson homer to right field off Devereaux Harrison.
As the “home” team or at least the team batting last to make up for the rained out game between the two teams at Nat Bailey Stadium July 3, the Canadians scored first again in the first inning. Dasan Brown was plunked on the second pitch from Anderson Amarista, stole second and made it to third on a throwing error by Ronaiker Palma behind the plate. Andrés Sosa put the ball into play with a grounder to third to score Brown with the game’s first run.
Spokane would grab their first lead of the night against Naswell Paulino. A leadoff walk by Bladimir Restituyo went to third when Damiano Palmegiani made a throwing error at third on a ground ball from Yorvis Torrealba on a 1-2 pitch. Instead of getting out of the inning, Paulino’s next pitch resulted in an Eddy Diaz double to left to score Restituyo and Torrealba to put Spokane ahead 2-1.
The Canadians would pull even in the third against Amarista. Garrett Spain worked the count full before earning a leadoff walk but was forced out on a 3-6 fielder’s choice by Anthony Morales. A two-out walk by Sosa kept the inning going before Palmegiani redeemed himself with a single to left to score Morales from second.
Vancouver would break the tie in the fourth with back-to-back homers on consecutive pitches off Amarista. Alex De Jesus belted a one-out solo homer to left but Hiraldo put one over the fence in left-center.
A Restituyo homer off Garrett Farmer to being the fifth brought Spokane to within a run but the C’s responded in the bottom of the inning with a run against Comox, B.C. native Adam McKillican. It looked like the Canadians would be turned away after Sosa hit into a 5-4-3 twin-killing to wipe out a Brown base hit to right on McKillican’s first pitch. Instead, McKillican went 0-for-2 against the Canadian Canadians. After giving up a base knock to Brown from Oakville, Ontario, Surrey, BC’s Palmegiani prolonged the rally with a single to left and rumbled home on a P.K. Morris double to center.
Spokane would make it interesting in the seventh against T.J. Brock. A pop-up single to first by Palma to start the inning moved to second on a wild pitch. Brock would strike out Restituyo and retire pinch-hitter Drew Romo on a liner to right that got Palma over to third. Pinch-hitter Robby Martin followed with a single to right that Spain knocked down after diving for the ball to score Palma and make it a one-run game. Torrealba lined a base hit to right to get pinch-runner Braiden Ward over to third but Brock got Diaz to ground out to first on the next pitch on a check swing roller that somehow stayed fair to finish the game.
Anderson Pilar kept the C’s from scoring any more runs in the fifth when he struck out Glenn Santiago to leave two runners on after Hiraldo’s RBI single.
Nuñez had a one-out single to right with one out in the seventh against Pilar but Martinez hit into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play that forced out pinch-runner Garrett Spain at second. Spain stayed in the game in right field while P.K. Morris went to first, subbing for Martinez and Nuñez respectively.
Nuñez and Hiraldo had two hits apiece while Brown and Sosa walked twice. Martinez, De Jesus and Turconi all put a ‘1’ in the hit column. Martinez, De Jesus and Hiraldo all had two runs batted in. Vancouver converted three times in seven attempts with runners in scoring position and left four men on base.
Dominguez struck out Braiden Ward and Drew Romo swinging to bookend a perfect first inning. He sat down the next three hitters in a row to keep the game tied at 2-2 in the second. After Ward walked and stole second to begin the third inning, Dominguez racked up two more strikeouts by getting Eddy Diaz and Goodman swinging, leaving Ward at third base after a Drew Romo grounder to second advanced Ward 90 feet.
In the fourth inning, Dominguez took care of a leadoff single to right to Simpson by retiring the next three hitters, getting Martin and Cuba Bess to go down swinging.
Dominguez retired the first two hitters in the fifth and was a strike away from getting the W but a throwing error by De Jesus at third on a 0-2 pitch allowed Diaz to get to first base.
Harrison was summoned from the C’s bullpen and got Romo to ground out to second for the third out.
Gil singled to center off Harrison after Simpson’s two-run homer in the sixth but Harrison retired Martin on a 5-6-3 double play before getting Bess to look at strike three.
Connor Cooke struck out Diaz on a check swing strikeout to end a perfect seventh.
Dominguez pitched 4-2/3 innings and yielded two runs on four this and a walk while striking out seven. His groundout/flyout total was 3-3 as he threw 57 of his 85 pitches for strikes. Harrison got the win in his C’s debut with 1-2/3 innings of two-run ball on three hits with one strikeout. Cooke earned his eighth save of the year with a perfect seventh that included one punchout.
Game 2 Notes
Paulino sat down the first six hitters he faced and faced the minimum in the fourth after a Colin Simpson walk was doubled off on a 5-3 double play by Mateo Gil. The inning ended when Paulino struck out Palma on three pitches.
Farmer rebounded from Restituyo’s home run by striking out Trevor Boone and Torrealba and getting Diaz to fly out after Nic Kent singled to left with one out and stole second with two outs. The sixth inning saw Farmer retire the side in order with an inning-ending punchout of Gil.
The pitching line for Paulino resulted in two unearned runs on one hit and two walks over four innings but struck out four to go along with four groundball outs. Farmer improved to 5-0 with two innings of one-run ball on two hits with three K’s. Brock earned his first professional save despite a run on three hits in the seventh that included one punchout.
Spain had a two-out walk in the sixth against McKillican and moved to second base on a Palma passed ball but pinch-hitter Rainer Nuñez struck out after replacing Morales. Jommer Hernandez replaced Morales behind the plate for the seventh.
Palmegiani had the lone two-hit game for Vancouver while Spain reached base three times with a hit and two walks. Brown got aboard twice with a hit and a hit by pitch and swiped his 11th base of the year. De Jesus homered for the second time in a C’s uniform while Hiraldo homered in both ends of the doubleheader to give him 10 on the season. Sosa had a base on balls as Vancouver went 1-for-5 with RISP and stranded four runners.
The Canadians upped their second-half record to 34-22 and 64-55 overall. They are one game back of Eugene for top spot in the second-half standings and 4-1/2 games ahead of Spokane for second place overall. At the very least, Vancouver needs to stay ahead of Spokane in the full-season standings to advance to the Northwest League playoffs.
The series continues Thursday with Chris McMahon on the mound for Spokane. Chad Dallas gets the start for Vancouver. Game time is 6:35 p.m. Tyler Zickel will have the play-by-play on CanadiansBaseball.com.