The Vancouver Canadians dropped the season series finale 4-3 to the Spokane Indians at Avista Stadium Sunday.
All of the scoring for Spokane came in the fourth inning. A one-out inside-the-park home run to left field by Bladimir Restituyo and an outside-the-park homer to left-center by Mateo Gil off Nathanael Pérez Lopez two pitches later put the home side ahead 2-0. Trevor Boone would draw a walk and geot to second when Rainer Nuñez made a throwing error at first base on a grounder hit by Cristopher Navarro. A two-out double to left by Eddy Diaz drove in Boone and Navarro to put Spokane ahead by four.
The Canadians finally got to Mason Green in the fifth. A one-out walk by Glenn Santiago and a bunt single to the mound by Garrett Spain. A single by Jommer Hernandez and a fielding error by Restituyo sent Santiago home. Michael Turconi singled up the middle to load the bases before a sacrifice fly to right by Dasan Brown allowed Spain to cross the plate with Vancouver’s second run.
A two-out rally by the C’s produced the game’s final run in the sixth. Miguel Hiraldo walked with two out and that was the last batter Green would face. Robinson Hernandez came into the game for Spokane and surrendered a double to left by Santiago to score Hiraldo.
Brown singled to center field on the second pitch of the game but Damiano Palmegiani hit into a 5-4 fielder’s choice. Green then picked off Palmegiani at first before Nuñez grounded out to short to end the inning.
The only Vancouver batter to reach base in innings two through four was Santiago who drew a two-out walk in the second.
The fifth inning ended with runners on the corners when Palmegiani lined out to short after Brown’s sac fly.
The sixth inning began with a leadoff single to right by Nuñez but he was eliminated on a 6-3 double play by Gabby Martinez. Spain would strike out swinging to leave Santiago’s RBI double at second.
Brown doubled with two outs in the seventh and Palmegiani walked but Comox, B.C. native Adam McKillican replaced Hernandez on the hill and killed the C’s rally by getting Nuñez to line out to left.
After Spain grounded out to first and pinch-hitter P.K. Morris flied out to right, Turconi and Brown followed with back-to-back walks but the game was over one pitch later when Blake Goldsberry got Palmegiani to pop out to short.
Brown was on base three times with a double, a single and a walk and Santiago had a double and two free passes. Turconi had a single and a base on balls. Nuñez, Spain and Hernandez had the other base hits. Palmegiani and Hiraldo heard ball four once. Vancouver was 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position and eight runners were stranded.
Pérez Lopez hit Diaz with a pitch with one out in the first inning and gave up a Restituyo double to left with one out in the second. Despite his own throwing error on a pickoff attempt that allowed Restituyo to get to third and a Gil walk, Pérez Lopez got out of both innings without a run scored.
Another Spokane rally started with one out when Diaz reached second on a throwing error by Turconi at short. A wild pitch got Diaz over to third but Palmegiani threw out Diaz at the plate after Hunter Goodman hit a grounder to third.
Justin Kelly stranded a runner for Pérez Lopez by retiring Goodman on a fly ball to right to leave Diaz’s two-run double 180 feet away. Kelly struck out Ronaiker Palma looking to highlight a perfect fifth and struck out Navarro swinging for the second out of the sixth. Mason Fluharty took over for Kelly who gave up a one-out single to right by Boone. Fluharty stranded Boone after he stole second by getting Braiden Ward to line out to center.
In the seventh, Fluharty struck out Diaz to start the seventh but exited after an infield single to third by Simpson. Troy Watson took over but saw Simpson go from first to third after stealing second and moving up another 90 feet on a throwing error by Jommer Hernandez behind the plate. Watson would strike out Palma swinging on three pitches to keep it a one-run game in the seventh and went on to strike out the side swinging in order by sitting down Restituyo, Gil and Boone.
The loss went to Pérez Lopez who allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits, two walks and a plunk in 3-2/3 innings. He struck out only one but got six of his seven outs in play on the ground. Kelly pitched two frames of one-hit ball and struck out two, stranding a runner for Pérez Lopez. Fluharty stranded a runner and pitched a one-hit frame with one punchout. Watson also kept a Fluharty runner from scoring and struck out all four hitters he faced.
It was a sloppy game on the defensive end as the C’s committed four errors and were originally given a fifth when Palmegiani was charged with a miscue on Simpson’s grounder to third before the scoring was changed to a single.
The C’s fall to 66-57 in the overall standings but leave Eastern Washington with a 4-1/2 game lead over Spokane for the final playoff spot after arriving to Avista Stadium with a 1-1/2 game advantage. Vancouver’s second-half record is now 36-24 and leaves them two games behind Eugene.
The magic number of two still remains for Vancouver meaning any combination of C’s W’s and Spokane L’s equalling two will result in the Canadians meeting Eugene in the Northwest League final.
Vancouver will open up their final regular season series at home against the Emeralds Tuesday. Abdiel Mendoza is scheduled to throw the first pitch at 7:05 p.m. Tyler Zickel will call the action on CanadiansBaseball.com and MiLB.TV.