The Vancouver Canadians were embarrassed 12-3 by the Eugene Emeralds at Nat Bailey Stadium Tuesday.
The tone was set four pitches in when C’s starter Michael Dominguez got ahead of Em’s leadoff hitter Grant McCray with two strikes before hitting him with a pitch. McCray stole second base, Aeverson Arteaga walked and Logan Wyatt smoked a double off the right field wall to score McCray. Victor Bericoto got some mileage out of a sacrifice fly to center by scoring Arteaga and moving Wyatt to third. Wyatt would score on a sac fly to right by Jared Dupere to give Eugene a 3-0 advantage.
Gabby Martinez had Vancouver’s first hit with a two-out double to center but that was all they could manage against Em’s starter Nick Sinacola.
Dominguez retired the Emeralds in order in the second inning with a swinging strikeout of Luis Toribio for out number one. Cade Doughty then made a nice play by ranging to his right just past the second base bag with a strong throw to retire Robert Emery for the second out. Damon Dues then popped out to short.
Alex De Jesus led off the Vancouver second with a base hit to center off Sinacola. De Jesus only got as far as second as Riley Tirotta hit into a one-out fielder’s choice to third before Michael Turconi grounded out to first.
McCray walked and stole second again before Arteaga took four wide ones from Dominguez to start the third. Wyatt struck out swinging but McCray and Arteaga stole a base uncontested to move into scoring position. Bericoto walked to load the bases before Dupere struck out swinging for the second out. Dominguez got ahead of Adrian Sugastey with a first-pitch strike but his second offering was slammed out of the park into the seating area of the Canadians bullpen for a four-run home run to give Eugene a 7-0 lead. Sam Ryan relieved Dominguez and gave up a single to right by Toribio but the Em’s third baseman got greedy going for second. Alan Roden got the ball near the right field corner just before the warning track and unleashed a one-bounce throw to Josh Kasevich for the inning-ending 9-6 putout.
Jommer Hernández was hit in the left hand by a Sinacola pitch to open up the bottom of the third. Dasan Brown gave one a ride to the edge of the warning track in center but was retired by McCray. Roden drew a walk but was forced out on a 6-4 fielder’s choice by Tirotta. With Hernández at third, Doughty grounded out to third for the third out.
The Emeralds went to work on Ryan in the top of the fourth as Emery doubled to the right field corner. Emery held his ground at second when Ryan tried to field a comebacker off the bat of Dues, slowing the ball towards Kasevich at short. Despite a strong, off-balance throw from the former Oregon Duck, Dues was credited with an infield single. McCray’s slow bouncer to third produced the first out but allowed Emery and Dues to advance 90 feet. Arteaga was denied a hit when Roden made a nice leaping catch in right but Emery tagged up to score the eighth Emeralds run. Dues moved to third on the play and would come into score on a Wyatt base hit to right past Doughty at second.
Vancouver finally answered back in the bottom of the fourth off Sinacola when De Jesus tripled down the left field corner. Kasevich then singled to center to plate De Jesus with the first Canadians run. Tirotta followed with a base hit to right. The inning was extended when Brown reached on a two-out error when a throw from Toribio at third was dropped by Wyatt at first to load the bases but Roden grounded out to second to leave them loaded.
Ryan faced only three batters in the fifth despite a leadoff single from Sugastey. A nice pick by Tirotta at first completed a 4-6-3 double play off the bat of Toribio and a strikeout of Emery rounded out the frame.
Spencer Bivens relieved Sinacola to begin the fifth inning. He overcame another dropped ball at first from Wyatt that allowed Martinez to reach base on a ground ball to third by setting down the next three men he faced, including strikeouts of Doughty and De Jesus.
Cooper Benson entered the game for the C’s in the top of the sixth and worked a 1-2-3 frame. The C’s got another runner on via an error when Arteaga dropped a high pop-up coming in from short just behind the mound. That allowed Tirotta to get to second but Bivens would eventually strand Tirotta at third. A Hernández one-out grounder to first was bracketed by strikeouts of Turconi and Brown.
The top of the seventh saw Benson work around a leadoff walk to Wyatt by striking out the side as he sat down Bericoto, Dupere and Sugastey with Dupere caught looking. The C’s then picked up their second run when Doughty homered to left off Bivens, his second tater in as many days.
That homer travelled 381 feet with an exit velocity of 97 miles per hour according to Tyler Zickel via C’s technical assistant Luke Statler.
Eugene then exceeded double digits against Juan Nuñez in the top of the eighth. The bases were loaded on walks to Toribio and Dues with an Emery double to left in between. On the ball four to Dues, the ball got away from Hernández behind the dish but Toribio remained a third. McCray struck out swinging but Arteaga singled to left just past a diving Kasevich at short to drive in Toribio to put the Em’s up 10-2. Wyatt then lifted a shallow fly to right which was caught by Roden and he earned an assist when Dues thought Emery was going to try to tag up and score. Instead, with Dues having to retreat to second, Hernandez ran Emery back towards third before making the throw to De Jesus who tagged out Emery for a 9-2-5 double play.
Mat Olsen took to the mound for the Emeralds in the eighth and he allowed the first three men to reach base by walking Kasevich and Turconi and plunking Tirotta in the hand. Tirotta was visibly upset and stared down Olsen on his way to first. Hernández and Brown both went down swinging but Roden was drilled in the elbow to allow Kasevich to score. Brent Standlee was called in from the Eugene bullpen and got Martinez to line out to left.
The Emeralds decided to pour it on even more in the ninth against Devereaux Harrison. Brown made a leaping catch on the warning track in center to retire Bericoto but Dupere ripped a double to left and Sugastey’s infield single to second put runners at the corners. That was despite Doughty’s best efforts after the former LSU Tiger made a strong off-balance just on the shortstop side of the second base bag. A Toribio sac fly to left allowed Dupere to score. After a walk to Emery, Dues then doubled to left-center to plate Sugastey. Harrison struck out McCray swinging for out number three.
De Jesus doubled to the wall in center and Kasevich walked with one out but Olsen K’d the side by sending Doughty, Tirotta and Turconi back to the dugout with Turconi looking at strike three.
Turconi returned to the lineup Tuesday after being placed on the Temporary Inactive List last week. His six-game hitting streak came to an end but Roden extended his on-base streak to 10 games with a walk and a plunk.
Catcher Lyle Lin has been assigned to the Development List. 2022 C’s pitcher Matt Svanson made his 2023 debut in Dunedin Tuesday and tossed a scoreless inning against Bradenton on Tuesday.
Chad Dallas is on the bump for Vancouver on Wednesday for the second game of this series which starts at 7:05 p.m.. The game is on CanadiansBaseball.com and MiLB.TV. Adam Macko is slated to start Thursday for Monty’s Mounties.
2014 Vancouver Canadians pitcher José Fernández will be pitching north of the border in 2023. He has joined the Hamilton Cardinals of the Intercounty Baseball League for a second straight season. The Dominican lefthander made his MLB debut with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2018 and spent time with the Detroit Tigers in 2019.
Radar Gun Rundown
Dominguez was at 79-92 miles per hour had three strikeouts at 82. Ryan had a strikeout at 93 and was up to 94. Benson was up to 92 with two whiffs at 90 and one at 79. Nuñez had a K at 96 and hit 99. Harrison had a strikeout at 82 and was up to 94.