The Vancouver Canadians were dumped 7-1 by the Tri-City Dust Devils at Gesa Stadium on Saturday.
The Dust Devils took a first-inning lead they would never relinquish again when Gabe Matthews doubled to left to score a one-out single to second by Adrian Placencia. Werner Blakely then belted a home run to center off C’s starter Dahian Santos to put Tri-City on top 3-0. Alexander Ramirez was hit by a pitch with two outs but Jommer Hernández threw him out trying to steal to end the inning.
The Canadians had two runners on with a couple of one-out walks to Cade Doughty and Riley Tirotta but Dust Devils starter Chase Chaney whiffed Dasan Brown and Hernández. The Dust Devils also had two men out with one away on a Steven Rivas walk and a Gustavo Campero hit by pitch but Santos struck out Osmy Gregorio looking and D’Shawn Knowles swinging in an eventual scoreless second.
Santos had two more runners to deal with in the third when he walked Matthews to start the frame before walking Arol Vera with one but strikeouts of Blakely and Ramirez got him out of that jam.
The C’s only had a two-out single in the third and fourth innings from Gabby Martinez and Tirotta respectively but did nothing with them.
Lefty Naswell Paulino worked a clean fourth for Vancouver who finally responded with a run in the fifth. Hernández singled to center and went to third on a Garrett Spain single to right. Houston Harding replaced Chaney on the hill and yielded a Devonte Brown sacrifice fly to center to allow Hernández to cross the plate. Rainer Nuñez had a two-out walk but that was it for the offence on the night.
Paulino got into a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the fifth when he walked Placencia to start the frame but a one-out free pass to Blakely and a fielding error by Alex De Jesus at short loaded the bases. Gregorio singled to left with two outs to score Placencia and Blakely to make it 5-1 Dust Devils.
Dasan Brown had a two-out single in the sixth for the only hit against Harding in the sixth. Canadians reliever Eric Pardinho surrendered a couple of base hits from Placencia to right and Matthews to center to put men on the corners but before an inning-ending strikeout of Blakely.
Conor Larkin worked the top of the seventh for the C’s and gave up a Vera single to left before he was thrown out trying to pilfer second. However, a walk to Ramirez and a single to right by Gregorio came home on a Campero triple to center. Larkin got out of the inning by striking out Knowles and worked a 1-2-3 eighth with a punchout of Matthews.
After going down in order in the seventh, a pair of two-out infield singles to the left side by Doughty in the eighth and Devonte Brown in the ninth were the last gasps for Vancouver’s sputtering offence against Tri-City hurler Willian Suarez.
The C’s are now 19-18 on the season. Devereaux Harrison gets the starting assignment in the series finale at Gesa Stadium on Sunday. Tyler Zickel will call the first pitch at 1:05 p.m. on CanadiansBaseball.com.