Mendoza's Gem, Early Attack Power Series-Opening Win
SPOKANE, WA – A combined six runs in the first two innings and one of the finest outings by a Canadians starter this season led the C’s to a 9-4 win over the Spokane Indians (Rockies) Tuesday night at Avista Stadium to begin a seven-game, six-day series that will play
SPOKANE, WA – A combined six runs in the first two innings and one of the finest outings by a Canadians starter this season led the C’s to a 9-4 win over the Spokane Indians (Rockies) Tuesday night at Avista Stadium to begin a seven-game, six-day series that will play a crucial role in determining who will face the Eugene Emeralds (Giants) in a best-of-five Northwest League Championship series come September.
A hot start on a hot night – it was 33 degrees Celsius at first pitch – began with two walks, but a strikeout and a caught stealing threatened to cut the opening inning rally short. Surrey, BC native Damiano Palmegiani made sure to cash in with a two-out, two-run homer to the short porch in right field to make it 2-0 C’s after four batters.
Vancouver got to Spokane starter Ryley Widell (L, 1-3) for four runs on five hits – including a first-pitch solo homer from #9 Blue Jay prospect Gabby Martinez to start the frame that was the first of four straight knocks – plus a walk and an error in the second to lead it 6-0.
Meanwhile, Canadians starter Abdiel Mendoza dazzled in his seventh start of the year. The Chitre, Panama native allowed a two-out single in the first and a two-out walk in the second before setting down the next 11 Indians over 3.2 innings then worked around consecutive two out hits in the sixth to strikeout the sixth man of his night and preserve the shutout. Those runners in the sixth were the only two that got into scoring position behind Mendoza in his first quality start since the Blue Jays claimed him off waivers from Texas in December of 2021. His final line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K, 80 pitches-50 strikes.
The C’s added single runs in the fourth, sixth and seventh to build their lead to 9-0. #16 Blue Jays prospect Alex De Jesus hit his first homer in full season ball since he was acquired via trade from the Dodgers on August 2 to start the fourth, Dasan Brown doubled home a run in the sixth and De Jesus delivered an RBI two-bagger of his own in the seventh.
Spokane spoiled the shutout with two runs in the seventh then made it a little more interesting with two runs in the eighth, but Sam Ryan put up a zero in the ninth to secure a statement win via 9-4 final.
Eight of nine starters had a hit, five reached base more than once and the offense finished 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Martinez and De Jesus paced the bats, both finishing a triple shy of the cycle. Rainer Nunez had his first three-hit game in High-A, 2022 15th rounder Michael Turconi got a hit in his first career C’s at-bat and Andres Sosa extended his hitting streak to 11 consecutive games with a fourth inning single. He’s now tied with former Canadian Addison Barger for the second-longest hitting streak by a C’s hitter this year and needs to get hits in the next two games to match Trevor Schwecke’s season-best 13-game streak. The longest hitting streak in Canadians and Northwest League history is 28, set by Spencer Horwitz last season.
With the win, Vancouver is now 2.5 games in front of Spokane for the second spot in the postseason with six head-to-head games remaining and 12 overall. Eugene beat Everett (Mariners) tonight, so the C’s remain 1.5 games back of the Emeralds for first place in the second half with the Ems set to visit Nat Bailey Stadium for the final homestand of the season next week.
A doubleheader is scheduled for Wednesday night to make up the game these two teams lost to rain at The Nat on July 3. Michael Dominguez and Naswell Paulino are the two starters for the C’s, while the Indians have tapped #16 Rockies prospect Joe Rock and Anderson Amarista as their two arms. First pitch of game one from Avista Stadium is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. and game two will begin approximately 35 minutes after the final out of the first. Coverage is available on CanadiansBaseball.com and the Sportsnet Radio Network.