HILLSBORO, OR – Entering Sunday, the Vancouver Canadians had not played a more frustrating stretch of games than the last four with the Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks). Three walk-off heartbreakers and the first shutout loss of the year knocked the C’s out of first place and returned them to .500 for
HILLSBORO, OR – Entering Sunday, the Vancouver Canadians had not played a more frustrating stretch of games than the last four with the Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks). Three walk-off heartbreakers and the first shutout loss of the year knocked the C’s out of first place and returned them to .500 for the first time since they were 2-2. On the ropes and in need of a haymaker to salvage the series, the Canadians turned to #23 Blue Jays prospect Trent Palmer in hopes of a heavyweight performance. They got that and more; the pride of Anoka, MN was perfect for six innings to lead the C’s to a 7-0 triumph at Ron Tonkin Field.
Palmer (W, 1-1) was masterful all afternoon. The right-hander induced three first inning groundouts, struck out the side in the second then logged a pair of strikeouts on two 3-2 pitches to stay perfect in the third. He threw one ball in a seven-pitch fourth before a 10-pitch fifth that featured a pair of punch outs. Palmer wrapped up his outing with a flyout, a groundout and a backwards K on a 3-2 pitch to his 18th and final batter. He delivered a first-pitch strike to 11 of 18 hitters and went to a three-ball count only three times.
With Palmer landing body blows and headshots on the Hops hitters, Vancouver’s offense reawakened after scoring one run in 15 innings yesterday. The C’s started the scoring in the second with a run on a hit, a walk, a fly out and a wild pitch before Addison Barger clubbed his third home run of the season in the next frame to make it 2-0. Miguel Hiraldo led off the fourth with a triple and scored on a Davis Schneider sacrifice fly.
Three runs would have been more than enough given Palmer’s performance, but the Canadians plated four in the seventh to put the game away. An error and a walk started the stanza before Trevor Schwecke extended his hitting streak to a team-high 13 games with an RBI single. Riley Tirotta doubled home a pair later in the inning and P.K. Morris followed with a run-scoring two-bagger of his own to put Vancouver ahead 7-0.
Alejandro Melean (S, 1) – activated from the Injured List prior to the game – came on to start the seventh and issued a lead-off walk (though the pitch clock was responsible for ball one) before an infield single spoiled a chance at history, but Melean went on to retire the next eight hitters he faced to secure the win in his season debut.
Tirotta and Morris paced the offense with two hits apiece. Every hitter contributed in some way; all reached base at least once, eight had hits and five drove in runs.
Despite the series loss, Vancouver bookended the six-game set with shutouts and will start play Tuesday night a half game out of first with last place Everett arriving at Nat Bailey Stadium. #7 Blue Jays prospect Sem Robberse gets the nod for the C’s; he’ll be opposed by AquaSox southpaw Adam Macko. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. on the second BCLC Play Now Tuesday of the year. Coverage begins at 7pm on CanadiansBaseball.com and the Sportsnet Radio Network.