VANCOUVER, BC – #22 Blue Jays prospect Chad Dallas’ quality start was nearly squandered after the Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks) broke out for five runs in the top of the ninth, but the Canadians suffered through three consecutive hit batters to load the bases in the bottom of the inning before
VANCOUVER, BC – #22 Blue Jays prospect Chad Dallas’ quality start was nearly squandered after the Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks) broke out for five runs in the top of the ninth, but the Canadians suffered through three consecutive hit batters to load the bases in the bottom of the inning before a walk-off fielder’s choice vaulted the C’s to a 7-6 win Thursday night at Nat Bailey Stadium.
Leading 6-1 after eight, Vancouver saw their lead slip away in the final frame. Hillsboro scored five runs (three earned) on three hits, two walks and an error to tie the game before Juan Nunez (W, 3-0) managed to strand the go-ahead run on second base after surrendering the game-tying hit to the first batter he faced; he had come on after what should have been a game-ending groundout turned into an error that bounced Will McAffer from the game.
With the game tied at six in the bottom of the ninth, three consecutive hitters – Steward Berroa, Zach Britton and Leo Jimenez – were plunked to load the bases with nobody out. Miguel Hiraldo hit a soft chopper towards third base on a 2-2 pitch and a do-or-die play at the plate ended with Berroa sliding in ahead of the throw to make the Canadians 7-6 winners.
The Hops started the scoring with a solo homer in the top of the third, but the C’s scored four third inning runs for the second straight day to get in front. Harry Ray started the rally with a one-out single before Berroa walked and Britton singled home the game-tying tally. #6 Blue Jays prospect Leo Jimenez plated two with a base hit and an error on a pick-off throw later in the stanza made it 4-1.
Meanwhile, Dallas was dealing. The right-hander worked a season-high six innings in which he allowed two singles in addition to that third inning home run while striking out eight with no walks. It was the first quality start of his pro career.
Vancouver used a bases-loaded walk to score a run in the fifth and got an RBI triple from Britton – his first of the year – to run the score to 6-1.
Garrett Farmer and Ryan Boyer followed Dallas with a perfect inning of relief apiece.
With the win, the C’s have extended their winning streak to a season-high five games. Their 11-6 record in the second half has them a game and a half in front of the second place Everett AquaSox (Mariners) and are 41-39 overall, the first time they’ve been two games above .500 since April 28 when they were 9-7.
The C’s will go for the series win over the Hops in a Fortis BC ‘Nooner at The Nat Friday afternoon. They have yet to announce their starter while Hillsboro has named Ross Carver as their slope-climber. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. on CanadiansBaseball.com, MiLB.TV and Sportsnet 650.