Vancouver Canadians start strong on opening day, but finish fails them in shutout loss to Tri-City
Six-game set in Pasco, Wash., continues Wednesday and Vancouver has home opener in temporary Hillsboro, Ore., home base next Tuesday
The beginning of the Vancouver Canadians’ opening day looked promising.
Back-to-back walks with one out in the first inning against the host Tri-City Dust Devils brought the heart of the Vancouver batting order to the plate with a chance at grabbing the game’s momentum at Gesa Stadium in Pasco, Wash., on Tuesday evening.
A strikeout and a groundout ended the frame and provided foreshadowing for the entire night, as Vancouver was blanked 4-0 by Tri-City to begin the high-A West League season.
Due to border restrictions brought about by COVID-19, Vancouver is playing home games out of Ron Tonkin Field, a Hillsboro, Ore., ballpark being shared with the West League rival Hillsboro Hops. The C’s Hillsboro home opener is next Tuesday against the Spokane Indians.
Luke Gillingham, who came on in the fourth in relief of starter Adam Kloffenstein, took the loss. He loaded the bases in the fifth on two walks and a single, and, with two outs, a pair of runs came home on an error by first sacker Spencer Horwitz on a grounder off the bat of Tri-City’s Francisco Del Valle.
In three and two-thirds innings on Tuesday, he allowed three hits while walking four and striking out three. Kloffenstein, who was Toronto’s third-round pick in the 2018 amateur draft out of a Magnolia, Texas, high school, is one of 19 players on Vancouver’s 30-man opening-day roster who played previously for the C’s. He was a part of their 2019 team.
Minor league baseball was cancelled in its entirety last summer.