Vancouver Canadians open season on road with come-from-behind victory


Toronto Blue Jays farm club will play its home opener on April 19, marking it first game at Nat Bailey Stadium since Aug. 30, 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic

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If opening night is any indication, Vancouver Canadians games will be action packed this season.

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The C’s rallied from a 4-0 deficit, gave up the lead in the ninth and then won in extra innings on Friday night, beating the Spokane Indians 8-6 in 10 frames at Avista Stadium in Spokane to open the Northwest League high-A season.

The C’s play today and Sunday in Spokane, have a six-game set next week in Gesa, Wash., against the Tri-City Dust Devils, and then have their home opener on April 19 against the Eugene Emeralds at Nat Bailey Stadium.

With COVID-19 wiping out the entire 2020 season and travel restrictions forcing the C’s to play out of Hillsboro, Ore., in 2021, that game will be the first one for the club at the Nat since Aug. 30, 2019.

The C’s are once again a Toronto Blue Jays’ farm team and feature four of Toronto’s top-12 prospects, according to mlb.com. Shortstop Leo Jimenez, a 20-year-old from Panama who’s the Blue Jays’ No. 5 prospect and already on their 40-man roster, hit out of the lead-off spot on Friday and went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.

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First baseman PK Morris, a 23-year-old who was a 2017 Blue Jays 14th-round draft pick out of a Florida high school, hit third and was 1-for-3 with a run and two RBI.

Morris was Vancouver’s ghost runner in the 10th inning, starting the frame on second base. Riley Tirotta led off with a double to plate him. Hugo Cardona ran for Tirotta, went to third on a Miguel Hiraldo ground out and came home on a wild pitch.

Left-hander Jimmy Burnette struck Spokane’s Zac Veen looking and then Grant Lavigne swinging before inducing a line out to left field by Robby Martin, Jr. to end the game.

Outfielder Veen is the Colorado Rockies’ top prospect and the No. 36 prospect overall among the 30 big-league franchises, according to MLB.com

Spokane scored two off Burnette in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings. They were up 4-0 after three innings on Vancouver starter Adam Kloffenstein.

The C’s scored five times in the seventh, led by a two-run home run by third baseman Addison Barger, to go up 6-4.


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