By Tri-City Dust Devils
The Tri-City Dust Devils fell behind early to the Vancouver Canadians and could not catch up on Monday night at Gesa Stadium, falling 5-1. The Dust Devils outhit the Canadians 5-4, but a combination of errors and timely hitting led Vancouver to the victory.
The defense for the Dust Devils (5-8 second half, 23-28 overall) faltered in the top of the second inning, as two costly errors helped the Canadians bring home three runs. It was not a long outing for Tri-City starter Roberto Padilla (2-2), who suffered the loss after not making it out of the second inning.
Vancouver (10-4 second half, 32-19 overall) starting pitcher Javier Avendano (5-1) was sharp for the Canadians, allowing one run and striking out ten over six innings. The Vancouver lead was increased to five in the top of the fourth when Kellen Sweeney hit his third home run of the season, a two-run shot off of Dust Devils reliever Matt Flemer.
The Dust Devils' one run came in the fourth when Derek Jones drove in Rosell Herrera with a two out single. Herrera ended up having the best night at the plate for the Dust Devils, getting two hits, including his second triple of the year.
The bright spot for the Dust Devils came in the bottom of the ninth inning. Tri-City catcher Tom Murphy extended his Northwest League season-high hitting streak to 17 games. Murphy struck out in his first three at bats and it look liked his streak would come to an end in the ninth, but Vancouver first baseman Balbino Fuenmayor dropped a popup in foul territory that allowed Murphy another opportunity and he answered back with a base hit to keep the streak alive.
The five-game series between the Dust Devils and Canadians continues on Tuesday night. It will be 80's Night at Gesa Stadium, where all fans are encouraged to dress up in their favorite 80's clothes and help celebrate the decade at the ballpark. Right-hander Ben Hughes will be the starting pitcher for the Dust Devils and 17-year old righty Roberto Osuna will toe the rubber for the Canadians. First pitch is at 7:15 p.m. and gates open at 6:15 p.m.