The Canadians scored two runs in the top of the first inning, but the Ems got off to a hot start in the bottom of the first as well. Jason Codiroli reached first on an error to lead off the inning. Vince Belnome, who got the start at third, then doubled to center field, which advanced Codiroli to third. Designated hitter Edinson Rincon followed with an RBI sacrifice fly ball to right field. Nate Freiman followed with an RBI single to center that scored Belnome from second. But that was where the offensive momentum came to an end.
After giving up two runs and three hits in the first inning, Joseph hurled three shutout innings before being replaced after four innings of work by Ricardo Penalba. Joseph allowed two runs, three hits, three walks and finished the evening with four strikeouts.
The Ems didn’t record another hit until a Freiman single in the fifth inning. The offense got a boost in the sixth inning, when Ems’ shortstop Dean Anna hit a two-run homerun over the left field wall to cut the Canadians lead to 9-4, but the comeback effort proved to be too little too late. The Ems tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, but the deficit was too much to make up for.
“The road trip yesterday was kind of tiring. [We] came out here, tried to get our mojo going again and it just didn’t happen tonight,” said Anna, who went 3-for-5 with three RBI on the night. “Good thing about this game is we’ll come back tomorrow and hopefully beat them.”
Despite the lopsided score for much of the game, Anna said that the big deficit early didn’t get to the Ems.
“You just have to stay in the game every inning every pitch, don’t think about the score, just play the game and see what happens at the end.”
“The key is every at-bat counts, every inning counts,” said Freiman, who was named Northwest League Player of the Week for the week ending August 23. Over the span of six games Freiman hit .400, with two home runs, two doubles and 14 RBI’s. “You just want to treat each at-bat, each inning; you don’t want to think about the score.”
Ems’ starting pitcher Mauricio Tabachnik (2-4) had a horrendous outing, lasting just one inning, while giving up eight hits and five runs. He faced four batters in the second inning, but he was replaced by Tyson Bagley after the Canadians loaded the bases and Michael Gilmartin hit a two-RBI single to center field. The Canadians recorded one more run in the second, extending their lead 5-2, before Bagley and the Ems got out of the inning.
“You try to make the best pitch possible to help your teammate out and get rid of those runs, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way,” said Bagley, who inherited two of Tabachnik’s runners. “Can’t blame anybody, you just go out there and try to pitch to the best of your ability. Your focus is on making one pitch at a time and [making] the best pitch possible.”
Bagley lasted 4 1/3 innings, allowing five hits and three runs, while striking out five batters. Yet, the Ems bullpen ran into more trouble in the eighth inning, as Al Angelucci walked in four runs and recorded just one out before being replaced by Andrew Bovich after 1/3 of an inning.
Kyle Christensen (4-0), got the win for the Canadians, as he tossed 2 2/3 innings,
allowing four hits, two runs, two walks and recording three strikeouts.
Wednesday nights’ loss drops the Ems’ home record to 16-17 and puts them back into last place in the Northwest League West Division standings, one game behind the Canadians. The Ems returned to Civic Stadium Wednesday night riding a three game winning streak after sweeping the Everett Aquasox in a three-game away series in their first series sweep since September of 2008.
Game two of the three game home series is set to begin Thursday at 7:05 p.m.