The Ems sent Adys Portillo to the mound, who two years ago received the biggest signing bonus the Padres had ever given to a Latin American player. The 18-year-old Venezuelan went 4.2 innings, giving up two earned runs with five strikeouts and two walks and a pair of wild pitches.
“Take a long look at him because you will see him on the mound in San Diego,” said Greg Riddoch. “He has the best raw stuff of any young 18-year-old in our organization.”
The only real mistake that Portillo made was in the second inning when Vancouver first baseman Chris Affinito crushed an opposite field home run over the right-field wall.
The Ems evened up the score when third baseman Jedd Gyorko, who was 4-for-4 in the game, and first baseman Connor Powers of Mississippi State had back-to-back singles with one out to put runners at first and third. Center fielder Rymer Liriano then beat out a fielder’s choice to plate Gyorko.
Gyorko had his second straight multi-hit game and has been impressive in professional debut.
“He has a real nice bat, hits pitches all over the place because he goes with the pitch,” said Riddoch. “He’s going to be a good player because he makes the pitcher come to him.”
The Canadians added two more runs until the Ems were able to put together rallies in the seventh and eighth innings.
In the seventh, catcher Emmanuel Quiles, in his third season with the Ems, hit a double that skidded in the left-center gap to bring home right fielder Luis Domormo. Shortstop Chris Tremblay squeaked out in infield single but an inning ending double play by second baseman Tyler Stubblefield ended the rally.
In the eighth, the Emeralds again put pressure on the Canadians with three straight singles on a wet field and were aided by an error by the Vancouver second baseman which allowed DH Houston Slemp to come to the plate with the game tied.
Slemp, who had struck out three times before, then came through with the go-ahead game winning single.
“You just have to put the other bats behind you and look for your pitch,” said Slemp. “It doesn’t help out you or your team if you are dwelling on what you did the last at-bat.”
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