The Tri-City Dust Devils continued to struggle at home, floundering their way through an 11-1 Northwest League loss to the Vancouver Canadians on Saturday night at Gesa Stadium.
An impressive crowd of 3,212 fans watched the Canadians keep piling on after taking a 2-0 first inning lead while the Dust Devils whiffed 14 times against four C's pitchers.
But it wasn't all bad news for the Dust Devils.
Despite the loss, Tri-City (7-9 second half, 21-33 overall) remained just one game out of first place in the North Division behind first-place Everett (8-8, 19-35).
Dust Devils manager Drew Saylor said that his team won't sweat losing for the fifth time in six tries against the three-time defending NWL champion Canadians, and will shift the focus to a three-game road series in Vancouver.
And a seven-hour bus trip to British Columbia? No problem.
"The most important game is tomorrow. After that, the most important game is the next day," Saylor said. "(Traveling) is part of the game. In the league footprint, we actually travel better than anybody, so we really can't use travel as being an issue for us."
The Canadians continued their impressive run at Gesa, racking up 11 more runs on 11 hits. In six games in Pasco this season, Vancouver has outscored Tri-City 52-21 and outhit the Dust Devils 58-40.
Gunnar Heidt, a 13th-round draft pick by the Toronto Blue Jays out of College of Charleston (S.C.), did quite a bit of damage Saturday, going 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored to raise his average to .345.
Boomer Collins, an undrafted free agent in 2013, went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Chris Carlson, a 28th-rounder out of Cal Poly Tech-Pomona, went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored.
No Vancouver player had one big at-bat, however. Most of the runs came one at a time thanks to run-scoring singles and a bases-loaded walk by Tri-City starter Joel Payamps in the first.
The C's got two in the first, one in the second, three in the third and two more in the fourth. They added two in the sixth and one more in the seventh to make it 11-0 before Tri-City picked up its first run in the bottom of the eighth.
Chris Rabago, the Dust Devils' No. 9 hitter, started off the eighth with a double down the right-field line and scored on a one-out single to center by Drew Weeks.
Weeks was one of two Tri-City batters with two hits, along with Ryan Garvey, whose ninth-inning triple was his third of the year, tying him for eighth in the NWL.
"(Garvey) stroked that baseball. He demolished it, actually," Saylor said. "He drove it into the (right center field) gap. It was a great effort by him overall."
Payamps, a fourth-year free agent from the Dominican Republic, struggled in his fourth start and sixth appearance since returning from the disabled list on July 16.
"He was just a little inconsistent. He was nibbling too much instead of attacking," Saylor said. "He's been injured through most of the spring and most of the season. It's just something he needs to continue to work on. I think he'll get better at it."
Payamps (0-1) took the loss, giving up six runs — five earned — on two hits over two innings. He walked six and hit one batter.
Shane Hoelscher, the Dust Devils' No. 3 hitter, went 0-for-4, putting an end to his 11-game hitting streak — the longest by a Tri-City player this year.
Jairo Labourt (3-3) picked up the win for Vancouver, allowing just three hits over 5 2/3 shutout innings.