The Tri-City Dust Devils hit well enough to win Thursday at Nat Bailey Stadium in Vancouver.
Just not well enough in the clutch.
The Dust Devils outhit the defending Northwest League champion Canadians 10-6 during a 3-1 loss but left nine runners on base and finished 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
Tri-City (3-4) remained tied with Yakima for first place in the East Division, while Vancouver (5-2) stayed locked in a three-way tie for first with Everett and Salem-Keizer in the West Division.
The Dust Devils took a one-run lead in the top of the fourth, as Derek Jones started things off with a one-out single to center. Jordan Ribera then walked. With Tom Murphy at the plate, Canadians starter Taylor Cole uncorked a wild pitch, sending Jones to third and Ribera to second.
Murphy then grounded out to shortstop, scoring Jones to put Tri-City up 1-0.
But that lead was short-lived as Vancouver evened things up in the bottom of the inning. Dalton Pompey, who went 2-for-4 on the day with two runs scored, led off with an infield single and later scored on Matt Newman's single to right.
Slaats allowed just one run on three hits over six innings, walking five, to lower his ERA to 2.25. Cole, however, battled him inning-for-inning and gave up just one run on seven hits through six.
The C's broke through against Dust Devils reliever Josh Hungerman (0-1), scoring twice in the bottom of the eighth on a two-run double by Balbino Fuenmayor to make it 3-1.
Philip Brua (1-0) got the win for Vancouver with two scoreless innings, and Drew Permison, who led the NWL in saves last season, picked up his first of the year.