The Tri-City Dust Devils missed a chance to keep pace with the Everett AquaSox in the North Division, losing 8-6 to the Vancouver Canadians on Thursday.
The loss dropped Tri-City two games off the lead and into a tie with the C’s for second place.
"" We gave them some runs. I think we lost our focus a little bit in the fourth," Tri-City manager Drew Saylor said. "I think we competed well as a team. We just have to keep putting together games like that."
Drew Weeks had three of the Dust Devils’ 13 hits heading into the ninth inning. The seventh-round draft pick out of the University of North Florida got things started for Tri-City in the first inning, driving in Marcos Derkes with a double to the gap in left center field for a 1-0 lead. Shane Hoelscher followed that up with an RBI single to center to make it 2-0.
Weeks later added an RBI triple in the bottom of the eighth inning and then scored on Sean Dwyer's single to center, which accounted for the Dust Devils' final run.
"I've been hitting the ball well. Those three days off (All-Star break) let my body recuperate," said Weeks, who also gave credit to Derkes in the leadoff spot. "He gets on base a lot, and that gives me opportunities to get RBIs. He's a good person to have on base."
The Dust Devils tacked on another run in the bottom of the third, as Sam Bumpers bounced a single between short and third to bring home Derkes, who scored three runs on the day.
Vancouver responded with five unanswered runs in the top of the fourth and fifth innings. The C’s got three runs off Tri-City starter Ryan Castellani in the fourth, highlighted by Gunnar Heidt’s two-run double. Vancouver, the three-time defending NWL champions, then got two more in the fifth to take a 5-3 lead.
Franklin Barreto, in his third year in the Toronto Blue Jays system, led the Canadians offense, going 4-for-5 with two runs and an RBI.
Castellani, a second-round draft pick out of Brophy College Prep in Arizona, went 3 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on three hits in his fifth professional start.
"(Vancouver was) doing their job. That's a credit to them," Castellani said. "I still felt good. I didn't feel anything was wrong. I was making my pitches. I just have to make them better now."
Zak Wasilewski was the pitcher of record for Vancouver. He tossed five innings, allowing three runs on eight hits.
Notes: Today’s starters: RHP Blake Shouse (1-6, 6.02 ERA) for Tri-City vs. RHP Chase Mallard (3-1, 2.77 ERA) for Vancouver. ... The Colorado Rockies promoted INF Cesar Galvez to the Low-A Asheville (N.C.) Tourists on Thursday. Galvez, in his second year with Tri-City, was named a NWL All-Star after hitting .260 with 33 hits, 12 steals and a team-high 14 RBIs... Asheville Tourists Manager Fred Ocasio notched his 400th career victory last Sunday in Lakewood, N.J., as the Tourists defeated the Lakewood BlueClaws 8-3 at First Energy Park. Ocasio spent five seasons as Tri-City Dust Devils hitting coach from 2001-2005 before taking over as Dust Devils manager. He recorded 264 wins through seven campaigns with in Tri-City. In his first year in Asheville, 2013, Ocasio led the Tourists to 63 wins. So far this season, the Tourists lead the South Atlantic League with 75 wins. ... The NWL All-Star Game, held Tuesday in Eugene, ended in a 0-0 tie after 10 innings. A total of 17 pitchers combined for 21 strikeouts. Four Dust Devils participated for the North Division, led by OF Marcos Derkes, who walked twice and stole a base. INF Galvez went 0-for-2, and reliever Jerad McCrummen allowed a hit and a walk in a scoreless inning of work. NWL ERA leader Helmis Rodriguez pitched the second inning, allowing just one hit in a scoreless second inning.
w Jack Millikin; 582-1406; email@example.com