By Nick Patterson Herald Writer
Opponent: Vancouver Canadians
When: 7:05 p.m.
Where: Everett Memorial Stadium
Radio: KRKO (1380 AM)
Probable starters: Everett left-hander *Steven Ewing (0-0, 15.43 ERA) vs. Vancouver right-hander Ben White (1-1, 3.60)
Off the schneid
Taylor Ard had come close before. But after 11 games he can finally say he’s hit his first home runs as a professional.
The AquaSox first baseman hit the first two homers of his career during Monday’s 13-2 victory over Vancouver.
Ard is expected to be one of Everett’s primary power sources. The muscular 6-foot-1, 230-pounder from Vancouver, Wash., was a big-time power hitter at Washington State. That power prompted the Seattle Mariners to select him in the seventh round of this year’s amateur draft.
Ard was productive in his first 10 games with the Sox, but he was unable to get one to clear the fence.
“I hit the fence a few times earlier in the year, so to finally actually get a couple to go over the fence was good,” Ard said. “I’ve just got to keep it going.”
Ard’s first homer came in the bottom of the first, when he pulled a ball over the fence in left-center to give Everett a 1-0 lead.
“It was a 2-0 count, I got a fastball over the plate and I was able to get just enough of it to get it out,” Ard said.
Ard didn’t waste any time getting No. 2. In the second, he came up with the bases loaded and went the opposite way, sending a liner to right-center that just cleared the fence to make the score 8-0.
“In that situation I was just trying to get a base hit and score a couple runs and stretch out that lead,” Ard said. “Thankfully I was able to get it to the short part of the park and get it out.”
More rotation shuffling
Everett continued to tinker with its starting rotation.
The Sox already were forced into some slight adjustments because of the promotion of Mayckol Guaipe and the desire for 17-year-old Victor Sanchez to have an extra day of rest. Sanchez was pushed back one day to Tuesday, with Scott DeCecco starting Monday in Sanchez’s place.
Now the Sox have made another tweak. David Unsworth’s turn in the rotation would have been tonight. However, Everett decided to give Unsworth an extra day off, too, pushing him back to Thursday. Instead, Daniel Ewing will take the mound tonight and make his first professional start.
The Sox plan to return to a regular five-man rotation going forward, with Ewing remaining in the rotation and DeCecco returning to the bullpen.
The most impressive pitcher for Vancouver during Monday’s 13-2 Everett victory? It may have been an infielder.
Canadians shortstop Matt Johnson was drafted into mop-up duty Monday when Vancouver ran out of pitchers, being called upon to pitch the eighth inning.
But Johnson proved to be no ordinary emergency fill-in. He touched 95 mph on the radar gun and threw a perfect inning, striking out two in the process.
At 24 years old, Johnson is the oldest player on Vancouver’s active roster. One has to wonder whether a position change is in his future.
*Correction, June 27, 2012: Steven Ewing’s first name was incorrect in the original version of this story.