EVERETT – The Everett AquaSox came within one strike of giving the 3,039 fans at Fan Appreciation Day the victory they wanted.
But Vancouver Canadians’ third baseman Justin Frash hit a two-out, 3-2 pitch into left-center field for a double to drive in two runs and give the Canadians a 4-3 lead in the top of the ninth in the Northwest League game.
“(I was trying) to keep my hands inside the ball, make contact and make the defense play defense,” Frash said. “It was luck of the draw. The ball fell so we came out with a win.”
Vancouver’s Walter Correa followed Frash’s double with a two-run home run over the left-field wall to give the Canadians some breathing room at 6-3, which is how the contest ended.
In losing Sunday, Everett wasted a two-hit, five-inning performance from Keith Meyer who was making his first start of the season and a three-hit, three-RBI day from Jeff Dunbar.
The AquaSox took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Dunbar doubled home Jim Davenport. Everett tacked on two more in the sixth when Dunbar doubled home Manelik Pimentel and Davenport.
However, base running mistakes proved to be the AquaSox’s undoing.
The AquaSox had three baserunners picked off as they ran themselves out of several innings. In particular, left fielder Daniel Carroll had a forgettable day on the base paths.
Carroll was picked off first base after singling to open the bottom of the third inning and picked off second base two innings later after hitting a one-out single and stealing second base.
“We made some mistakes out there and it ended up costing us a ballgame,” AquaSox manager Mike Tosar said. “Some defensive mistakes and some base running mistakes today (cost us).”
Vancouver cut Everett’s lead to 3-2 in the top of the eighth on RBI doubles by Frash and Michael Richard.
Everett was looking for an insurance run in the bottom of the inning when the Canadians picked off a third AquaSox baserunner.
Everett had two on and none out with pinch-runner Tyson Gillies on second and Kalian Sams on first and Davenport at the plate. As Davenport squared to bunt, Gillies broke for third base. The problem was Canadians pitcher Leonardo Martinez still had the ball. Martinez turned and picked off Gillies. Davenport and the next batter, Welington Dotel, both struck out to end the inning and quash another potential AquaSox rally.
“They just got here (from Arizona),” Tosar said of Gillies and Carroll. “They’re young kids with a lot of speed and they have to learn how to use their speed they’re in a different league now.”
The base-running miscues might have proved irrelevant, but a one-out error by Frogs shortstop Ogui Diaz allowed Vancouver’s Grant Desme to reach base in the ninth. Dusty Napoleon followed with a single before Julio Rivera struck out. Then came Frash’s bloop double to give Vancouver the lead.
Everett’s Bryan Harris blew the save and was charged with the loss, though all four ninth-inning runs were unearned thanks to Diaz’s error. Harris’ record dropped to 1-1.
Martinez secured the win to improve to 5-4 and Chad Kerfoot pitched the ninth for his second save.
The AquaSox and Canadians travel to Vancouver today, where they begin a three-game series to wrap up the season.