Hasuan Viera went 3 for 4 with a key two-run double and the Indians (3-7) beat the visiting Canadians (3-7).
Seth Nordlin (1-0) struck out eight over 5.2 innings and allowed three runs on six hits and one walk. David Lebron and Emmanuel Clase provided 3.1 shutout innings of relief.
The big play: Hasuan’s two-run double in the second inning, after Francisco Ventura struck out for the second out of the inning, ended up the difference-maker.
“That’s what we’ve been kind of missing. That big hit,” Holmberg said. “(Vancouver) got it the first night, that base-clearing double. We got it today with the double down the left-field line.”
The Good: Nordlin. Sure, he gave up a few runs. But those came in the single-serving variety instead of the multi-pack. Eight strikeouts have a way of killing rallies.
The Bad: No. 3 hitter Miguel Aparicio with a rare off day: 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.
The Ugly: J.P. Martinez started day the 4 for 29 and didn’t help himself, going 0 for 3 (.125/.317/.250) with another two Ks. That’s 10 strikeouts in 33 PAs this season, making for a slow short-A start for Texas Rangers’ No. 3 prospect. To his credit, he’s walked nine times and has three extra-base hits.
“It’s been a while since he’s played in front fans and seen competition,” manager Kenny Holmberg said. “I tip my cap to him the way he’s battled.”
Holmberg will give the speedy Martinez a day off on Monday.
“He just needs to catch his breath,” Holmberg said. “He’s a good hitter. His timing’s there. Maybe the pitch selection will improve. It will.
“No concern. You can tell he’s a ballplayer.”
Holmberg thinks that Martinez isn’t too far off with his swing.
“Numbers don’t lie. I’m not going to get caught up in stats,” the manager said. “I’m going to watch his approach. I’m going to watch his swings. Everything that I see is telling me that he’s going to get going at some point soon.”
The Takeaway: Nordlin really showed good command and awareness with his breaking ball. It’s a talent that some guys take a lifetime to master. If he can keep hitters from sitting on his fastball he should be all that more competitive.
Next Game: Indians vs. Vancouver on Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Avista Stadium.
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