Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
The Vancouver Canadians and Boise Hawks have had their share of memorable battles after duking it out in the last two Northwest League championship finals. The middle game of this five-game series added another chapter to the rivalry.

This game featured the debut of Richard Urena, called up from Bluefield. The 18 year-old Dominican throws out Victoria native Jesse Hodges but a run scored on the play to make it 2-0 Boise. Urena was inserted into the lineup at shortstop and handled a couple of tough hops flawlessly. He would go 0-for-5 with a walk but he made the Hawks pitchers work for it by working deep counts in each plate appearance. You may have noted Urena wears #6, the same number 2014 first round pick Max Pentecost wore earlier this year in Vancouver.

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On Sunday Jays affiliates went 3-2, with wins coming from Bluefield, Lansing, and Buffalo.  Brett Wallace had a monster game for the Herd, with 3 HR, and with the a walk-off grand slam in the 12th for the Bisons.  With the win the Bisons now are tied for a wild-card spot with Pawtucket.
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Lane Thomas was 19 today and he got to play in a doubleheader. Thomas had five hits between the two games, two doubles and a walk. Thomas is the top performer so far for the Jays 2014 draft class. Bluefield split the doubleheader. Buffalo exploded for 19 hits, Ryan Goins led with 4. Of note Dalton Pompey had three hits and Kevin Pillar had two including a three run home run. Vancouver won with good performances from Roemen Fields, Franklin Barreto and Chase Mallard.

New Hampshire were one hit, Dunedin and the GCL Jays were three hit and Lansing were seven hit. All four lost. Sean Reid-Foley pitched well for the GCL Jays.

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Friday brought three wins and four losses. George Kottaras hit the go-ahead home run for Buffalo among his three hits. Dalton Pompey picked up a couple of hits. Lansing's David Harris drove in the first four runs of Lansing's eight. The Lugnuts also won. The final winners were Bluefield who rode a seven run first innings to victory.

New Hampshire lost a close one. Dunedin wasted a good Matt Boyd start with a bullpen blow up. Zak Wasilewski got hit early and often and Vancouver lost. The GCL Jays lost another one.

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Daniel Norris continued his sensational season and Roberto Osuna had his most impressive start off TJ. Several prospects made their debuts tonight at new levels as the affiliates went 4-3.
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The Jays need a run of six or seven in a row or nine of ten to get back into it. Will it start tonight?

Friday: Drew Smyly vs. Marcus Stroman

Saturday: Jeremy Hellickson vs. Mark Buehrle

Sunday: Chris Archer vs. Drew Hutchison

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Here's a quick look back at a few games the Vancouver Canadians played this week as they continue their drive for the Northwest League post-season.

Matthew Smoral works in relief Wednesday night in Vancouver. He pitched four innings of shutout ball with just one hit and two walks while striking out five. Smoral's first pitch registered at 92 miles per hour.
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On Wednesday the affiliates were 2-5, with wins coming from the DSL Blue Jays, and a walk-off win for Buffalo.  Performances of the day came from Miguel Castro in Lansing, Marcus Knecht for Dunedin, and PJ Walters in Hew Hampshire.
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The affiliates won just three of eight games Tuesday night. The lowlights were two double-digit losses. The highlights were a shutout win and two victories of the one-run variety.
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The Jays are 4-11 since doing nothing at the Trade Deadline.
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The affiliates won three and lost three on Monday. Buffalo and New Hampshire were able to put up their feet and relax.
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On Sunday the affiliates were 2-4, with 5 of the 6 games being determined by a run differential.  There was lots of strong pitching in the minors on Sunday, except for another disappointing start from Zak Wasilewski in Vancouver.
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There are 26 weeks in the baseball season, and 20 of them have been played. Which means - natch - that there are six weeks remaining.

Five AL teams are going to the post-season, and it's pretty clear that Baltimore, Oakland, and Los Angeles are taking three of those spots. The Orioles will win the AL East; either the A's or the Angels will win the AL West, with the second place team settling for a Wild Card.
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Scott Copeland went seven shutout innings, Kevin Pillar had three hits and George Kottaras hit a three run home run to lead Buffalo. New Hampshire also won with a Charlie Wholestaff approach. Vancouver won, Barreto hit, enough said? Rowdy Tellez hit a big home run for Bluefield. The GCL Jays also won. Lansing and Dunedin had bad nights.
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Daniel Norris recorded 17 outs and 13 of them were strikeouts. He dominated the Iron Pigs while the Bisons bats scored seven. New Hampshire scored seven too but they lost as Casey Lawrence had his second straight tough start against Akron. Ben White and Miguel Castro led Dunedin and Lansing to wins. Matt Smoral and Ryan Borucki combined on a three hit shutout for Vancouver. Bluefield also won while the GCL Jays were rained out.
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