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Vancouver moves on and will once again vie for the Northwest League Championship.
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The Vancouver Canadians won a nail-biter in Game 1 of the Northwest League North Division final at Nat Bailey Stadium Wednesday night. Pitching, defence and a bit of timely hitting helped the C's grab a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.

Ryan Borucki warms up in the pen with pitching coach Jeff Ware looking on. The Illinois native stranded two singles by striking out the side in order to end the first inning and survived a leadoff triple. The 15th round pick of 2012 stranded all six runners over seven shutout innings by giving up just five hits. He plunked a batter but struck out four. He also got some help from left fielder Jonathan Davis with three of the best catches I've seen a left fielder make live since the days of Reed Johnson.
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After a very strong season in Lansing and Dunedin, Taylor Cole had one of his most disappointing starts of the year, giving up 6 runs.  Dunedin was unable to come back from the early deficit, and lost the game, which gave Daytona a 2-0 series win.

Vancouver won a pitching duel in game 1 of their series versus Spokane, as Ryan Borucki and the bullpen were brilliant.

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With playoff spots already wrapped up, the Vancouver Canadians and the Spokane Indians made one last curtain call for the regular season. This gave the C's a chance to give some playing time to their back-ups and put their singing talents to good use.

In a tradition that has taken place over the last few seasons, the Canadians players, coaches and other on-field personnel sing O Canada for the last regular season game at Nat Bailey Stadium. Among the players in the choir include #6 Richard Urena, #9 Justin Shafer, #16 Phil Kish and #47 Jairo Labourt. The tallest of the group is 6-foot-8 Matthew Smoral.
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Two playoff games were scheduled for the affiliates but just one was played and it didn't turn out all!
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Six days on the road, beginning tonight.
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The Vancouver Canadians clinched the second-half North Division title with a comeback victory over the first-half champion Spokane Chiefs at Nat Bailey Stadium Sunday afternoon.

Matthew Smoral was given the start for the C's and he gutted his way through five innings, surrendering just two first-inning runs. The Ohio lefty had trouble finding the plate with his array of 77-94 MPH pitches by walking five batters. He received a visit from pitching coach Jeff Ware who presumably told Smoral to re-establish his fastball after going offspeed for a number of pitches. Smoral was able to induce two double plays and pick off a runner at first base to minimize the damage. His best inning was his last as he struck out two of the three batters he faced, including a swinging strikeout on an 82 MPH offering. He allowed three hits and struck out five.
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The final day of the minor league regular season saw the affiliates come away with a 2-2 record. Buffalo and Vancouver put one in the win column. New Hampshire played for far too long and Lansing not enough.
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Today's the day the 25 man limit on the active roster is no longer operative. The Blue Jays, apparently, are definitely calling up LH pitcher Daniel Norris and some reports say RH pitcher Kendall Graveman is also headed to the Show.

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On Sunday the affiliates were 2-3, with the wins coming from the affiliates heading to the playoffs in Vancouver, and Dunedin.  With the Canadians win, they qualified for the playoffs which start on Tuesday versus Spokane. Buffalo unfortunately was eliminated from the wild-card race, with a loss.
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The hitters were taking Labour Day seriously, taking a break from work. Dunedin had 2 and 3 hits in two games, Buffalo, New Hampshire and Lansing each had four hits. That's a total of 17 hits in five games. Even with so few hits Buffalo were able to win, the others all lost. Brandon Morrow pitched for Buffalo.

Vancouver had a big come from behind win to lower their magic number to one.

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The Vancouver Canadians and Spokane Indians - an affiliate of the Texas Rangers - opened a three-game series at Nat Bailey Stadium. There was a playoff atmosphere to this one as the C's attempted to take another step to reaching the post-season for the fifth consecutive year.

A concerning moment for starter Jairo Labourt, who appeared to have some sort of hand, finger or blister problem in the first inning. Catcher Michael De La Cruz holds Labourt's wrist. Third baseman Alexis Maldonado heads to the mound.
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It's playoff hunting season in the minor leagues. Dunedin are in the playoffs and three other teams are chasing a spot. There was mixed news for the affiliates on Friday. Vancouver won to put them a game ahead for the last playoff spot. Lansing won but five teams are within a game of that spot, they likely need to run the table. Buffalo lost are on life support.

Sean Nolin was decent for Buffalo but the hitters were held to two runs. Gustavo Pierre had a big, ninth inning, two run home run for the Fisher Cats. Lansing scored eight more runs as they are red hot right now. Brad Allen pitched well. Vancouver had a big win and Bluefield won their last game of the season.

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The Derek Jeter farewell tour makes its last stop in Toronto. It is as yet unclear if Ken Huckaby has been invited.
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Anthony Gose was fantastic, Lansing moved a step closer to the playoffs, and the GCL squad wrapped up a disappointing season.
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