Quebec Capitales’ pitchers held visiting New York hitless into the seventh inning, then staved off a late Boulders’ rally before pulling away for a hard-fought 8-4 win on Friday at Stade Canac in Quebec City.
Jake MacKenzie broke up the Capitales’ bid for a combined no-hitter when he led off the top of the seventh against John Witkowski, the third Quebec pitcher on the night, with a line drive single to center.
David Vinsky followed with a single. After Austin Dennis struck out, MacKenzie and Vinsky successfully pulled off a double steal to put runners on second and third for Francisco Del Valle, who bounced out to Witkowski allowing MacKenzie to score to put the Boulders on the scoreboard, trailing 5-1.
Giovanni Garbella walked to put runners on the corners and bring an end to Witkowski’s outing.
Witkowski, who had continued to keep New York hitless with perfect fifth and sixth innings, was relieved by Frank Moscatiello, who ended the threat by inducing a fly out to centerfield by Gian Martellini.
Quebec pitchers opened the game by retiring the first 11 Boulders. Ian Codina started and lasted two innings. Franklin Parra followed Codina to the mound and set down five straight before walking Dennis, who was subsequently thrown out stealing.
New York, however, made things interesting in the eighth inning. Chris Kwitzer led off the frame with a double. Moscatiello then sandwiched walks to Gabriel Garcia and MacKenzie with a strikeout of Max Smith that left the bases loaded.
Nick Horvath relieved Moscatiello and walked David Vinsky, forcing in Kwitzer with the Boulders’ second run. Dennis grounded a single to center to score Garcia and MacKenzie to make it a 5-4 game.
Horvath, though, escaped without any further damage by getting Del Valle to bounce into a fielder’s choice before striking out Garbella to end the inning.
The Capitales answered in the bottom of the eighth inning, however. Guibert drew a lead-off walk from New York reliever Luke Burton. Guibert then stole second. On a passed ball by Martellini, Guibert headed to third and then ended up scoring when the catcher’s throw sailed wildly past Dennis, the run giving Quebec a 6-4 lead. Later in the inning, Kyle Crowl knocked in a pair of runs with a single off Dylan Smith to increase the Capitales’ advantage to 8-4.
Quebec reached New York starter Alex Mack for three runs in the second inning – two coming on a triple by Yordan Manduley, the other on an infield single from Yoelkis Guibert.
The Capitales tacked on two more runs in the third to take a 5-0 lead. Tristan Pompey blasted a solo home run, his second of the year; then, later in the frame, Jonathan Lacroix drove in a run with a single.
Mack took the loss for New York, his first after opening the season with four victories.
Witkowski picked up the win for Quebec as he improved to 4-2 on the year, while Samuel Adames tossed a scoreless ninth inning to record his 11th save of the season.
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