Three Diamondbacks affiliates were in playoff action last night and all three won behind the power pitching of three of its top pitching prospects. Archie Bradley led Mobile to a 3-2 win with 7 strong innings. Andrew Barbosa led Visalia to a 3-2 win in 12 innings with 7 strikeouts in 5+ innings. And Braden Shipley was dominant for 7 innings to propel South Bend to a 5-1 victory. Both Visalia and South Bend closed out their first round playoff series with 2-0 sweeps of their respective opponents and head into the next round of playoffs. Mobile leads their best-of-five series 1-0.
3 Stars: Braden Shipley, South Bend 7 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 R, 0 ER
2 Stars: Archie Bradley, Mobile 7 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 2 ER
1 Star: Andrew Barbosa, Visalia 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 ER
0 Stars: Sean Jamieson, Visalia 0 for 5, 3 K
Double A: Mobile 3 Mississippi 2. Archie Bradley got the BayBears off on the right foot in their opening round divisional playoff series against Atlanta's AA affiliate Mississippi with 7 strong innings in a tight 3-2 win to take a 1-0 series lead. The offense came from behind twice with single run tallies in the 4th and 6th innings, and took the lead for good with another run in the 7th on an RBI single by Ender Inciarte. Willy Paredes pitched a clean 8th to set up the 9th for Jake Barrett who put the Braves down in order for the save. Nick Evans drove in 2 runs with a single in the 4th and a groundout in the 6th. Ryan Court went 2 for 4. David Holmberg takes the mound tonight in Game 2 at Hank Aaron Stadium.
High A Visalia 3 @ Modesto 2. The Rawhide had to go extra innings to close out their playoff series over Modesto two games to none. Visalia led 2-1 heading into the 9th but RJ Hively couldn't close it out when he surrendered a 1-out solo home run that tied the game at 2-2. But Conrad Flynn held it together with 3 shutout innings of relief to allow Tom Belza to deliver a 2-out RBI double in the 12th, his second game-winning RBI in as many games. Andrew Barbosa was terrific as the starter pitching into the 6th inning with just one allowed on 4 hits and a walk while striking out 7. Seth Simmons, Patrick Schuster and Kaleb Fleck followed with 2.2 innings of shutout relief with 6 strikeouts before the late Modesto heroics extended the game. The game shouldn't have been that close as the offense pounded out 14 hits, but they went 2 for 17 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base while striking out a whopping 17 times. Kevin Medrano went 4 for 5 with a stolen base, Tom Belza went 2 for 6 with a double and the game-winner, Evan Marzilli went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk, and Ryan Stovall went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI.
Low A: South Bend 5 Great Lakes 1. Braden Shipley saved perhaps his best professional start to date for the biggest moment with 7 strong innings allowing just one unearned run on 2 hits and 3 walks while striking out 4. The unearned run was his own fault when he committed errors on back-to-back bunt plays that loaded the bases with no outs in the 3rd. But he recovered nicely inducing an RBI groundout followed by a double-play grounder that limited the damage to the one run. He allowed only one more baserunner the rest of the way. Three relievers closed the game out to make the Silver Hawks a series winner and advance to the next round of the playoffs. Socrates Brito hit a 2-run homer in the 5th inning for the biggest blow of the game. Michael Perez delivered 2 RBI on groundouts. Andrew Velazquez went 2 for 4 and scored twice, and Brandon Drury went 2 for 4.
Rookie: Missoula 6 @ Billings 4. In the only non-playoff action the Osprey rallied with 6 runs in the 4th inning to make a winner of Felipe Perez who relieved starter Brad Keller. Keller allowed 3 runs in the first 2 innings in his second outing outside of the AZ Rookie League. Perez followed and pitched 4 strong innings allowing 1 run on 3 hits with 6 strikeouts. In the 4th the offense strung together 3 singles and 3 walks followed by a Justin Bianco double that did the most damage. Bianco went 2 for 4 and has 9 hits in his last 12 at bats. I don't really know where that's coming from considering the season he's had. But baseball can be a strange bedfellow.