If you made it out to the Arizona Rookie League this evening, you would have seen a good number of familar faces. For our starting nine in the AZL included three people to have played for the D-backs this year: CF A.J. Pollock, DH Cliff Pennington (that's a first!) and starter Zeke Spruill. Not quite sure what Spruill's issue was, but Pollock is recovering from his broken hand, and Pennington also had hand issues, a sprained ligament. I'd quite forgotten he was still on the roster, to be honest. Good to see them all back in action, and hopefully, we'll not be seeing them in this section of the SnakePit for long.
3 Stars: Rudy Flores, Visalia 3 for 4, 3 R, 2 HR (21), 3 RBI
2 Stars: Blayne Weller, Visalia 8 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 16 K
1 Star: Chuck Taylor, South Bend 4 for 4, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 DBL, 1 RBI
0 Stars: Jose Queliz, Visalia 0 for 3, two GIDP
Triple-A Reno 2 @ Fresno 7. Mike Bolsinger got the start fot the Aces and took the loss, allowing five runs over six innings, on eight hits and two walks, with five strikeouts. C Bobby Wilson had three hits for Reno, with CF Mike Freeman getting a pair and driving in a run, while 1B Steve McQuail blasted his first home-run in Triple-A and 10th on the season - he has now hit homers at three different levels this year. It was an ugly game in the peripherals for Reno, as they committed four errors, hit into two double-plays and had a K:BB ratio of 8:0, as their three-game winning streak came to an end.
Double-A Mobile 4 @ Mississippi 7. Of course, it's never possible to be sure from a box-score, but this sure looks like Aaron Blair had a rough night. He worked 4.2 innings, allowed seven hits including a pair of two-run homers, with three walks and six strikeouts. He also made an error. It's the first time he has allowed more than five ER since with South Bend. The BayBears chipped away in the second half, with SS Taylor Harbin getting his first HR as a new D-back, LF Zach Borenstein tripling and singling, and RF Tom Belza doubling and walking. Kyle Winkler worked a pair of hitless innings in relief.
High-A Visalia 6, Modesto 5. Not sure when the last time was that any Diamondback prospect struck out SIXTEEN batters in a game, but that's what Blayne Weller did tonight. He gave up two runs on six hits, with one walk: considering his K:BB ratio previously for the Rawhide was 9:8, it was even more impressive. Weller also had a no-hitter for South Bend earlier this month - he clearly likes it when I recap. :) 1B Rudy Flores hit his 20th and 21st home-runs, driving in and scoring three, while 3B Brandon Drury and RF Socrates Brito each had two hits, Brito also stealing a base. Modesto scored three in the ninth, before Enrique Burgos closed out his 23rd save.
A-ball South Bend 8, Bowling Green 7. A stunning comeback from the Silver Hawks who went into the bottom of the ninth four runs down. Three walks loaded the bases with one out, and allowed 3B Joe Munoz to tie things up with a grand-slam. One out later, 1B Marty Herum's double scored DH Jamie Westbrook for the walkoff. LF Chuck Taylor reached base five times, Herum had three hits and CF Daniel Bowman his second homer. It was an ugly start for Markus Solbach, who allowed six runs in four innings, on nine hits and two walks, but Alex Byo steadied the ship with three hitless innings of relief. Silvino Bracho improved to 3-0 for his perfect ninth.
A short Hillsboro 5 @ Spokane 3. The Hops got on the board early, their four-run first highlighted by the fifth homer for LF Grant Heyman, a two-run shot. The Indians came back with two in the bottom half, but runs were tough to come by for both sides thereafter. Austin Platt got the W for 5.2 innings of three-run ball, scattering seven hits and three walks with a pair of strikeouts. Jared Miller worked two scoreless in relief, and Zac Curtis notched his 12th save. In 18 innings, he has allowed two earned runs, with 27 strikeouts. Heyman singled in addition to his long ball, while C Stryker Trahan walked, singled and - most importantly - didn't K. Baby steps...
Rookie Missoula 7, Great Falls 6. It was a game of threes early on, with the Osprey scoring a trio in the second and fourth, around a three-run inning for the Voyagers in the third. RF Stewart Ijames had a three-run homer, his third, and also singled + walked. CF Maik Ehmcke had three singles, while DH Trevor Mitsui doubled, walked twice and scored a pair of runs. Carlos Hernandez got the W despite allowing five runs, though three were unearned. He went six innings, with six hits, three walks and five strikeouts. Jency Solis pitched two scoreless and Brody Greer got his seventh save, allowing a run in the ninth but stranding the tying run on third.
AZL D-backs 1, Athletics 3. Sprull struggled a bit, working two innings and being charged with three runs on four hits and a walk with a pair of strikeouts; relievers Cody Reed and Anfernee Benitez each worked three scoreless, striking out two and three respectively. However, the offense couldn't get it done, being held to two hits and one walk. However, SS Isan Diaz did knock the ball out of the park in the second inning, his third hit of the season. CF A.J. Pollock was 0-for-1, and was hit by a pitch in the fifth, then picked off second base. DH Cliff Pennington went 0 for 4 with a pair of strikeouts.