Much like the Diamondbacks home record, the Diamondbacks minor league affiliates scuffled last night. Each team found their own unique way to lose in the game. Defense was subpar in most of these games and the pitching could not get around those errors in most of those games. Only the Baybears didn't give up an unearned run, although a bullpen meltdown in the 7th inning was their way of losing the game. The Missoula Osprey were the only team that won last night, although that was in a typical Pioneer League slugfest.
3 Stars: RHP Matt Koch (Mobile) 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K
2 Stars: Emilio Vargas (Kane County) 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 4 K
1 Star: 2B/SS Yan Sanchez (Missoula) 3 for 3, 3-R HR (1), 6 RBI
0 Stars: LHP Gabe Speier (Visalia) 2/3 IP, 3 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, BS (1)
Reno 9, El Paso 2: The Aces fell behind 3-0 in the 3rd when Austin Hedges homered off of Anthony Banda. Hopefully the Padres aren't smart enough to call him up against our HR Derby pitching staff. In the 5th, two errors led to 5 unearned runs scoring in the 4th as a dropped fly ball by Mitch Haniger prolonged the inning and Banda fell apart from there. Banda did post a decent 4 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio so there is something positive in his outing. Offensively there wasn't much to dig out of a 9-0 hole, especially when the game is on the road. You hope that Banda can adjust to pitching in AAA and especially in Reno considering the Diamondbacks play at the 2nd highest elevation for their home games and play 9-10 games a year at 5200 feet at Coors. Haniger picked up another hit at the plate and Gabby Guerrero had 2 hits, including an RBI triple.
Mobile 2, Montgomery 4: The Baybears got off to a nice start at the plate when Travis Denker hit a solo HR that gave the Baybears a 1-0 lead. Ijames would later add in another run on a single that pushed the lead up to 2-0 in the 4th. That was enough for Matt Koch, who picked well despite only recording 1 strikeout in 6+ innings. Koch started the 7th, but allowed the first two to reach before trouble happened. The Baybears pulled Koch in favor of Luis Ramirez, who came in and proceeded to pitch the game away. Ramirez allowed both inherited runners to score and one of his own as he could not find the strike zone. Ramirez would allow another run to score in the 8th when Austin Wright could not pitch out of a 2-on and no out jam, although he was able to pitch through the rest of the 8th inning with 3 strikeouts.
Visalia 5, San Jose 10: The Rawhide took a 5-1 lead in this game and Cody Reed had a serviceable outing, allowing 4 runs (2 earned) in 5 innings. Reed struck out 2 and walked 1. The Rawhide took a 5-4 lead into the 7th when things got out of hand. After a scoreless 6th inning, Nick Baker ran into trouble in the 7th and left with 2 on and 1 out. Gabe Speier was called upon to preserve the lead, but was unable to, allowing all 6 runs to come across in the inning with 2 of them charged to Baker. At that point, damage done and the Rawhide didn't threaten at that point.
Kane County 3, Quad Cities 5: The Cougars grabbed a 2-0 lead in the 4th with RBI singles by Grant Heyman and Austin Byler and it held up for Emilio Vargas. Vargas would only allow an unearned run in 7 innings, allowing 4 hits, walking 2, and striking out 4. The Cougars were in position to win this close game, taking a 3-1 lead in the 9th when things went awry. Closer Drew Muren struggled mightily in the inning, allowing 4 runs (3 earned) on 4 hits, although he did strike out 2 hitters. The 4-run 9th was enough to propel the Bandits past the Cougars in that game. No player had a multi-hit game, although the top 7 hitters in the lineup recorded one hit each.
Hillsboro 2, Boise 10: The game started off nicely as a walk to Marcus Wilson (whose hit tool is still not close to developed but has a knack for reaching base with a .345 clip vs. a .182 BA) followed by a stolen base and a single gave the Hops a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately starter Colin Poche would give that back with interest as he allowed his 3 runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Defense was an Achilles heel as the Hops allowed 5 unearned runs off of 4 errors and a passed ball in the game. The lack of offense and defense really did them in, although they Sergio Alcantara managed to steal home in the 7th inning for some excitement in a lackluster game.
Missoula 14, Helena 11: The Osprey scored 6 runs in the bottom of the 2nd to take a 6-0 lead and never trailed at any point in the game although the pitching was terrible. Pierce Romero struck out 5, but also allowed 5 runs on 10 hits over 4 innings. Williams Durruthy came in afterwards and managed to only allow an unearned run in the next 4 innings, which makes him a contender for pitcher of the week in the Pioneer League. While Durruthy was able to settle the game down, the Osprey built up a big lead. The bottom of the order was the biggest spot on the offense with the #8 hitter driving in 4 and the #9 hitter driving in 6 runs. Eudy Ramos and Yan Sanchez both homered in the game, Sanchez wound up driving in 6 runs while Jacy Cave had 2 XBH and 4 RBI.
AZL Dbacks 0, AZL Royals 9: Not much analysis is needed to figure out this game. The Dbacks picked up only 2 hits and 5 baserunners for the game while committing 3 errors that led to 4 unearned runs. Starter Melvin Ovalles allowed 7 runs in 3 innings, only 3 earned with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts. Franklyn Soriano allowed 2 runs in 5 innings to give the team some length, but with the offensive performance of that game it didn't matter.