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Diamondbacks Minor League Recap 7/7/16: Taylor Clarke dominates Pensacola

Taylor Clarke turned in his best outing since being drafted by the Diamondbacks. Clarke went the front 8 innings, allowing just 1 run in a Baybears 4-3 win. He also contributed at the plate, going 1 for 3 with an RBI single in the 2nd inning. When a pitcher drives in as many runs as he allows, that's a good recipe for success.

Snake Stars
3 Stars:
RHP Taylor Clarke (Mobile) 8 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 10 K, W (3-4); 1 for 3, RBI
2 Stars: C Tyler Baker (Visalia) 3 for 3, BB, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, 1/5 throwing out base-stealers
1 Star: RHP Hector Hernandez (Kane County)  5 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K
0 Stars: RHP Myles Smith (Reno) 1 1/3 IP, 7 H, 7 R (7 ER), 3 BB, 2 K

Reno 0, Fresno 14: This game was as ugly as the final score suggests. The Aces struggled to pitch or hit in this game as they allowed 14 runs and were only to pick up 2 hits for the game. John Omahen and Myles Smith took a beating, allowing 6 and 7 runs respectively in the game. On to the next recap ->

Mobile 4, Pensacola 3: The story of the game was the dominance of Taylor Clarke on the mound. Clarke went 8 innings, allowed 1 run on 2 hits, walked none, and struck out 10. His contributions were not just on the mound, as he also went 1 for 3 at the plate with an RBI single. The offense was supplied by Rudy Flores, who went 3 for 4 with a solo HR and Chuck Taylor, who had a 2-run double in the 2nd, later scoring on Clarke's hit. Joey Krehbiel made the game unnecessarily interesting in the 9th inning, allowing a 2-run homer to make it a 1-run game and putting the tying run on base but Matt Stites quickly ended the threat.

Visalia 6, Lancaster 9: Brad Keller learned a tough lesson on how hostile an environment Lancaster, CA is for pitchers, especially when they give up free passes. Keller gave up 8 runs on 8 hits and 4 walks while striking out 4 in 5+ innings. Offensively, the Rawhide were up to the challenge, as they were able to plate 6 runs and went 5 for 11 with RISP. However, the pitching could not keep the game close, as Nick Baker allowed the Jet Hawks to score two huge insurance runs (charged to Keller) in the 6th inning to blow the game open and make it virtually impossible for a comeback. Tyler Baker went 3 for 3 with a pair of doubles and a walk, although he was having a tough time throwing out base-stealers, with 4/5 attempts being successful.

Kane County 2, Peoria 3 (12): The Cougars grabbed a 2-0 lead thanks to solo homers by Colin Bray and Austin Byler, but that was all the offense they were going to get all game. Early on, it looked like that would be enough as Hector Hernandez allowed only 1 hit and 2 walks over 5 1/3 scoreless innings. However, the bullpen was unable to deliver the lead to the finish line. Cody Clark allowed a solo HR to make it a 1-run game, although they were able to catch a runner attempting to steal home to prevent the tying run from scoring there. After a scoreless 1 1/3 innings from Kirby Bellow, the Cougars had the lead going into the 9th inning. However, Julio Perez was unable to hold the lead, which sent the game into extras. The Cougars did have a chance to take the lead in the 10th, as they were able to load the bases but couldn't capitalize. The Chiefs wound up walking things off in the 12th off of Mason McCullough.

Hillsboro 3, Tri-City 8: This game was winnable at the early stages, as the Hops grabbed a 3-1 lead going into the 6th inning. Starter Anfernee Benitez wasn't sharp on the mound, but did only allow 1 run in 4 2/3 innings. Things got hectic in the 6th as Tucker Ward and Jordan Watson allowed 5 runs to score in that frame, putting the Hops in a 6-3 deficit they would not recover from. The Hops struggled to hit and field the ball, as they made 6 errors and only picked up 6 hits in the game that included a 1 for 6 mark with RISP.

Missoula 2, Helena 5: The Osprey were stymied early on against Thomas Jankins, who went 4 scoreless innings. However, the team responded against Karsen Lindell in the 6th inning, scoring a pair of runs thanks to some inaccurate throwing by both the catcher and the pitcher to take Pierce Romero off the hook. Romero allowed 2 runs in 5 innings, which is pretty good for the Pioneer League. However, the tie game would not last, because Williams Durruthy allowed 3 runs in the 7th to lose the game. No batter picked up more than 1 hit although Max Brown did pick up a walk and a pair of steals in the game, the 2nd one causing an errant throw to 3rd that led to their first run of the game.

AZL Dbacks 7, AZL Rangers 5: This game started as a see-saw affair, with leads being swapped until the Dbacks took a 5-4 lead in the 5th. That was enough to make a winner out of Jhoan Duran, who allowed 4 runs in 5 innings. The Dbacks were able to build on that lead and held it from that point on. Paxton De La Garza buoyed the offense with 3 hits, two for doubles, and 4 RBI.