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Diamondbacks Minor League Recap 4/22/17: #ReliefPitchersThatRake

For the Diamondbacks AA affiliate, left-handed reliever Gabe Speier pitched 3 1⁄3 scoreless innings and also hit a home run in a Generals win.

If you remember the ill-advised Shelby Miller trade, Miller wasn’t the only pitcher to go to the Diamondbacks. Part of the return included LHP Gabe Speier, whose pitched well as a reliever in the Dbacks system. Today he not only pitched 3 13 scoreless innings to save Alex Young’s bacon, he also contributed a home run in two ABs. #ReliefPitchersWhoRake

3 Stars: Jackson LHP Gabe Speier 3 13 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K; 1 for 2, solo HR (1)

2 Stars: Jackson RF Victor Reyes 4 for 5, 2 2B, 3 RBI

1 Star: Kane County RHP Ryan Atkinson 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, GS 66

0 Stars: Visalia RHP Trevor Simms 4 13 IP, 7 H, 7 R (7 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, GS 25, L (1-1)

Reno Aces 1, El Paso Chihuahuas 7: Whether it extends to AAA or not, the Dbacks affiliates are having issues beating the Padres affiliates this year. Braden Shipley pitched a decent game but got no run support whatsoever. Shipley allowed 3 runs (2 earned) in 5 IP, striking out 4 and walking 1. The offense for the Aces was a solo homer by Christian Walker, his 5th of the year. The bullpen removed any doubt whether it would be a close contest as Kaleb Fleck allowed 3 runs in 2 innings and Jimmie Sherfy surrendering his first run of the year.

Jackson Generals 8, Biloxi Shuckers 2: The offense exploded for a lot of early runs in support of Alex Young, who couldn’t quite go the 5 innings necessary to record a win. Young struggled with command with 3 walks in 4 23 innings, but allowed only 2 runs in the process. Gabe Speier came on with the bases loaded and 2 outs, stranding all three runners with a strikeout. While delivering 3 13 scoreless from the mound, Speier also whacked a 3-run homer in the 7th inning so get your #ReliefPitchersThatRake hashtags going. With a strong performance by Speier on the mound and plate, the game was over rather quickly. Victor Reyes went 4 for 5 with a pair of doubles and is hitting .327/.365/.473 on the season.

Visalia Rawhide 4, Modesto Nuts 12: Trevor Simms struggled in this game, allowing 7 runs while recording only 12 outs. The bad start put the Rawhide in an insurmountable hole to climb out of. Relief pitching didn’t help as they allowed all 4 inherited runners to score while allowing 5 runs themselves. Marty Herum did his best to help the cause with a 3-hit game that included 2 doubles and an RBI. Daniel Lockhart added a 2-run triple.

Kane County Cougars 4, Cedar Rapids Kernels 3: Marcus Wilson had an uncharacteristically bad day, going hitless and getting picked off 1st base after drawing a walk, pushing his on base streak to 16/16 games. One player who didn’t have an uncharacteristically bad day was starter Ryan Atkinson, who allowed only 2 runs in 6 innings and exited with a 3-2 lead. However that would not last as Austin Mason struggled in the 8th inning. Closer Tommy Eveld picked him up, getting out of the inning with no further damage to keep the game tied at 3. Anfernee Grier drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a Wilson sac bunt (never do that again) and scored on a passed ball. Apparently the Kernels pitcher didn’t like some strike calls, so he got ejected after allowing the go-ahead run. Eveld allowed a leadoff double but retired the next 3 hitters without that baserunner going anywhere.