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Diamondbacks Minor League Recap 4/16/19: Home Run Derby Edition

Lots of long balls in last night’s set of games, as 8 players crushed out 9 homers.

MLB: Texas Rangers-Media Day
Snider smacked out two home runs off Jeff Hoffman to win the Dbacks’ organization impromptu HR derby night.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Diamondbacks minor league affiliates combined to go 4-1. Visalia swept a pair of 7-inning games and four teams combined to launch 9 home runs in 5 games.

Here are the stars of last night’s games:

HR Derby Winner: Reno RF Travis Snider 2 for 4, 2 HR (1, 2), RBI, 2 BB

HR Derby Participants:

Reno 1B Kevin Cron 3 for 5, 2B, HR (4), 2 RBI, 2 R
Reno SS Domingo Leyba 2 for 5, HR (1), 3 RBI, 2 R
Jackson 1B Pavin Smith 2 for 5, HR (2), 3 RBI, 2 R
Jackson LF Jamie Westbrook 3 for 5, HR (3), 2 RBI, 2 R
Jackson C Daulton Varsho 2 for 5, 2B, HR (2), 2 RBI, 2 R
Visalia 3B Camden Duzenack 1 for 3, 2-R HR (2)
Kane County CF Alek Thomas 2 for 3, 2B, HR (1), BB, RBI, 2 R

There was also some quality pitching performances in some of these offensive explosions, so let’s give them some recognition too.

3 Star Pitcher: Jackson RHP Bo Takahashi 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, W (2-0)
2 Star Pitcher: Reno RHP Justin Donatella 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 5 K, W (1-0)
1 Star Pitcher: Visalia LHP Lane Ratliff 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, W (1-0)
0 Star Pitcher: Visalia RHP Erbert Gonzalez 13 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 0 K

(AAA) Reno Aces 10, Albuquerque Isotopes 1: 1-5 hitters Juniel Querecuto, Domingo Leyba, Kevin Cron, Yasmany Tomas, and Travis Snider (in that order) combined to ruin Jeff Hoffman’s day and accounted for all 10 of the Aces’ (4-8) runs in the game. Those five players were the first five to bat in the first inning and it went like this: single, 2-run homer, double, RBI single, 2-run homer. 5 batters, 5 hits, 5 runs, game over. The Aces hitters weren’t content with just one big inning off Hoffman, as they would do the same in the 4th. This time they spotted Hoffman two outs to start the inning then the same five guys that got him in the first inning did it to him again: double, RBI single, 2-run homer, walk, 2-run homer. While the offense was taking BP off Hoffman, Justin Dontella pitched a fantastic ballgame with 6 innings of 1 run ball with a 5/1 K/BB.

(AA) Jackson Generals 9, Tennessee Smokies 0: Apparently the Generals (5-6) decided to use the same gameplan as the Aces as Pavin Smith, Jamie Westbrook, and Daulton Varsho combined to ruin Thomas Match’s day. The trio went 8 for 15 with all 3 of Jackson’s homers and 7 RBI. They did most of the damage in the first two innings, where Jackson scored 8 of their 9 runs. Westbrook had an RBI single, Varsho RBI double, Ramon Hernandez RBI single, and a bases loaded double play accounted for the first 4 runs. After the first, the HR barrage came in. Smith started it with a 3-run homer followed up by a back-to-back shot from Westbrook to account for the scoring in the 2nd. Varsho would then add a solo shot in the 5th for the game’s final run. In the meantime, Bo Takahashi spun a quality start with 5 shutout innings with a walk and 3 Ks. Bud Jeter pitched 3 scoreless behind him followed up by a perfect 9th inning by Kevin Ginkel.

(A+) Visalia Rawhide 5, Modesto Nuts 4: This one was more of a nail-biter than the first game, as it took a late rally to come from behind. Camden Duzenack opened up the scoring with a 2-run homer in the 3rd. Matt Mercer took the start and was effectively wild with 2 23 innings of 1-run ball with a K/BB of 5/3. Erbert Gonzalez came in to get the final out in the 3rd then proceeded to struggle in the 4th. Gonzalez gave up 3 walks and 2 hits, surrendering 3 runs before getting mercifully pulled for Luis Castillo, who came out of the inning with no further damage. The Rawhide pulled ahead a 3-run 6th inning as Luis Alejandro Basabe hit a bases-clearing triple with 2 outs to turn a 4-2 deficit into a 5-4 lead. Matt Brill got the final 4 outs of the game for his 2nd save, striking out 3.

(A+) Visalia Rawhide 6, Modesto Nuts 1: This game was a makeup of Monday’s rainout, but the Rawhide (9-4) led from start to end. Jose Caballero went a perfect 3 for 3 with 2 singles and a double from the leadoff spot. Visalia scored single runs in the 1st, 3rd, and 4th innings before blowing it open with another 3-run 6th inning. Lane Ratliff pitched 5 innings of 1-run ball and picked up the win.

(A) Kane County Cougars 3, Salt Lake Bees 6: Alek Thomas had a solid day at the plate, hitting his first homer of the season while also adding a double and a walk in 4 PA. However, defense in this game was poor with Kane County (7-6) defenders committing 3 errors and catcher Jose Herrera having a passed ball in the game. Only 3 of the 6 runs allowed by Cougar pitching were earned as a result. Ryan Weiss pitched 5 innings, allowing 3 runs (1 earned) on 6 hits and a K/BB of 2/1. Ryan Miller went next and took the loss, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 5 hits and surrendered a home run in his final inning.