The Diamondbacks Minor League affiliates combined for a 2-2 record. Reno and Amarillo picked up wins thanks to an overwhelming offense. Pitching prospects Josh Green, Luis Frias, Bryce Jarvis, and Justin Martinez threw last night.
Best Pitching Performance: Reno RHP Josh Green - 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, W (3-0)
Best Hitting Performance: Amarillo SS Mikey Reynolds - 3 for 5, 3B, HR (2), 5 RBI, 2 R
Alek Thomas: 2 for 5, 2 R, 1 K; .343/.434/.600, season wRC+ 184 in 83 PA
Christian Walker: 2 for 5, HR, 3 RBI, 2 K
The Aces wasted no time taking control of this game. Reno scored in the first five innings to take a commanding 11-2 lead. The early outburst of offense was backed up by Josh Green’s magnificent sinker grounding Tacoma’s offense for 6 innings of 2 run ball on 5 hits, 0 walks, and 3 strikeouts. Green’s season has one statistical oddity, as all six runs he’s allowed this year have come via solo homers.
Reno loaded the bases with 2 outs and a single, hit by pitch, and walk with 2 outs. The first two runs scored when the pitcher balked twice. Zack Weiss could probably use a Snickers before the next time he pitches. Drew Ellis would then deposit a double to score the 3rd runner, with the balks possibly depriving him of 2 RBI. With Tacoma’s pitcher mentally taken out of the game in the 1st, Tacoma went to the pen with very little relief as Reno demolished whoever came in.
Reno would cash in on a leadoff double when Matt Lipka doubled, advanced to 3rd on a fly ball to RF, then scored on a wild pitch. Ellis would have his second run-scoring double of the game in the 3rd, a 2-run double that scored Seth Beer and Josh Van Meter, who each walked with 1 out. Ellis would finish the game with a perfect 5 for 5 at the plate with 3 doubles. Christian Walker (3-R) and Daulton Varsho (2-R) would each hit home runs in the 4th and 5th inning respectively to blow this game open.
C Daulton Varsho: 2 for 5, 2-R HR (1), 2 RBI, 2 R
DH Seth Beer: 1 for 3, 2 BB, HBP, 2 R
Amarillo went with the same playbook as Reno, scoring early and often with their best pitcher taking the mound. Amarillo would score in the 1st after a single by Alek Thomas would precede a 2-run homer by Mikey Reynolds to open up the game against Brett Daniels. Amarillo would chase him from the game in the 2nd. 2 walks and a single would load the bases with 1 out for Thomas, who ripped a ball through the right side of the infield to score another run. Mikey Reynolds would promptly unload the bases with a triple and give Amarillo a commanding 2-run lead. Stone Garrett joined the hitting parade with a 2-run homer that made it 8-0 in the 2nd.
Luis Frias took the mound and didn’t look sharp out there. He was able to avoid trouble in the first three innings with strikeouts and double plays, but the Hooks were finally able to barrel up some baseballs on him in the 4th. Once again, it looked like a start where Frias simply could not get the 3rd out to escape trouble as he would allow 2 hits and a walk with 2 outs in the 4th to allow 3 runs to score when he was in position to give up no runs. Getting out of those jams in the 4th-5th innings will be critical for Frias to become an MLB starter.
Amarillo would go back to scoring in the 5th, as a wild pitch resulted in their 9th run crossing the plate. Jarett Rindfleisch would drive in Jake McCarthy in the 6th with a single and Thomas beat out a double play ball to short in order to get the 11th run across for his 2nd RBI. Thomas finished the game 2 for 5 with a pair of singles, which actually resulted in his OPS dropping 17 points and his wRC+ going down 3 points. That’s how good his season has been so far, a very good hitting performance actually hurt his overall numbers. Things got a little dicey in the 7th when Justin Lewis got bit by the long ball and gave up 5 runs in total for the inning, but Justin Vernia was able to record the final out of the frame and Matt Gage got the final 6 outs without much trouble.
CF Alek Thomas: 2 for 5, 2 RBI, 2 R, 1 K
LF Jake McCarthy: 1 for 5, R, 2 K
RHP Luis Frias: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 4 BB, 4 K
Bryce Jarvis took the mound and wasn’t particularly sharp either. A fielding error to start the 3rd would open up the floodgates for 4 runs to cross the plate. Jarvis had trouble navigating the inning as a walk and 3 hits followed the error. Overall he allowed 5 runs (2 earned) over 5 innings with 9 strikeouts and 2 walks. He actually would have come out of the game as potential winner, since he left with a 6-5 lead.
Hillsboro would chip away at the lead, starting with a Reece Hampton home run in the 3rd. Alexander Hernadez would be able to score the 2nd run on a groundout in the 5th to make it 4-2. In the 6th, Hillsboro would plate 4 runs to take the lead. Eduardo Diaz would open up the inning with a home run to cut it to 5-3. After retiring the next 2, Hector Yan would allow an infield single to Nick Dalesandro. A pitching change would ensue after that and the new guy wasn’t as sharp. A walk would put two on with 2 out before Hernandez would deposit a ball in the left field stands for 3 runs.
The lead wouldn’t last very long, as Hunter Haworth would surrender a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 7th to put Hillsboro behind by what would be the final score. 6 of the final 7 hitters for Hillsboro would make outs, with 5 of them coming as strikeouts.
SS Blaze Alexander: 0 for 4, BB, 2 K
DH Tristin English: 0 for 3, BB, 3 K
RHP Bryce Jarvis: 5 IP, 5 H, 5 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 9 K
Justin Martinez didn’t make it out of the first inning and the Visalia offense sputtered in this game. Martinez would only get 2 of the 9 hitters he faced out, allowing 5 runs on 4 hits, 2 walks, a HBP, and no strikeouts. Visalia was able to scratch across three runs on the board in the 2nd and 3rd innings thanks to walks and sloppy defense, but couldn’t sustain any further offensive attack as they were held to 4 hits in the game.
3B A.J. Vukovich: 1 for 4, 1 K
RHP Justin Martinez: 2⁄3 IP, 4 H, 5 R (5 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, L (0-3)