The Diamondbacks Minor League affiliates combined for a 2-3 record, with Reno splitting a 7-inning doubleheader with Round Rock and Amarillo picking up a nice win. Pitching prospects that took the mound included Josh Green for Reno, Tommy Henry for Amarillo, and Brandon Pfaadt for Hillsboro.
AAA: Reno Aces 6, Round Rock Express 9 (GM1)
Josh Green got hammered for 9 runs in this and only recorded 9 outs in this start, surrendering 11 hits and left the game trailing 7-4 and two on (both scored). While the bullpen provided scoreless relief, the deficit was too big for the offense to overcome. Drew Ellis and Ildemaro Vargas certainly attempted to cut into the lead, with both players picking up 3 RBI for the game.
AAA: Reno Aces 10, Round Rock Express 6 (GM2)
Reno would fall behind 4-0 in this game as Zach Lee got lit up for 4 runs on 6 hits over 3 innings. Fortunately the Aces were able to dig out of that hole with a trio of zeros from Stefan Crichton, Ryan Buchter, and J.B. Bukauskas. A 4-run bottom of the 3rd allowed Reno to tie the game, as Ildemaro Vargas and Henry Ramos hit RBI doubles before the latter scoring on a sac fly. In the 4th, Reno would take the lead on an RBI single by Henry Ramos, who had a monster game in Game 2. Vargas would hit his 2nd double of the night in the 8th to drive in a run before Christian Lopes added a 3-run homer that essentially iced the game.
AA: Amarillo Sod Poodles 8, San Antonio Missions 3
This game was a lot closer than the final score would indicate, as Amarillo put up a 4-spot late to put this out of reach. Tommy Henry allowed 2 runs in 4 innings, struggling with control with 4 walks and laboring through those innings. Tyler Holton would face the next 7 hitters, allowing just 1 hit and a hit batter in 1 2⁄3 socreless to pick up the win. Amarillo would find themselves trailing 2-0 early, but Stone Garrett would single home a run in the 3rd. Amarillo would take the lead in the 4th, with RBI hits by Luis Alejandro Basabe, Dominic Miroglio, and Jancarlos Cintron alongside some terrible defense by San Antonio.
Things would get tight in the 7th when Ben Ruta took Joe Jones deep in the top of the 7th, but that was all the bullpen would allow for the game. That’s as close as San Antonio would get in this game late, as Amarillo answered with their own 4 spot. A hit batter and a walk would put two on with 1 out before the hits started flying in. Dominic Canzone would get his second big hit of the night with an RBI single two batters before Dominic Miroglio hit a two-out, soul-crushing 3-run homer. That homer was Miroglio’s 5th of the year. Mitchell Stumpo and Blake Rogers would close it out without much drama.
High A: Hillsboro Hops 1, Tri-City Dust Devils 6
Brandon Pfaadt labored through this start, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits over 4 innings before getting lifted for the pen. Pfaadt didn’t get much help from his teammates, as their offense was shut down and the bullpen was equally as leaky in terms of run prevention. Carson Kelly hit 2 doubles in his second rehab start with Hiillsboro, accounting for half the team’s hit total.
Low A: Visalia Rawhide 11, Stockton Ports 12
I went to bed thinking Visalia had this in the bag with a 10-6 lead in the 9th, but I forgot the team was 16-56 entering the game. Visalia actually got good pitching for 7 innings, putting up 7 zeros to start the game. It’s a game where you feel for Austin Pope, who’s been a whipping boy most of the season but then put out an inspired 7 inning shutout performance with 8 strikeouts and only 8 baserunners over that time period. Viusalia’s offense ran wild in this game with 6 stolen bases in 6 attempts, 5 extra base hits, 2 homers, and overall put 24 runners on the basepaths with about half of them scoring. You couldn’t ask for a better start, as Visalia had a 9-0 lead at the 7th inning stretch.
Unfortunately Pope could only get 21 outs instead of 27, which meant going to Visalia’s joke of a bullpen. Alex Valdez would get the 8th and would get lit up badly as Stockton scored 6 on him while only getting 1 out. Harrison Francis came in and while not great himself was able to somewhat stop the bleeding to keep it 9-6. Bad defense allowed Visalia to pick up an extra run, which I thought would be enough. I did not anticipate an inning in which the closer would surrender 3 solo home runs and 4 runs in total. That sent the game into extras where Visalia again took a lead with an RBI single by Elian Miranda, but Gerald Ogando would once again blow a win with a throwing error and a single undoing any good work they had done.