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Arizona Diamondbacks Minor League Recap 7/6/21: Leaky bullpens are leaking

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The Diamondbacks Minor League affiliates combined for a 1-3 record, with Reno being the only team to pick up a win. All three of their losses came with the bullpen giving up late runs. Notable pitching prospects that took the mound were Ryne Nelson for Amarillo, Drey Jameson for Hillsboro, and Liam Norris for Visalia.

Top Pitching Performance: Reno RHPs Kevin McCanna and Ryan Weiss: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K
Top Hitting Performance: Visalia DH Elian Miranda: 2 for 4, GS (5), 7 RBI

AAA: Reno Aces 6, Tacoma Rainiers (SEA) 4

Reno turned to a bullpen game for their strategy on the mound and it had a great early effect. Kevin McCanna would strike out 5 in the first three innings before giving way to Ryan Weiss, who continued the theme with 3 Ks in the 4th and 5th. That allowed Reno to build an early 4-0 lead on the strength of home runs. Drew Ellis opened the scoring off David Huff, hammering a 3-run homer off the southpaw in the 3rd. Juniel Querecuto would add a solo shot in the 4th that made it 4-0. Reno would once again tack on another run in the 6th, thanks to a single some sloppy defense by tacoma. Jamie Ritchie opened up the inning with a single, moved up to 2nd on a passed ball, then scored on Querecuto’s single.

Unfortunately, that lead would be immediately tested in the bottom of the 6th off Alex Young. The first three hitters would reach on two singles and a hit by pitch. Young was able to coax a double play off the bat of Jake Hager to try to limit the damage to 1 run, but that failed when he served up a double on the next pitch. He would pitch a clean 7th inning on a strikeout and two weak ground balls. Jake McCarthy would hit his 2nd HR since being promoted to Reno in the 7th for a much needed insurance run, as Chester Pimentel would cough up 2 runs in the 8th inning. At that point, Reno was barely holding onto a 6-4 lead.

Miguel Aguilar was tasked with getting the final three outs and recorded it in bizarre fashion. He walked the potential tying runs, but would retire the next two hitters before Donovan Walton was caught stealing 3rd for the final out.

AA: Amarillo Sod Poodles 4, San Antonio Missions (SDP) 5 (F/10)

This game followed a different script than the rest. Ryne Nelson simply had no control in this start, allowing 2 runs in 3 23 innings with 7 walks and committed an error on a pickoff attempt. Fortunately the damage was mitigated to some degree thanks to stellar bullpen work. Jeff Bain would allow 1 run in 2 13 before getting 3 scoreless innings from Matt Brill and Mack Lemieux. The bullpen allowed Amarillo to make a comeback bid.

Amarillo’s offense was shutdown by Missions starter Aaron Leasher, who allowed just 1 run in 6 innings and struck out 8. The 7th inning looked to be equally as grim, as the Sod Poodles went down in order. Things were different in the 8th, as a fielding error allowed Amarillo to make a comeback bid. Dominic Fletcher and Renae Martinez would hit RBI doubles off Joe Beimel, who apparently is still pitching at the age of 44, to tie the game at 3-3.

In extras Amarillo took a 4-3 lead on the first hitter when Jancarlos Cintron dropped a ball into left to score Geraldo Perdomo, who started the inning at 2nd. After another single by Alek Thomas, it was looking like a big inning but the offense sputtered after that. The bottom of the 10th offered a similar script, with Allen Cordoba doubling on the first pitch to tie the game. A passed ball would put the winning run at 3rd with no one out. A lineout to 2B and a called 3rd strike that had the batter and manager ejected offered some hope, but a blooper dropped into center for the game winning hit.

High A: Hillsboro Hops 2, Tri-City Dust Devils (LAA) 3

Hillsboro’s offense was shut down in this game, scratching across runs in the 3rd and 5th innings. Drey Jameson had an OK start, giving up 2 runs (1 earned) in 4 13 innings before being pulled at 75 pitches. Jameson allowed 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 6. In the 3rd Spencer Brickhouse hammered out his 4th homer of the year to tie it at 1-1 and Leodany Perez had an RBI single in the 5th that re-tied the game at 2 apiece.

The Dust Devils would grab the lead in the 7th off Justin Lewis on a bizarre play by SS Blaze Alexander that was scored a double and a fielding error. If anyone reading this was at the game, any sort of context would be appreciated. The only baserunner Hillsboro got in the final two trips to the plate was a walk by Jorge Barrosa but didn’t get much else.

Low A: Visalia Rawhide 10, Inland Empire 66ers (LAA) 11

Things started off great for Visalia, who took a 6-0 lead after 3 innings. In the first, a double by Danny Oriente followed by a wild pitch on what should have been the final strike of the game set up Elian Miranda’s 2-run single. Miranda would add a grand slam in the 3rd inning, as Visalia got the first four hitters to reach and all of them scoring on that play. At the time, Liam Norris had been cruising, allowing just a walk that was erased on a double play in the first three innings. Norris would fail to get the first three hitters of the inning out, but then would see all three runners score without the ball leaving the infield thanks to a critical error by Ronny Simon. After the inning, Visalia still led 6-3.

Visalia was able to quickly counter in the 5th inning, taking advantage of walks and errors to plate two runs. Things came completely off the rails in the bottom of the 5th as Marcos Tineo came in and got plastered for 7 runs. At one point, six straight hitters reached base, including a grand slam on an 0-2 pitch. That put Visalia down 10-8, but the offense once again rose to the occasion in the 6th, as Danny Oriente and Neyfy Castillo both tripled and scored on a sac fly in the inning. Now it was a completely different game.

The final three innings became difficult, as a 1-out triple by Edwin Yon put pressure on Visalia to try to strand it. It was looking to be that way until Yon scored on a wild pitch with 2 outs. Visalia would have their chances in the 8th and 9th innings, with a leadoff single to open up the 8th and a 1-out triple in the 9th, but could not get the tying run across the plate.