For this week, I’m going to introduce the first “Quadcap” in which I do four days worth of recaps. Let’s begin!
Tuesday August 24th
The Diamondbacks Minor League Affiliates combined for a 2-2 record.
The Aces elected to go with a bullpen type game, with no pitcher contributing more than six outs in the game. Reno would quickly build up a 3-0 lead in the first two innings, only to see Salt Lake tie things up by the end of the 3rd. Both teams would exchange a run in the 7th inning, which only kept the score tied 4-4 going into extra innings. Reno would take a 6-4 lead in the top of the 10th thanks to RBI doubles by Juniel Querecuto and Jake Hager, and would barely survive the bottom of the inning.
This game saw Ryne Nelson allow 4 solo home runs and 9 hits over 5 innings with 6 strikeouts and no walks, but a leaky bullpen helped to contribute to a pitching disaster. Justin Lewis and Dario Agrazal would each give up 3 runs late in the game to prevent any comeback bid. The most notable hitting performance in this game was Buddy Kennedy going 3 for 4 with a home run.
Hillsboro would take the lead in the first and never trailed the reset of the way. Blake Walston allowed only 3 hits and 1 run in 4 2⁄3 innings, as the team looks to be ramping down their top left-handed pitching prospect. Key home runs helped Hillsboro put this game away, with Blaze Alexander launching his 6th of the year in the 3rd and A.J. Vukovich hitting a 3-run homer in the 8th, his first with Hillsboro, to ice it.
It was an ugly day for the Visalia bullpen, who would surrender 13 runs in the final 4 innings. Before then the game had been locked at a 1-1 stalemate. Luke Albright would allow 1 unearned run in 2 1⁄3 before getting pulled after 51 pitches. Visalia’s offense struggled early in this game, scoring 8 runs after trailing 14-2. Neyfy Castillo would hit his 17th home run of the year in the loss.
Wednesday August 25th
The Diamondbacks Minor League affiliates combined for a 3-0 record.
Amarillo really turned up the offensive pressure in this game, scoring in the first four innings to take a 9-0 lead. Home runs came aplenty for the Poodles, as the team smacked five of them in this game. Brandon Pfaadt was the beneficiary of the run support, but didn’t need much as he dominated for 7 shutout innings with no walks and 3 strikeouts.
For the second game in a row, Hillsboro was able to take a commanding lead early in the game. The Hops used a 5-run 2nd inning to build an early 7-0 lead after 2 and 11-0 after 5 innings. There was only one home run in the game, hit by Ronny Simon in the 1st, but Hillsboro went 6 for 15 with runners in scoring position. Simon would finish a triple short of the cycle. Marcos Tineo had a solid start, allowing 1 run in 6 innings.
Good pitching and late offense was enough to propel Visalia ahead at the end. Adrian Del Moral allowed 2 runs over 5 innings with 7 strikeouts and no walks. Visalia’s offense came in the form of the long ball, as 4 of their 5 runs came on dingers. Jeferson Espinal and Ramses Malaive would hit solo homers in the 2nd and 4th inning of the game to tie it before Glenallen Hill Jr. gave them the lead with a 2-run shot in the 7th. Scott Randall provided 2 2⁄3 scoreless relief to pick up the win while Hugh Fisher closed things out with a 4-out save.
Thursday August 26th
The Diamondbacks Minor League affiliate combined for a 1-2 record.
AAA: Reno Aces vs. Sacramento River Cats
Postponed due to air quality in the area after a fire broke out near Lake Tahoe, NV.
Tommy Henry turned in arguably his best start of the year, twirling 5 shutout innings with 8 strikeouts. Amarillo would take a 1-0 lead in the first when Buddy Kennedy hit into a double play after the first two runners reached to start the inning. Kennedy would later provide a 2-run homer as part of a 3-run 6th inning, his 12th since being promoted to AA in June. Another run would score in the inning after a bases loaded walk that gave the Sod Poodles a 4-0 lead. The bullpen would allow just 1 run in 4 innings of work to close it out.
A couple innings got away from Hillsboro and that was enough for them to be unable to win this game. A pair of 3 spots in the 4th and 5th innings would put Hillsboro in a 7-2 deficit. They did their best to claw their way through, but it was too little to late. For the second straight game in a row, the Hops went 6 for 15 w/ RISP and had plenty of extra base hits in the game.
Visalia’s pitching got blitzed in this game and the team was unable to rrecover. Junior Mieses allowed 5 runs in 3 1⁄3 innings, putting Visalia in a 5-2 deficit after 5 innings. While Visalia hitters were able to scratch a couple runs across in the 6th and 7th inning, the bullpen was unable to stem the bleeding in this game.
Friday August 27th
The Diamondbacks Minor League affiliates combined for a 2-2 record.
The combination of Luis Frias and Seth Frankoff got shelled in this game, combining to give up 6 runs in 5 innings. Despite the pitching putting them in a big hole early, Alek Thomas almost singlehandedly willed the Aces back in this game, recording 4 hits, a homer (opposite field), and 3 RBIs in this game but his heroics were not enough.
This game started out as a pitcher’s duel, but both teams found their offense late in the game. A 5-run 8th inning would be enough for Amarillo to take this one, not too long after losing a 4-2 lead in the top half of the inning. The Sod Poodles would go 5 for 14 with runners in scoring position, with most of them coming in the 8th inning. Despite the shoddy bullpen work in this game, Matt Brill came on and retired the only batter he needed to face to close it out in the 9th.
The Hops would take an early 5-0 lead after two and proceed to watch the bullpen torch it the rest of the way. Hillsboro hitters took advance of 6 walks and stole 4 bases to create extra opportunities to score. A couple big innings put Vancouver back in the game as a 3-run 3rd and a 4-run 7th would put Hillsboro down 7-5. The Hops would tie the game in the 8th on a sac fly and an infield hit. Unfortunately the Canadians would take the lead back on the very first batter of the 9th and the Hops couldn’t answer in the bottom half.
Visalia busted out the whooping sticks in this game, scoring in 6 of 8 trips to the plate and clearing this game out by the 5th inning. The Rawhide pounded out 18 hits, with every position player reaching base and scoring in this game, with 11 coming with runners in scoring position. The offensive barrage also included Adrian Del Castillo’s first homer as a pro. The starting pitching was also solid as Kyle Backhus allowed just 1 run in 5 innings with 5 strikeouts. Visalia would have a 12-1 lead after 5 innings and cruised to victory from there.
Hopefully this is the first and only Quadcap for the minors that I’ll ever do in my short-lived career as a baseball writer.