Thursday September 9th
The Diamondbacks Minor League affiliates combined for a 2-1 record.
Humberto Mejia struggled with control as he gave up 5 hits and put 5 more runners on base over 5 innings. That led to Vegas plating 5 runs and taking an early commanding lead. Reno’s offense would equally struggle, as they were unable to put together innings and get the big hit. The Aces went 2 for 12 with runners in socirng position, committed 4 errors, and left 11 runners on base.
Amarillo was able to put together some early offense against Clayton Beeter. Buddy Kennedy and Dominic Fletcher hit home runs, the latter hitting two. Tommy Henry was the beneficiary of early run support, as he allowed 3 runs in 5 1⁄3 innings with 4 hits, 3 walks, and 5 strikeouts. The Sod Poodles were able to tack on a few runs against the Tulsa bullpen, which would allow them to withstand a late rally. Matt Brill’s 2 2⁄3 scoreless innings were absolutely critical in staving them off, giving the team everything he could to record 8 outs. Blake Rogers would surrender a 2-run homer in the 9th, but would retire the next three hitters to finish the deal.
High A: Hillsboro Hops vs. Tri-City Dust Devils
Low A: Visalia Rawhide 5, Lake Elsinore 4 (F/10)
Visalia ultimately prevailed in extra innings, although this game was a back and forth affair from the very first pitch. Both teams would score in the 1st, with the Storm scoring on a rundown play and Visalia countering with an RBI single by Deyvison De Los Santos. The Rawhide got solid pitching from Jamison Hill and Chad Patrick, who would combine to allow just 2 runs on 6 hits with no walks and 7 strikeouts to start the game. That would allow Visalia to build a lead in the middle innings, thanks to Caleb Roberts’ efforts. Roberts would drive in the go-ahead run with a single then score on a wild pitch later in the inning.
Going into the 8th, Visalia held a 3-2 lead. Alex Valdez was called upon to pitch, perhaps to close out the game. A couple errors, one by the 1B Ramses Malaive and then a throwing error by Valdez on a bunt led to the tying run coming across. In the game, Visalia committed 4 errors which contributed to 2 unearned runs scoring. Valdez was able to escape the 8th inning when Channy Ortiz was able to cut down the go-ahead run at the plate and a redemption play when the next batter grounded out to the pitcher.
That sent the game into extras, where the Storm scored their run on a pair of groundouts with the first being a sacrifice bunt. Visalia would come in the bottom half of the inning, knowing they need to score 1 to tie and 2 to win. They did the latter, without having to swing the bat. The first three hitters were hit by pitches, with two of them happening in 2-strike counts, which forced in a run before a wild pitch promptly ended the game two pitches later.
Friday September 10th
Reno picked up a crucial win in this game, struggling of late due to most talented players getting called up to the major leagues. A 6-run first inning would allow the Aces to cruise in this game from beginning to end. The first three batters would reach, with Drew Ellis’ 2-run homer giving them a 3-0 lead. Tyler Holton and Josh Green performed pretty well in this game, with the latter picking up the win, as the apir combined for 4 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, and 6 strikeouts for the first 5 innings. Reno continued to apply pressure on offense, putting up 4 more runs through the 6th inning to take a 10-1 lead.
Amarillo fell behind early in this game and were continually having to play catch up as the bullpen was unable to keep Tulsa off the board. Drey Jameson had an off night, allowing 8 hits and walking 4 in 5 innings. His last three seasons haven’t been crisp, but I attribute that to late season fatigue more than an injury. Long term, he’s probably fine.
Despite falling behind 5-0 after the top of the 5th, Amarillo’s batters put up a fight at the plate thanks to a trove of home runs. The two Dominics would homer in the 5th inning, putting Amarillo on the board. Geraldo Perdomo would hit his 5th of the year out, a 2-run shot in the 6th inning that help Amarillo get it to 6-5. At that point, all they needed was three more zeros from the bullpen and they had a shot. They got two zeros, but Tulsa was able to score 2 in the 9th for the second night in a row. That was enough to allow them to escape despite home runs by Andy Yerzy and Luis Alejandro Basabe in the bottom half.
High A: Hillsboro Hops vs. Tri-City Dust Devils
Cancelled due to COVID, the next scheduled game against a different opponent is September 14th.
Visalia found themselves trailing 4-0 early as Avery Short got lit up in the first two innings. However, he was able to settle in and dominate the next 3 innings, as he racked up 10 strikeouts in the game. Despite the early deficit. Visalia was able to claw their way back into the game. It started with John Carver, who only allowed 1 run in 4 innings, as he was able to get Visalia’s hitters back in the dugout quickly and ready to swing the bats. They got a bit of help from sloppy Storm defense, but a couple key hits on an otherwise terrible day w/ RISP allowed Visalia to eventually tie in the 9th. Ramses Malaive would homer to cut the deficit to 5-4 and an error by the 1B would allow them to tie.
Unfortunately extra innings would play out similar to the start the game. Lake Elsinore would start by scoring 4 runs. Emmanuel Acosta would allow the Manfred Man to score, which is not a big deal, but then a 2-out meltdown caused a 1-run inning to turn into a 4-run inning. 4 singles and a hit batter could extend the inning and see the extra 3 runs score. After a pair of unproductive outs, a 2-out single would allow Visalia to score the Manfred Man, but otherwise it wasn’t much of an inning offensively.