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Diamondbacks Minor-league Round-up September 18-21

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It’s winding down. Just don’t tell Alek Thomas!

Corpus Christi Hooks v Amarillo Sod Poodles Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

September 18

Triple-A Reno 13, Salt Lake 8. The Aces used four home-runs to club their way to victory. Drew Ellis had the big one, a three-run shot in the first before an out had been recorded. The Bees stormed back with a six-run third including three homers off starter Matt Tabor (2.2 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO). But Reno responded with five more in the bottom half. and never lost the lead again. There were also solo homers by Juniel Querecuto, Stuart Fairchild and Alek Thomas, while Cooper Hummel had three hits. Thomas and Jose Herrera each reached base four times. Jesus Liranzo notched a perfect six-out save, striking out the side in the eighth and finishing with four K’s.

Double-A Amarillo 3, Frisco 5. The Sod Poodles had a 3-0 lead after four innings, but were not able to hold on. Buddy Kennedy gave them the lead in the first with his 17th home-run, a two-run blast, and Geraldo Perdomo added his 6th, a solo shot in the third. But that was the end of the Amarillo offense, who got only one man past first-base the rest of the way. Ryne Nelson pitched well, allowing two runs over seven innings, on four hits and no walks, with nine strikeouts. But Matt Brill had a rough eighth, being charged with two runs on no hits: two walks, two wild pitches and a fielding error. Perdomo and Kennedy each had a pair of hits.

High-A Hillsboro @ Vancouver - cancelled, rain.

A-ball Visalia 6, Rancho Cucamonga 7. The Rawhide also blew an early lead in their game, and it was even bigger. They were 6-1 up in the middle of the third, including Imanol Vargas’s 17th homer, a solo shot in the second. Luis Yanel Diaz drove in three runs on a pair of hits and also walked, while Yeiner Fernandez had three hits, a walk and two RBI. But it was all downhill thereafter, as the Quakes chipped away. Starter Luke Albright delivered a quality start, with six innings of two-run ball on five hits and a walk with three strikeouts. But a three-run bomb off Hugh Fisher in the seventh brought Rancho within one. David Sanchez couldn’t close it out, allowing a walk-off single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

September 19

Triple-A Reno 10, Salt Lake 7. Wasn’t as close as the score suggests: Miguel Aguilar had a rough ninth, allowing four runs including a pair of homers, to get the Bees closer. In contrast to the previous day, there was just one homer for the Aces, Juniel Querecuto getting his 13th in the first inning. That three-run shot gave Reno a lead they never relinquished. Five players had multi-hit games, led by Querecuto and Alek Thomas, with three apiece. Jeff Bain and Luis Castillo combined for five shutout innings, and there were scoreless frames from Taylor Clarke and Mitchell Stumpo. But Matt Gage was tagged for three runs in his inning.

Double-A Amarillo 14, Frisco 11. Bit of a slugfest, the teams combining for 25 runs on 35 hits, including eight HR. Five were by the Sod Poodles, with two from Eduardo Diaz, who went 4-for-5 with five RBI. Ryder Jones had four hits too, including a homer, while Jancarlos Cintron and Stone Garrett went deep for Amarillo. Tied 7-7 at the end of the eighth, each team scored three in the ninth to force extras. The RoughRiders got their Manfred Man across, but Garrett’s three-run blast with one out in the bottom half gave the Sod Poodles a walk-off win. The pitching... There was pitching. Let’s leave it at that. Wesley Rodriguez got the W for the 10th; he was the only hurler used by either team not to allow an earned run.

High-A Hillsboro 2, Vancouver 8. The Canadians blew this one open in the bottom of the fifth, scoring five times to break a 2-2 tie. Starter Shumpei Yoshikawa was the victim (4.1 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 9 SO), though was not helped by all three runners he bequeathed to Jose Santamaria crossing the plate. Mailon Arroyo struck out the side in the seventh, around a single. The Hops actually outhit the Canadians 9-8, but were only 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. A.J. Vukovich had his third home-run, leading off the fourth inning, and also singled and stole a base. Axel Andueza had a pair of hits.

A-ball Visalia 6, Rancho Cucamonga 1. Scott Randall had his third consecutive scoreless outing, tossing six innings of one-hit ball, with no walks and nine strikeouts. Overall, the 7th round pick in this year’s draft has worked 19 IP, allowing one earned run, with a K:BB of 23:4 and a 0.632 WHIP. That was more than enough for the win, as the Rawhide got 14 hits. Caleb Roberts got on base five times, with two hits and three walks. Ramses Malave and Oscar Santos hit their 11th and 1st home-runs of the season respectively, the latter a three-run shot in the seventh. Adrian Del Moral did break the shutout, allowing a run in the eighth, but got the save for three innings of four-hit ball.

September 20

Triple-A Reno 8, Salt Lake 10. Justin Vernia got thrown up from Hillsboro to make a spot start, and it did not go well. He failed to retire a batter, allowing five hits and a walk - all of whom ended up crossing the plate. The Bees were 8-0 up after two, but to their credit, the Aces did not give up. The rest of the bullpen settled down - Justin Vernia struck out six over two hitless innings - and the offense chipped away. Alek Thomas had four hits and Andrew Young three, while Drew Ellis had a solo home-run, his 19th, in the seventh innings. Despite the early eight-run deficit, the Aces managed to get the tying run on base in the ninth, but Cooper Hummel flew out, ending the comeback.

September 21

Triple-A Reno 19, Salt Lake 4. Alek Thomas, Cooper Hummel, Drew Ellis and Andrew Young, the top four in the Aces’ line-up, combined to go 15-for-18 with thirteen RBI, as Reno pounded out a total of 21 hits. In 28 games since his promotion, Thomas is hitting .371/.431/.685, impressive even by PCL standards. Ellis went 5-for-5 with four runs scored and five driven in, as Reno scored every time they were up bar the third inning. Young had four RBI, including his 11th home-run, in the second inning. Riley Smith allowed two runs over 4.1 innings as the starter. There were scoreless relief frames from Jordan Weems, Jesus Liranzo and Matt Peacock.

No games are scheduled today, and it’s just the Aces - the only Diamondbacks affiliate with a winning record this year - going forward. They will try to chase down Tacoma, who are currently three games ahead of Reno.