The Arizona Diamondbacks’ Minor League affiliates went 4-0, achieving the first organizational sweep of the year.
AAA: Reno Aces 9, Sacramento River Cats 4
The Aces returned home, which you can tell by the score in this game. Ironically enough, both teams traded zeros for the first three innings before Reno (4-3) struck big in the 4th. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Camden Duzenack, who hit a liner that barely cleared the marker for a grand slam. An unsuccessful challenge resulted in the ejection of the River Cats manager. See it here:
Sacramento would put their own 4 spot in the top of the 5th off Tyler Gilbert. A trio of hits, two never leaving the infield, resulted in the bases being loaded with 2 outs. A passed ball and a 3-run homer later had the game tied at 4. That would be all Gilbert allowed in the game, as he posted zeros in the other 5 frames he pitched with only 1 walk and 1 strikeout. In the 5th, the Aces took advantage of a pair of errors to put up a three spot. Matt Davidson would hit the first of two homers in two innings and Stuart Fairchild plated those extra baserunners with a double then scored on Grayson’s Greiner’s double. Fairchild would also add a homer in the 7th, a ball that got caught up in the wind tunnel in right field and carried on out.
The 8th inning was another hitting clinic as the team took advantage of an Alek Thomas double (5 for 26 entering that AB) and two batters getting plunked when Stone Garrett blasted a ball off the CF wall for a 2-run double. Garrett is off to a hot start for Reno, which includes a 9 for 22 start that includes 4 doubles. Depending on what happens with the MLB roster he could be an interesting call-up as a right-handed bat. The Aces got good relief work from Taylor Widener and Kevin Ginkel, getting 3 shutout innings with 5 strikeouts to close it out.
CF Alek Thomas: 1 for 5, 2B
Amarillo (3-1) struggled against Dodgers pitching prospect Bobby Miller, but D-backs pitching prospect Brandon Pfaadt kept them in the game. Pfaadt allowed 5 hits, 2 runs (1 earned) with 2 walks and 6 strikeouts in 4 1⁄3 innings. Amarillo’s bullpen would allow just 1 unearned run in 4 2⁄3 innings with 5 strikeouts and 0 walks, allowing the offense to chip away at the deficit. A little bit of small ball would allow the Soddies to put up 2 in the top of the 5th. After getting the first two on, a pair of sacrifice bunts would advance Dominic Fletcher home and a 2-out single would score a second runner. Trailing 3-2 in the 8th, singles by Corbin Carroll, Dominic Canzone, and Fletcher would result in 2 runs in large part due to more small ball. The trio of Jeff Bain, Blake Workman, and Junior Garcia finished off the Drillers hitters late.
CF Corbin Carroll: 3 for 5
RHP Brandon Pfaadt: 4 1⁄3 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 6 K, 74 pitches (51 strikes)
Cam Coursey’s double walked things off for Hillsboro, which wouldn’t have been possible if not for a Herculean performance by the bullpen. The quintet of Andrew Saalfrank, Collin Sullivan, Liu Fuenmayor, Bobby Ay, and Scott Rice put up 5 1⁄3 scoreless relief with 5 hits, 2 walks, and 7 strikeouts. Scott Randall surrendered 3 runs in 3 2⁄3 innings, getting lit up for 7 hits but struck out 2 and walked none. Hillsboro would tie things up in the 4th. Adrian Del Castillo hammered out his first long ball of the year and a throwing error by Mariners prospect Noelvi Marte would allow Tim Tawa to score. The score remained 3-3 until the 9th, when Caleb Roberts was hit by a pitch just two batters before Coursey did the deed.
SS Ryan Bliss: 1 for 2, BB, HBP
3B A.J. Vukovich: 0 for 4
C Adrian Del Castillo: 1 for 4, solo HR (1)
Behind a solid start by Diomede Sierra and an overwhelming offensive attack, the Rawhide wasted no time in taking a monster lead early and cruised from there. After 4 innings, they had an 8-1 lead in large part due to a big showing from the middle of the order. Visalia (3-1) hitters racked up 17 hits and 6 walks, with 8 of 9 hitters recording at least one hit. Jordan Lawlar (4-6, 2B, SB, RBI, R), Junior Franco (2-5, 3-R HR, 4 RBI, 2 R), Jean Walters (3 for 4, 2B, BB 4 RBI), and Deyvison De Los Santos (3 for 6, RBI, 2 R) paced the lineup with monster days at the plate. Since that was the 2, 3, 5, and 7 hitters in the lineup it was easier for them to put their performances together to score runs in bunches. Sierra pitched 3 2⁄3 innings with 1 run allowed and the bullpen only coughed up a pair of unearned runs long after the game was decided.
One additional note, Jordan Lawlar is off to a 9-20 start with an OPS of 1.126 after 4 games. Corbin Carroll is 6-18 with a .900 OPS in their 4 games played. Both are coming off of shoulder surgery, so seeing the hot start for both of them is very encouraging I emphasize it’s a good start, but we fans could use a good pick me up for a day.