We had a few injury updates yesterday, with Phillies outfielder Kelly Dugan (turf toe) and Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon (groin) being removed from the AFL due to injury. The Phils are sending Cameron Perkins to take Dugan's place on the Peoria roster and the Bucs are sending pitcher Phil Irwin to take Taillon's spot with Scottsdale.
The finals from last night are as follows.
Salt River 3 - Surprise 2
Mesa 7 - Scottsdale 6
Peoria 5 - Glendale 1
*** In a close game, Salt River took home the W with a 3-2 victory, outhitting Surprise 10-7. While nobody was able to knock one out of the park or get an extra base hit, the Rafters were led by a pair of outstanding performances at the plate. Right fielder Stephen Piscotty from the Cardinals organization went 4-4 with four singles, an RBI and a stolen base. Fellow outfielder Kenny Wilson pitched in three more hits from the lead off spot while manning center field. He added an RBI, strike out and pair of stolen bases in addition to his three singles. Hot hitting left fielder James Ramsey, also of the Cardinals system, came up empty today, going 0/4 with a strikeout and a stolen base after reaching via fielder's choice. Starting pitcher Drew Hutchison threw 2.2 innings, allowing three hits, two unearned runs, no walks and two strike outs. Diamondbacks farmhand Andrew Chafin followed with 1.1 scorless innings allowing a pair of hits and walks and a strike out. Right handed pitcher John Stilson got the save with a scoreless 9th inning, including a hit and pair of punch outs.
The Rafters wound up bringing one run across in the top of the 5th inning with a walk to Nick Ahmed to start the inning. Opposing pitcher Jeff Johnson balked Ahmed to second, followed by a single to centre from catcher Derrick Chung to put runners on first and third. Lead off man Kenny Wilson then grounded into a fielder's choice in which Ahmed scored and Chung was forced out at second base with Wilson beating the relay throw to first. The next inning they scratched two more runs across, including the go-ahead run. Singles by third baseman Jake Lamb and designated hitter Tim Wheeler bookended a strike out from first baseman Kyle Parker, setting Piscotty up with runners on first and second with one down. Piscotty lined a singled to left, scoring Lamb and sending Wheeler to third. Piscotty stole second base then a wild pitch by Ryan Harvey allowed Wheeler to score the eventual game winning run. Harvey struck out the next two batters to end the inning but the damage was done.
*** Surprise struck first, but could not hold the lead against Salt River. Third baseman Garin Cecchini provided a 2/3 day with a double, walk, strike out and he was caught stealing. Right fielder Dariel Alvarez added the only other extra base hit, a double, in four trips to the dish. First baseman Travis Shaw brought the thump, driving in both Surprise runs with a single while striking out twice in five at bats. On the mound, starter Taylor Jungmann shined with three scoreless innings, allowing only two hits, one walk, no runs and 4 strike outs. Southpaw Tim Berry provided two innings of scoreless relief in the 7th and 8th innings, allowing a pair of hits, one walk and three strike outs.
The Saguaros jumped out to the early lead yesterday against opposing starter Drew Hutchison in the 3rd inning. It all started with Surprise catcher Adam Weisenburger reaching on a throwing error by short stop Nick Ahmed with one out. Center fielder Tyler Naquin followed with a single to left to put runners on first and second base. Hutchison got a huge strike out against Garin Cecchini before getting pulled in favor of Andrew Chafin. Left fielder Mitch Haniger worked a walk to load the bases before Travis Shaw came up with a 2-run single on a grounder to right field, scoring Weisenburger and Naquin. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop ended the inning with a ground out to short.
*** Mesa was led by an early 3-run home run off the bat of designated hitter Taylor Lindsey and beat Scottsdale 7-6. Center fielder Brian Goodwin hit two doubles, scored once, struck out and was hit by a pitch. Third baseman Kris Bryant put together a 1/4 day with a run scored, RBI, sacrifice fly, and a stolen base. Second baseman Devon Travis made the only error for Mesa but made up for it at the plate going 1/5 with a pair of runs scored, RBI, strike out and stolen base. Southpaw starter Michael Roth lasted 2.2 innings, giving up three hits, three unearned runs, two wild pitches, a walk and pair of strikeouts. Right handed reliever Seth Frankoff threw a scoreless 6th inning with a walk and strike out, and lefty Omar Duran threw a perfect 7th inning.
Mesa started the scoring in the 3rd inning with a double by Brian Goodwin to center. Devon Travis followed with a grounder to short that Alen Hanson threw away, with Goodwin coming around to score and Travis standing on second when the dust cleared. A fielding error by third baseman Aderlin Rodriguez allowed Kris Bryant to reach before designated hitter Taylor Lindsey stepped to the plate. Lindsey roped a line drive to right that cleared the fences, putting Mesa up 4-0. A bases-loaded RBI fielder's choice by Devon Travis put runners on first and third before Adalberto Mejia balked in a run to put Mesa ahead 6-3. The Solar Sox added an insurance run in the 6th inning, almost single handedly by Travis. He single, stole second and took third on a bad throw by the opposing catcher. All the next batter had to do was hit a fly ball and Kris Bryant obliged, sending one to right field for the sacrifice fly.
***Scottsdale try to claw their way back into the game and almost made it, but unfortunately ran out of outs. They were led offensively by left fielder Robby Hefflinger who went 2/4 with a run, double, RBI and strike out. First baseman Tyler Austin was also 2/4 with a triple and an RBI. Second baseman Tommy La Stella was 1/3 with a run scored, walk and pair of RBI's. Short stop Alen Hanson had a 1/5 day at the plate, with a run scored, triple, and strike out, but was rough in the dirt, making a fielding error and a throwing error. Third baseman Aderlin Rodriguez was equally as bad in the field, making a pair of fielding errors. Starter Vidal Nuno got knocked around in his 2.2 innings, allowing five hits, four runs, two earned runs, a home run allowed and five strike outs. Reliever Jeurys Familia threw a clean 7th inning with a strike out, and Cody Satterwhite threw a scoreless 8th inning with a hit allowed and strike out. Cody Hall finished off the game with a scoreless 9th.
When Mesa put a crooked number on the board in the 3rd, the Scorpions answered with a single from catcher Andrew Susac, followed by a fielding error by Devon Travis allowing designated hitter Cam Maron to reach base. A fly out and swinging bunt back to the pitcher left Scottsdale with two outs and runners on second and third. Opposing starter Michael Roth then uncorked a wild pitch allowing Susac to score and Tommy La Stella followed, stroking a single to right with Maron coming in to score. Hefflinger followed with an RBI double to bring the score to 4-3. Mason Williams drove in a run with an RBI force out in the 4th, Alen Hanson hit a triple in the 5th with La Stella knocking him in with a ground out to bring the score to 6-5. An RBI triple off the bat of Tyler Austin got them within one in the 8th innings but that was all.
*** Byron Buxton hit his first home run of the Fall for Glendale in their 5-1 win over Peoria. He finished the day 2/4 with a run scored, the home run, two RBI and a throwing error in center. Second baseman Micah Johnson pitched in two hits, including a double, along with a run scored, RBI, caught stealing and strike out. Short stop Corey Seager was 1/4 with an RBI, and first baseman Max Kepler was 2/4 with a run scored. Starting pitcher Alex Meyer was dominant in two innings, not allowing a hit, run or walk and striking out three. Relievers Chris Bassitt, Pedro Baez, and Yimi Garcia all threw hitless innings of relief with Bassitt walking one and striking out one, Baez striking out two and Garcia striking out one.
They started the scoring with a single from Kepler and double by catcher Chris O'Brien to put runners on second and third for designated hitter Danny Black. Back to back singles by Black and Buxton brought home two for the early lead. Later in the 7th, Black started the rally by reaching on an error by Tommy Medica. Micah Johnson grounded into a force out and then Buxton ran into one and sent it sailing over the left field fence for a two-run home run. Colin Moran looked at strike three for the second out before Yorman Rodriguez singled to left. The next batter was Seager and he singled to right with a full count and two outs, with Rodriguez scoring all the way from first.
***Peoria was outmatched from the start, and the only managed one run and six hits in the game while striking out 10 times. Right fielder Jorge Bonifacio was 1/4 with the lone run scored and a double. Designated hitter Cheslor Cuthbert knocked Bonifacio in with a 1/3 day and an RBI. Left fielder Stefen Romero was 1/3 with a walk, pair of punch outs and was caught stealing. First baseman Tommy Medica was 1/3 with a pair of strike outs and a throwing error in the field.
Their only scoring came in the 5th inning when they sent six men to the plate, starting with Bonifacio's double. Aaron Altherr went down swinging, Medica singled, and Patrick Kivlehan popped out in foul territory to first. This brought up Cuthbert who singled to center, driving in Bonifacio.
Scottsdale - Aaron Northcraft (RHP-ATL) @ Mesa - Sammy Solis (LHP-WAS) 3:35 PM EST
Glendale - Michael Lorenzen (RHP-CIN) @ Peoria - Jason Adam (RHP-KC) 9:35 PM EST
Surprise - Miguel Pena (LHP-BOS) @ Salt River - Bo Schutlz (RHP-AZ) 9:35 PM EST
****Dan Simpson over at Talking Chop looks at the performance of Braves players in the AFL last night.
****Federal Baseball profiled Brian Goodwin in this piece by Patrick Reddington.
****And if you did not hear, MLB Umpire Wally Bell passed away yesterday from an apparent massive heart attack. He had worked as recently as the Pirates-Cardinals Division Series. My condolences to the family and his friends. By all accounts, he was one of the better umpires in the league.