Good afternoon everyone. There was a lot of offense last night, including a 10 run outburst by the now .500 Surprise Saguaros, four home runs by the Mesa squad en route to a 6-1 win, and Glendale putting up six on Salt River while the pitching staff shut them out.
|Mesa Solar Sox
|Salt River Rafters
|Glendale Desert Dogs
Surprise used a six-run 6th inning and pair of home runs to put away Scottsdale 10-5. The Scorpions jumped out in front with Mason Williams scoring on a passed ball and Cory Vaughn driving in Tommy La Stella with a single. Surprise responded with a run scoring single by Jason Rogers, bringing them within one. They exchanged zeros until the 6th inning when Scottsdale pulled ahead 3-1 on the heels of a home run from Peter O'Brien. Surprise came back in a big way putting up six runs to go ahead for good 7-3. It started with an RBI double off the bat off Mookie Betts, followed by a Mitch Haniger sac fly. Jonathan Schoop launched a two-run shot to left which chased reliever Adalberto Mejia. The first two batters new reliever John Cornely faced went for extra bases, with Jorge Alfaro tripling to center and Brett Nicholas doubling back to center, driving in Alfaro. Consecutive wild pitches by Cornely allowed Nicholas to score the last run of their barrage. Two innings later, Scottsdale got back on the board, bringing it to within two with another home run by O'Brien, his third in the AFL, and an RBI single off the bat of Vaughn. The Saguaros responded with three more insurance runs to put it 10-5. Alfaro singled in fellow Ranger Ryan Rua before Travis Shaw left the building in his first at bat after coming in as a defensive replacement in the top half of the inning. Scottsdale starter Hansel Robles threw three innings, allowing a pair of hits, a run, walk and four strike outs. Zach Thornton and Shae Simmons threw scoreless innings of relief, with Thornton striking out two and Simmons walking a batter and he struck out one. Will Roberts started for Surprise, throwing four innings allowing five hits, two runs (one earned), two walks and two strike outs. Jeff Johnson gave up a hit, walk and struck a batter out in a scoreless inning, and Ryan Harvey finished the game with 1.1 scoreless and hitless innings with one walk and two strike outs.
Mesa was led by an absolutely dominant start by Matt Purke who didn't give up a hit or run in four innings. He only walked one with seven strike outs. He was backed by four long balls against Peoria, including three in the 4th inning alone off Angel Baez. It started with an RBI single by CJ Cron in the 1st inning. Devon Travis led off the second with a shot to left, doubling the lead to 2-0. In the 4th, Cron and Matt Skole went back to back with oppo shots. Travis walked after the power display then Tyler Collins added his own, bombing one to right field for two runs. The Javelinas scratched across their lone run in the 6th inning when Orlando Calixte tripled to right and Stefen Romero drove him in with a ground out. Catcher Austin Hedges cut down two runners on the bases, catching Addison Russell and Albert Almora attempting to snag second base.Their starting pitcher Johnny Barbato lasted three innings, giving up five hits, two runs, no walks, three strike outs and the homer to Travis. Both Keyvius Sampson and Dominic Leone tossed two scoreless innings with Sampson walking two, striking out two and did not allow a hit while Leone struck out three and gave up two hits. Three relievers threw scoreless innings for Mesa. Seth Frankoff did not allow a hit while striking out one. Omar Duran struck out two without giving up a hit and Robert Benincasa threw the 9th, striking out one and giving up a hit.
Glendale shut out Salt River tonight with Stephen McCray throwing four perfect innings, striking out two in the process. By the end of the 2nd inning, he already had a 2-0 lead to work with, thanks to a sac fly from Chris O'Brien and a single by Brent Keys that drove in Marcus Semien. In the next inning, Corey Seager doubled to right, driving in Yorman Rodriguez and Travis Mattair. Semien followed with a ground-rule double to left-center that scored Seager, putting Glendale up by five. The sixth run came in the 4th inning when Micah Johnson doubled in Keys who reached on a bunt single. After McCray was pulled, Chris Bassitt threw a scoreless inning, giving up two hits, followed by Zack Jones who started a string of three straight perfect innings by the bullpen. Jones walked one and struck out one, AJ Achter struck out one and Pedro Baez walked one. Kevin Vance finished it off, allowing two hits and striking out one. For Salt River, Kenny Wilson stole his sixth base of the AFL and Jake Lamb had the only extra base hit with a double in the 9th. Aaron Sanchez started the game, making it through two innings, allowing three hits, two runs, two walks, a strike out and hit batsmen. Mike Montgomery continued to dominate, striking out four in two perfect innings. Matt Ramsey pitched a clean 8th before giving way to Anthony Ferrara in the 9th, who struck out two.
Surprise (TBD) at Mesa (Dallas Beeler - CHC) 3:35 PM EST
Glendale (Alex Meyer - MIN) at Scottsdale (Phil Irwin - PIT) 9:35 PM EST
Peoria (Brandon Maurer - SEA) at Salt River (Sam Gaviglio - STL) 9:35 PM EST
****Devon Travis was profiled over at Baseball America in the AFL Development series.
****One of my favorite hidden gems to look at are the game notes and press releases sent out by the AFL. They include tons of little tidbits on a few players per team, along with a brief statistical overview of the league.