Great Lakes Loons infielder, Austin Gauthier, is pictured.
El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego) – OKC Dodgers 3
William Cuevas started for OKC. El Paso jumped out to a 3-0 lead on a pair of solo HRs, and a walk and 2 singles. Yonny Hernández took over from there. In the 5th, after a BB and HBP, Hernández hit a 2-run double to get the Dodgers to within 1. In the 7th, after a PCL leading Devin Mann double (16), he moved to 3B on a ground out, and scored on a Yonny Hernández sac fly.
With Tyler Cyr on the hill, El Paso’s Preston Tucker hit a 2-run HR in the 8th to break a 3-3 tie and give the Chihuahuas the win.
Mark Washington and Bryan Hudson pitched a scoreless inning each. Each pitcher allowed a hit, with Washington getting 1 K, and Hudson 2. Hudson has now struck out 26 of the 56 total batters he’s faced this season (46 percent).
With the loss, the Dodgers fell to 12-2 in games decided by one or two runs. The loss was only the team’s third in the last 13 games overall and second in the last 10 games overall.
Jahmai Jones went 2-4.
Tulsa Drillers 3 – San Antonio Missions (San Diego) 2
Another walkoff win for an LAD affiliate. The Drillers went into the bottom of the 9th down 2-1 and scored twice for the win. Mostly due to wildness from the Missions pitcher, but a win is a win.
Before I get to the 9th, there was some outstanding pitching by Nick Nastrini for the Drillers. He completed 5.0 scoreless innings. He allowed an unearned run with 1 hit, 1 BB, and 2 K. The best news for Nick was the lone BB in 5.0 IP. He needs more AA work as he has only 12.0 IP in 2023, but he is going to be in the mix of top AA pitchers with Landon Knack, Nick Frasso, Emmet Sheehan, River Ryan, Kyle Hurt, Braydon Fisher…Many of those could become lockdown late inning high leverage relievers (including Nastrini), but that is as good as a pitching staff on one MiLB team as there is in all of MiLB (without doing the research). That is also not including some excellent relief work from Trevor Bettencourt, Alec Gamboa, John Rooney, Ryan Sublette…I am also anxious to see more of Jack Little.
Now back to the game. River Ryan relieved Nastrini, and in his 3.0 IP, he allowed only 1 base runner. Unfortunately that one runner circled the bases after his HR. Two top AA pitchers. 8.0 IP, 2 hits, 2 runs (1 earned), 1 BB, 6 K. Tanner Dodson allowed some traffic with 2 hits in the 9th, but got out of the inning without any runs.
Jonny DeLuca led off the 6th inning with his 8th HR on the season. In the 9th, with one out, Eddys Leonard singled. That was followed by 3 consecutive BB to force in the tying run. After a pitching change, Jonny DeLuca singled home the walkoff run.
Yesterday there was some discussion on Andy Pages. I am not sure what has happened to him. Last year he worked hard on his plate discipline and cutting down his Ks. He worked hard on transforming his body this winter. He got off to a great start in 2023. For the first 11 games his metrics were: .406/.501/.719/1.220. He had 8 strikeouts and 10 BB. Since that time, in 12 games, his metrics have gone to .243/.412/.434/.846, with 8 BB and 16 K. Coincidence? He did better in today’s game going 1-2 with 2 BB and no K.
In addition, Pages’ power is way down. He has gone from 31 HR (2021) and 26 HR (2022), to just 2 thus far in 2023.
- Justin DeLuca – 3-5, 1 R, 2 RBI, HR (8)
- Andy Pages – 1-2, 2 BB – Reaching base in 3 of 4 PA
- Nick Nastrini – 5.0 IP, 1 R (unearned), 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K – 65 Pitches/41 strikes
- River Ryan – 3.0 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 4 K, 38 pitches/26 strikes
Great Lakes Loons 9 – Quad Cities River Bandits (KC) 2
Great Lakes scored 9 runs on 10 hits, with only 2 XBH. The difference maker was that they received 12 walks and a HBP to go with those 10 hits.
They got two runs in the 2nd with 2 singles and 3 walks to take a lead. Justin Wrobleski was the SP for Great Lakes. He lasted 2.2 innings because he too had problems with control. He allowed an unearned run in the 3rd on a single, two walks, and fielding error. Julian Smith was called on to finish the inning.
In the 4th, Smith issued a BB. With a SB and single, the River Bandits took a 2-1 lead. In the bottom of the 4th, Chris Alleyne opened with a single and moved to 3rd on a Jake Vogel double (3), and scored on an Austin Gauthier (pictured) sac fly. After 4 innings, GL had a 3-2 lead.
Great Lakes scored 2 runs in each of the 5th, 7th, and 8th innings. Walks were the big part of this scoring. In all, their were 7 walks, a HBP, and 4 singles to create 6 runs.
At the time the Loons were scoring 6, the Great Lakes relievers dominated the final 5.0 innings. Christian De Los Santos (1.0 IP), Mitchell Tyranski (2.0 IP), and Aldry Acosta (2.0 IP) combined for 5.0 scoreless innings on 2 hits, zero walks, and 5 Ks. De Los Santos and Tyranski were especially tough with three perfect innings and 5 Ks.
Two Loons batters generated 7 RBIs.
- Austin Gauthier – 3-3, 2 BB, 4 RBI
- Jake Vogel – 3-3, 1 BB, 3 RBI
For the season, Austin Gauthier is batting an incredible .431/.533/.611/1.134 with 14BB against 16 K. For his career, Austin has struck out 153 times to go with 140 walks. Austin was an undrafted free agent who was signed by the Dodgers in August 2021. He turns 24 on Sunday, and I would like to see what he can do at AA. He would not be the first undrafted free agent to make it to MLB.
A switch went off for Jake Vogel. On April 23, Jake was batting .167. Since then, he has gone 8-16 with 5 BB. His average is now up to .250. The surprise for me is that he is not attempting to run this year.
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 4 – Lake Elsinore Storm (San Diego) 3
RC stretched their win streak to 10 games with this win. The Quakes are now in 1st place alone in the California League South Division.
Jerming Rosario (1-1) became the first Quakes’ starter to record a win in 2023, as he allowed just one run on two hits over five innings.
Rancho went without a base-runner through the first three innings against Storm starter Thomas Balboni, Jr. In the fourth though, the offense got going and capitalized on Storm mistakes. Balboni (1-1) walked lead-off hitter Jose Izarra to open the door. An error and another walk loaded the bases with one out for Jesus Galiz, who delivered a sac fly to score Izarra, making it 1-0. Rayne Doncon followed with Rancho’s first hit of the game, an RBI single to plate Chris Newell, giving the Quakes a 2-0 lead.
Leading 3-1 in the eighth, Nick Biddison caught a break at the plate, when Storm center fielder Samuel Zavala misplayed his screaming line drive. Zavala dove and missed the liner, allowing Biddison to circle the bases for the rare inside-the-park home run, his second homer of the year, making it 4-1.
The Quakes allowed the Storm to get back in the game in the eighth, as defensive breakdowns made it 4-3.
Madison Jeffrey retired the side in order for his third save in as many tries this year.
The Quakes made the most out of their 4 hits. Chris Newell had a double (4), and Nick Biddison hit a HR (2).