OKC Dodgers 12 – Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies) 6
While the Dodgers lost to the Rockies at the ML level, the AAA Dodgers beat the Rockies AAA team, Isotopes, series 5 games to 1.
With a 16 hit attack, the Dodgers blasted 4 homeruns, 2 doubles and 2 triples. But after Ryan Pepiot, Carson Fulmer, Darien Núñez, and Reyes Moronta had relatively poor outings before Phil Bickford came in to close down the game. This game was won by the offense. Noda scored on another fielding error for a 2-0 lead.
The Dodgers got off to a good start in the 2nd inning with Eddy Alvarez leading off with a triple. Alvarez scored on a single by Andy Burns. Ryan Noda was aboard on a force out, stole 2nd, and went to 3rd on the catcher’s throwing error.
The Dodgers took a 3-0 lead in the 4th with a Ryan Noda HR.
Pepiot exited the game with 2 outs in the 4th after walking Brian Serven. Pepiot threw 57 pitches (37 strikes). Carson Fulmer relieved Pepiot and got the final out of the inning. But wildness took over for Fulmer in the 5th. After a pair of walks, and 3rd batter reached 1st on catcher’s interference. The bases were cleared by a Scott Schebler triple, and the score was tied 3-3.
The Dodgers took the lead again in the 5th with a Miguel Vargas single and Jake Lamb’s 2nd HR of 2022. The lead was increased to 3 on Ryan Noda’s 2nd HR of the game in the 6th.
Darien Núñez relieved in the 7th. The Isotopes scored three in the 7th with an Elehuris Montero HR (2nd of the year), a double, and a pair of walks before Reyes Moronta came in to relieve Núñez. Moronta gave up a game tying 2-run single before retiring the side.
The Dodgers broke it open in their half of the 7th inning. Eddy Alvarez followed a Jake Lamb walk with a 2 run HR. Next batter, Andy Burns, singled and stole 2nd. Tomás Telis singled to score Burns. After Jason Martin walked, Zach McKinstry got his 3rd triple in the last 3 games to score 2. Miguel Vargas singled in McKinstry for the 6th run of the inning.
Moronta allowed a pair of baserunners in the 8th, but no runs scored. Phil Bickford relieved in the 9th in a non-save situation, and retired the side with one walk and one strikeout.
Eddy Alvarez and Miguel Vargas had three hits. Burns, McKinstry, Noda and Telis had two hits apiece. Unfortunately, Jason Martin did not get one of the 16 hits, and his 5 game hit streak came to an end.
Tulsa Drillers 7 – Wichita Wind Surge (Minnesota) 3
What a difference a day makes. After garnering a combined 11 hits and only two doubles as XBH over the first two games, the Drillers got 5 hits, including 2 doubles and a Hunter Feduccia HR…all in the first inning.
The game started with James Outman and Michael Busch banging doubles. Andy Pages continued with his hot bat with a single putting runners on the corners. A Justin Yurchak ground force out scored Busch. Next batter, Hunter Feduccia slugs a 3-1 pitch over the right CF wall for a 2 run HR. Jacob Amaya walked, was balked to 2nd, and scored on a Devin Mann single. Nice inning.
After a pair of doubles, the Wind Surge got one back in the bottom of the 1st. After that, LHP John Rooney settled down to allow only a pair of singles over the next 4.2 innings. For some reason, Rooney was allowed to go through 5.0 IP and 71 pitches (51 strikes).
The Drillers got that run back with a Jeren Kendall walk, SB, and a Michael Busch run-scoring base hit.
Alec Gamboa relieved Rooney in the 6th and pitched a scoreless inning, allowing one single and one strikeout. With Zach Plunkett pitching in the 7th, the Wind Surge score two on three singles and a sac fly, to cut the lead to 2.
In the Drillers’ 9th, Andy Pages walks, and moves to second on a line out to CF, and scored on Hunter Feduccia’s third hit of the game.
Tulsa closer Aaron Ochsenbein enters and proceeds to retire the side in order, including two strikeouts, one to end the game. Drillers win their third straight 7-3. John Rooney was a rarity this early in the season. A starting pitcher with a win. While Ochsenbein closed the game out, with a 4-run lead, he did not get the save.
West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit) 14 – Great Lakes Loons 4
Nick Nastrini started for the Loons on Sunday afternoon in a much anticipated start by Dodger minor league fans. The 22-year-old right-hander raised eye brows in spring training and generated a lot of attention with suggestions he might be a steal in the 2021 First-Year Player Draft as a 4th round selection out of UCLA. His success, as for many young pitchers, is dependent on his control in limiting walks.
Nastrini had a good start over two innings allowing no hits while striking out three. He did so on 38 pitches, 23 of them for strikes. He did walk two.
Right-hander Cole Percival took over for the Loons in the third inning and for two innings he had the world by the tail retiring all six batters he faced. In the top of the fifth he had a tiger by the tail giving up a single followed by a home run. In the sixth inning he left with the bases loaded and none out having given up two singles and a walk.
At this point 22-year-old right-hander Aldry Acosta took the hill and limited the Whitecaps to one run on a strikeout and two ground outs. In the seventh inning he retired the side on three ground outs. Acosta would be the Loons player of the game just edging out Jonny DeLuca.
Offensively the Loons were still having a struggle to string hits together. In the bottom of the first inning Jonny DeLuca led off with a home run. It was the second game in a row that he has led off with a long ball. At that point in the season he had three hits, all home runs. The Loons led 1-0 on DeLuca’s home run until the fifth inning when they fell behind 2-1.
In the bottom of the fifth Great Lakes did string together some hits and for the first time in the season they put three runners on base in the same inning. Catcher Kekai Rios drove in his first run of the season and Jonny DeLuca put the Loons ahead 3-2 with an opposite field liner to right field.
That lead evaporated in the seventh and eighth inning as the Whitecaps scored a run in each inning. Right-hander Cole Duensing came on in the top of the eighth giving up the run in that inning that gave West Michigan a 5-3 lead.
Right-hander Kevin Malisheski came on the pitch the ninth inning for the Loons. Now 24, he was a 38th round selection by the Dodgers in 2016. The Whitecaps quickly loaded the bases with no outs on a bloop single, a bunt single, and a walk. Malisheski headed back to the dugout having recorded no outs and giving up six earned runs. Right-hander Carlos Alejo was called upon to put out the fire and didn’t have much more luck than Malisheski. He allowed two inherited runners to score and gave up three earned runs.
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 4 – Visalia Rawhide (Arizona) 5 – 13 innings
Maddux Bruns made his 2022 debut and pitched 2.0 innings allowing 1 hit with 4 Ks. Bruns threw 27 pitches (22 for strikes).
Behind 1-0, the Damon Keith tripled to lead off the 6th, and scored the tying run on a Luis Rodriguez single. Jake Vogel grounded into a force out. Jake stole second and went to third on the errant throw. Luis Yanel Diaz singled Vogel home for the 2-1 lead.
In the bottom of the 8th, the Rawhide’s leadoff hitter got on 1st due to an error by Kenneth Betancourt. He eventually came around to score on a wild pitch to knot the game at 2 apiece, and was the same after 9.
The game went into extra innings. The Quakes scored a run in the 10th, with the ghost runner on 2nd, a HBP and walk loaded the bases. Jake Vogel drew a second walk, for the go-ahead run. Visalia scored in their half of the 10th when their leadoff hitter singled to score the ghost runner.
With two outs in the 12th, Damon Keith, doubled to score the ghost runner, for another lead. Visalia scored on a two out single of their own to tie the game.
With the ghost runner at 2nd, the leadoff hitter was intentionally walked, and the next batter singled in the winning run.
Of the seven hits, Damon Keith had three hits (2 doubles and a triple) and Luis Rodriguez had two hits. Diego Cartaya went 0-3 with 2 walks and a HBP.
The Quakes fall to 1-2 in the series and season.