Playoff race update – I'll start by saying none of the Dodger minor league affiliates clinched a playoff spot in the first half of their respective seasons, so it all comes down to the second half for all of these teams. That being said, the Albuquerque Isotopes, Arizona Dodgers, and Dominican Dodgers (whose season is now over) have all been eliminated from playoff contention. The Chattanooga Lookouts are one game below .500 in the second half, but they are also just one game out of first place with 7 left to play. The division title will be determined in the final few days of the season as the Lookouts finish their year with a 5 game series against the 1st place Tennessee Smokies. The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes are currently in 4th place in their division, yet they are just 2 games out of the division lead and one game out of a wildcard spot so they still have plenty to play for. The Quakes also have 7 games left to play. The Great Lakes Loons are 5 games below .500 and 10.5 games behind the 1st place Whitecaps, however they are just a half game behind in the fight for the final playoff spot. Because the Whitecaps and 2nd place Silver Hawks already clinched a playoff spot in the 1st half, the 3rd and 4th place teams in the Eastern Division will earn playoff births. Basically the Loons will be battling the Dayton Dragons for 4th place over the final 8 games of the season, with their next two games coming against these very Dragons. The Ogden Raptors are just a half game behind the Rockies for 1st place, and they have 11 games left in their season.
Minor League Player of the Day – Jharel Cotton (HiA) - 5.2 IP, 4 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 6 K's. While this game doesn't even rank in the top 4 performances of the year for Cotton, he still had a very impressive outing on Sunday to help the Quakes shutout the Ports. After a rough first half of the season where he posted a 7.07 ERA, he has shown a ton of improvement in the 2nd half during which time he sports a 2.55 ERA.
AAA – The Isotopes were doubled up by the RedHawks (Astros) in a 6 - 3 loss. Compared to his previous two outings starter Chris Reed showed some improvement, but he still allowed 8 hits and 5 runs over 4.1 frames to take the loss. Red Patterson gave up just one hit in 2.2 innings of relief, while Scott Elbert tossed a hitless 8th. At the dish Trayvon Robinson went 2 for 5 with a double, a triple, and 2 RBI's, but that was about it for the offensive highlights. Joc Pederson drove in the other run with a single.
AA – The Lookouts had just one extra base hit on Sunday in their 4 - 2 loss to the Generals (Mariners). Bobby Coyle homered, but other 7 hits in this game were all singles including a pair of base knocks by Scott Schebler. Corey Seager went 0 for 4 with a couple of K's. On the mound Matt Shelton took the loss despite a quality start as he allowed 6 hits and 3 runs over 6 frames. Freddie Cabrera gave up the other run during his 2 innings of work.
HiA – Four Rancho pitchers combined to shutout the Ports (A's) 3 - 0 on Sunday. The story of the game, however, was Stockton pitcher Chris Lamb who struck out 17 Quake hitters in his 7 innings of work, including a league record 10 in a row at one point. Still the Rancho offense was able to generate enough runs to win the game, with most of the damage coming from Erisbel Arruebarrena as he went 2 for 4 with a double and a homer. Getting back to the Rancho pitching, starter Jharel Cotton tossed 5.2 scoreless innings while allowing just 4 hits. He also struck out 6, and walked just 1. Geoff Brown followed with 1.1 perfect frames, then Victor Araujo and Daniel Tillman tossed a solid inning each to preserve the shutout.
LoA – The Loons lost a game in the standing on Sunday as they fell to the Dragons (Reds) 4 to 2. Great Lakes wasn't able to generate much offense in this game as they managed just 6 hits. Josmar Cordero went 2 for 4 with a double while Tyler Wampler drove in a run with a two-bagger of his own, but that was about it. Loon starter Jose De Leon had another impressive outing as he struck out 9 over 5 innings, but he did give up 2 runs on 5 hits and left the game when it was tied. Matt Campbell took the loss in relief after allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, but Michael Johnson was impressive as he struck out 4 over 1.2 hitless frames.
Rookie Ogden – The Raptors walked off against the Rockies for the second day in a row, this one by a score of 7 - 6. The bottom of the 9th started with an infield single by Michael Ahmed, then the next two batters walked. Jimmy Allen lined out with the bases loaded, but Cody Bellinger was able to leg out a potential double play grounder to give his team the victory. Going all the way back to the 1st inning, DH Justin Chigbogu set a new franchise record with his 19th homer of the season, a 3-run shot that surpassed Brian Cavazos-Galvez's 18 bombs in 2009. Andrew Godbold also went deep for his second long ball of the season. Starter J.D. Underwood allowed 5 hits and 3 runs over 5 innings, but he also struck out 7. Adrian Rivero got into a lot of trouble as he gave up 2 runs without recording an out, but Karch Kowalczyk was the hero out of the bullpen as he finished the game with 2.2 shutout frames.
Rookie Arizona – Off day
DSL – Season over
Coming up – The Quakes have Monday off, but everyone else plays including the Loons who will send Brandon Martinez to the mound. Matt Magill will toe the rubber for the Isotopes, Victor Gonzalez will throw for the Raptors, and the Lookouts haven't announced their starter.
Minor League Transactions – AA: Matt Shelton and Alberto Rosario switched spots on the DL, with Shelton being the one that got activated. HiA: With Erisbel Arruebarrena joining the Quakes, Casio Grider was placed on the DL. Ogden: Daniel Keller was activated from the DL.