The Dodgers had a pair of rain-shortened minor league games on Tuesday, and another solid performance by a rapidly-rising pitching prospect. But the focus of the day is on a veteran making an important step in his long road back from injury.
Player of the day
Brandon Beachy made his first appearance in a game since Aug. 20, 2013, starting his rehab assignment with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. The two-time Tommy John surgery survivor threw 35 pitches in 1⅔ innings, with a walk and a strikeout.
"It’s exciting, it’s fun. It gets the blood flowing. Somebody in a different uniform in the box. It’s exciting," Beachy told Ron Cervenka of Think Blue LA. "I don’t even care about the numbers, none of that matters."
Triple-A Oklahoma City
Field conditions in Colorado Springs were deemed unplayable after a one-hour rain delay, Oklahoma City lost 2-1 to the Sky Sox (Brewers) in a rain-shortened six-inning game. Andy Wilkins drove in the only run for OKC, and is hitting .435 (10-for-23) with 10 RBI in his last seven games.
Hector Olivera, who left after five innings on Monday night in Colorado Springs, didn't play at all on Tuesday, though not because he was getting promoted to the majors.
Mattingly: Hector Olivera out of OKC #Dodgers lineup due to "elevation issues" in Colo. headache-y, sick feeling. Not in lineup tonight— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) June 16, 2015
Scott Baker was scheduled to start for OKC, but was a late scratch with a light back injury per Jacob Unruh of The Oklahoman. a Steve Smith made a spot start and allowed one run in three innings, the 17th different starting pitcher used by Oklahoma City in 64 games this season.
Jose De Leon allowed only one hit and two walks in five scoreless innings, striking out eight in a rain-shortened 2-0 win by the Drillers over the Springfield Cardinals. De Leon has 38 strikeouts in 28 innings since his promotion to Double-A.
Tulsa rallied for two runs in the fifth inning before the rains came, with RBI doubles by recent trade acquisition Ronald Torreyes and minor league Rule 5 outfielder Peter Lavin.
In addition to pitching, De Leon had a professional first on Tuesday.
Had my first pro at bat last night.. Pitcher was throwing 87 mph, felt like 187 mph. Struck out like a boss! National League is really fun— Jose De Leon (@J_DeLeon18) June 17, 2015
A shot from my first pro at-bat #ThatsWhyIPitch pic.twitter.com/OqNnlhFS3h— Jose De Leon (@J_DeLeon18) June 17, 2015
In his second plate appearance, De Leon executed a sacrifice bunt in the Drillers' two-run winning rally in the fifth.
Class-A Rancho Cucamonga
The Quakes rallied for two runs in the eighth inning, with Cody Bellinger singling home Dillon Moyer with the go-ahead run in a 4-3 win over the High Desert Mavericks (Rangers). The Quakes (38-27) have a two-game lead over the Lancaster JetHawks (Astros) with five games remaining in the first half, with a magic number of four to clinch a California League playoff spot.
Beachy wasn't alone in rehabbing for the Quakes. Brandon League pitched a scoreless third inning, allowing one hit while striking out one, coupled with Monday his first back-to-back outings of the year. After five games with Rancho Cucamonga, League moves his rehab to Triple-A Oklahoma City, along with Joel Peralta.
Thanks for the hospitality @RCQuakes and the city of Rancho. You guys were great!!— Brandon League (@BrandonLeague43) June 17, 2015
Low Class-A Great Lakes
The Loons rallied for a 3-2 walk-off win in the ninth inning over the Lake County Captains (Indians), taking advantage of shortstop Ordomar Valdez in the win. Valdez, who made an error in the eighth inning that didn't end up mattering, nearly made a great play in the ninth but Cristian Gomez beat the throw for an infield single.
With two outs, Gomez advanced to third on a single to left field by Kelvin Ramos, then scored on an error by Valdez. The Loons have won 11 of their last 12 games.
With five games left in the first half, Great Lakes (36-27) is in a virtual tie with Bowling Green (37-28) for second place in the Eastern Division of the Midwest League, one game behind Lansing (38-27). The Loons travel to Lansing for three games beginning Friday to close out the first half.
"I want to make it to the playoffs, but I don’t want to put that pressure on them," Loons manager Luis Matos said on Tuesday. "We are here to develop players but we are also here to develop winners."
Double-A: After four scoreless innings on Sunday with Great Lakes, a post-Tommy John surgery Ross Stripling was transferred to Tulsa. Mickey Storey was released after four starts; the 29-year-old had a 3.47 ERA with 16 strikeouts and 11 walks in 23⅓ innings with the Drillers.
Tuesday box scores
Colorado Springs 2, Oklahoma City 1 (6)
Rancho Cucamonga 4, High Desert 3
11:35 a.m. PT: Oklahoma City (Ian Thomas) at Colorado Springs (Drew Gagnon)
4:05 p.m.: Lake County (Thomas Pannone) at Great Lakes (Grant Holmes)
5:05 p.m.: Arkansas (Angels) (Michael Brady) at Tulsa (Eric Stults)
7:05 p.m.: High Desert (Richelson Pena) at Rancho Cucamonga (Jeff Brigham)