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Yadier Alvarez strikes out 10 in Great Lakes debut, Jose De Leon on fire for OKC

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Yadier Alvarez has impressed so far in his first month of professional pitching.
Yadier Alvarez has impressed so far in his first month of professional pitching.
Photo: Tomo San | LA Dodgers

The highlight on the Dodgers' minor league side on Wednesday was the full-season pro debut of a Cuban right-hander who didn't disappoint, and a top pitching prospect at the top of his game.

Player of the day

The Dodgers signed Yadier Alvarez for $16 million on July 2, 2015, and after five games in the Arizona rookie league was promoted on Wednesday to full-season affiliate Class-A Great Lakes. In his first start with the Loons, he struck out 10 in only five innings.

The 20-year-old Alvarez walked a batter but struck out three in the first inning, then struck out the side in the second. He was impressive throughout his five innings.

Alvarez allowed three hits and a run, and just the one walk. In 25 professional innings he owns a 1.80 ERA with 36 strikeouts and 11 walks.

Triple-A Oklahoma City

Jose De Leon struck out 10 in eight scoreless innings, leading Oklahoma City over the Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners), 7-0. After allowing a one-out single in the opening frame, De Leon retired 16 straight hitters before hitting a batter with two outs in the sixth.

De Leon allowed an infield single in the seventh but also struck out three batters in the frame. He whiffed another in the eighth inning to give him 10 on the night, and 29 strikeouts in 19 innings in his last three starts. With eight innings, it was De Leon's longest outing as a professional.

He threw 105 pitches, and whopping 80 of them for strikes.

Austin Barnes hit a two-run home run in the first inning for Oklahoma City, his fifth of the season.

Double-A Tulsa

Willie Calhoun struck again in the Drillers' 5-4 win over the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. Tulsa's second baseman was 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored in the win, and hit his team-best 20th home run of the season. It was the third homer in two games for Calhoun, and his sixth home run in his last 10 games.

Tim Shibuya struck out six and walked none, pitching six scoreless innings in his start, but got a no-decision.

Alex Verdugo made his presence felt with this catch:

Class-A Rancho Cucamonga

The Quakes were off on Wednesday.

Class-A Great Lakes

Behind Alvarez, the Loons beat the Lake County Cougars (Diamondbacks) 5-1. Catcher Will Smith, drafted by the Dodgers in the supplemental first round this year, hit his second home run as a professional and his first with Great Lakes in the win. The Loons stole five bases, including one by right fielder Darien Tubbs, who has eight steals in 10 attempts in just 19 games with Great Lakes.

Rookie-level Ogden

The Raptors were off on Wednesday.


Triple-A: Charlie Culberson was recalled to Los Angeles, and Julio Urias was removed from the roster in advance of his Thursday call up to start for the Dodgers. Pitcher Sam LeCure was activated from the disabled list, and infielder Drew Maggi was promoted from Tulsa.

Double-A: Second baseman Noah Perio was promoted from Great Lakes to Tulsa.

Class-A: Alvarez was promoted from the Arizona rookie league to the Loons. Infielder Zack McKinstry, the Dodgers' 33rd-round pick this year, was also promoted from Arizona to Great Lakes.

Rookie: Pitcher Rob McDonnell was sent from Great Lakes to Ogden.

Wednesday scores

Oklahoma City 7, Tacoma 0

Tulsa 5, Northwest Arkansas 4

Great Lakes 5, Kane County 1

DSL Dodgers  5, DSL Rojos 4

DSL Royals 5, DSL Dodgers 1

Thursday schedule

4:05 p.m. PT: Kane County (Sam McWilliams) at Great Lakes (Imani Abdullah)

5:05 p.m.: Tulsa (Scott Barlow) at Arkansas [Angels] (Alex Blackford)

6:05 p.m.: Ogden (Josh Kimborowicz) at Missoula [Diamondbacks] (Alex Gouin)

7:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Ross Stripling) at Tacoma (Jarrett Grube)

7:05 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Grant Holmes) at Lake Elsinore [Padres] (Enyel De Los Santos)