Saturday saw two different Dodgers minor leaguers hit three doubles, a 2016 drat pick hit two home runs, and some great pitching by Oklahoma City. But the highlight was a return to the field for a 10-year major league veteran working his way back.
Player of the day
Andre Ethier played in his second minor league rehab game for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, starting in right field for his first action on defense in a game since breaking his right tibia during spring training in March.
Ethier played four innings in the field and was 0-for-3 at the plate, but just getting back on the field is an important step for him, with a potential activation by the Dodgers at some point in September.
It is unknown how long Ethier’s rehab assignment will last, but since he hasn’t played since March it could last a little while. The Quakes’ regular season ends on Sept. 5, with eight games left after Saturday.
“He essentially didn’t have a spring training. He’s up against the calendar, but I’m going to give him carte blanche to communicate with me how he feels,” manager Dave Roberts said on Saturday. “When he’s ready, he’ll let me know and we’ll act accordingly.”
Triple-A Oklahoma City
Strong pitching ruled the day, with Oklahoma City allowing just one run in 16 innings in a doubleheader sweep of the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Brewers), 1-0 in nine innings in the first game and 5-1 in the night cap.
Lisalverto Bonilla struck out seven in the second game, not allowing a run until the seventh and final inning. His complete game was welcome because Oklahoma City used seven pitchers in Game 1, combining for 10 strikeouts with just three hits and a walk allowed.
Trevor Oaks, in his first start since Aug. 15, left with a right groin strain after just three batters faced.
Yasiel Puig was 2-for-4 in the first game, including a double in the ninth inning. He scored that game’s only run, bringing home the game winner on Austin Barnes’ walk-off single one out later.
Alex Verdugo and Kyle Farmer each hit home runs, and Kyle Garlick hit three doubles, leading the Drillers’ offensive onslaught in an 11-8 road win over the Springfield Cardinals on Saturday night.
Cody Bellinger walked three times and scored twice in the win, and Josh Sborz struck out three over the final two innings, pitching scoreless baseball to earn the save, his first since joining Double-A.
Class-A Rancho Cucamonga
With Tommy Bergjans traded to the Phillies as part of the Carlos Ruiz - A.J. Ellis deal, Chris Anderson filled in to start for the Quakes on Saturday in a 10-4 loss to the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels). In his first start since May 6, Anderson allowed four runs in his four innings.
Anderson, the Dodgers’ first-round pick in 2013, has had a rough year all around in 2016, with a 4.88 ERA and as many walks (44) as strikeouts (44). He has a 3.52 ERA as a reliever, but also allowed eight unearned runs to go with his 12 earned runs. The only real noticeable improvement in his relief numbers compared to starting his a walk rate cut from 19.5 percent as a starter to 10 percent in his 29 relief outings.
Class-A Great Lakes
Logan Landon had three different run-scoring doubles, driving in four in all in the Loons’ 7-2 road win over the South Bend Cubs, two games ahead of Lansing for a playoff spot with nine games remaining.
Gage Green also homered in the win, on his birthday, and Dennis Santana allowed just one unearned run in four innings in relief, with four strikeouts and a pair of walks.
Left fielder Cody Thomas hit two home runs and drove in four for the Raptors in their 5-4 win over the Grand Junction Rockies. The former football and baseball player at Oklahoma, drafted this year by the Dodgers in the 13th round, got off to a blazing start to his pro career, hitting 10 home runs and 21 extra-base hits in 25 games in July, all but three of those games with Ogden.
But Thomas struggled mightily in August, going 11-for-73 (.151) with 38 strikeouts and six walks before Saturday night’s two-homer outburst.
Rookie-level Arizona League
Noted AZL Dodger Kenta Maeda did not pitch.
Triple-A: Relief pitcher Luis Avilan, optioned by the Dodgers on Thursday, was added to Oklahoma City’s roster. Catcher Shawn Zarraga was sent to Double-A Tulsa. Class-A: Pitcher Bubby Rossman was sent to the Arizona League. Rookie: Pitcher Hector Rodriguez was sent from Ogden to the Arizona League.
Game 1: Oklahoma City 1, Colorado Springs 0 (9)
Game 2: Oklahoma City 5, Colorado Springs 1
Inland Empire 10, Rancho Cucamonga 4
11:05 a.m. PT: Great Lakes (Leo Crawford) at South Bend (Duane Underwood)
12:05 p.m.: Tulsa (Scott Barlow) at Springfield (Ian McKinney)
3 p.m.: Ogden (Willian Soto) at Idaho Falls [Royals] (Andres Machado)
4:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Jose De Leon) at Colorado Springs (Aaron Wilkerson)
5:05 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Michael Boyle) at Inland Empire (Jared Ruxer)