Oklahoma City beat the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Brewers) 6-1 on Sunday to clinch the American Northern Division title in the Pacific Coast League, their second division title in as many years since becoming the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate.
OKC will play the American Southern Division champ Nashville Sounds (A’s) in the first round of the PCL playoffs, a best-of-five series that will begin with two games in Oklahoma City and end with up to three games in Nashville.
Player of the day
Jose De Leon continued his late-season romp through the PCL, striking out a season-high 13 with no walks and four hits allowed in his 7⅔ scoreless innings. It was his third consecutive double-digit strikeout game, and his fifth on the season, all since July 15.
The Dodgers’ top pitching prospect has an active scoreless streak of 17⅔ straight innings, dating back to Aug. 17. De Leon walked Padres prospect Carlos Asuaje in the first inning of that Aug. 17 game, but since then has 40 strikeouts without a walk.
De Leon was one strikeout shy of his career high of 14, set on Aug. 19, 2014 with Class-A Great Lakes. De Leon in his last six starts has a 1.30 ERA, with 46 strikeouts and four walks in 41⅔ innings.
The Dodgers would need to make a corresponding move to add De Leon to the 40-man roster if they were to call him up in September.
“There’s been discussions but also there has got to be a need and between now and when their season ends if it makes sense for him to come up here. If there is an opportunity for him to pitch, then it makes sense, but if there is no need, then it doesn’t make sense,” manager Dave Roberts said before Sunday’s game against the Cubs. “Jose has really pitched well, and so we’re excited about his development.”
Triple-A Oklahoma City
Austin Barnes broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the seventh inning with a solo home run, helping OKC to their second straight division crown. Yasiel Puig didn’t play, but found a way to contribute.
FYI, just noticed that Yasiel Puig is coaching first base this inning.— Jacob Unruh (@jacobunruh) August 29, 2016
Oklahoma City added five runs in the eighth inning to pull away for the win.
Louis Coleman, who will be activated by the Dodgers once roster expand next weekend, allowed a run in the ninth to close out the win, his third game on his rehab assignment, second with Oklahoma City.
Cody Bellinger, making his 11th start in center field this season, hit his 20th home run, but it wasn’t enough in the Drillers’ 7-5 loss at the Springfield Cardinals. Bellinger, who was robbed of a home run on Wednesday, also just missed a grand slam on a fly out on Sunday. He did double, walk and score twice on Sunday.
Shawn Zarraga, sent outright off the 40-man roster on Sunday, was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI in defeat.
Class-A Rancho Cucamonga
Andre Ethier played a second straight game for the Quakes, this time at DH at the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels). Ethier had an RBI single and was hit by a pitch twice in his first three plate appearances.
Class-A Great Lakes
Walker Buehler, the Dodgers’ first-round pick in 2015, started and pitched a scoreless inning for the Loons in a 2-0 win over the South Bend Cubs. Buehler, in his first game with Great Lakes and just his second game coming back from Tommy John surgery, walked a pair and hit a batter to load the bases in the first, but escaped the inning unscathed, including one strikeout.
Center fielder Saige Jenco, the Dodgers’ 24th-round pick this year out of Virginia Tech, doubled, tripled and scored both runs on Sunday. Leo Crawford pitched four scoreless frames in relief to earn the win, striking out two.
William Soto struck out seven in six innings, allowing just one run for the Raptors in a 2-1 loss to the Idaho Falls Chukars (Royals). Third baseman Brock Carpenter homered for Ogden.
File this under “long shot” but Dodgers seem to be experimenting with outfielder turned pitcher Jordan Schafer.
Jordan Schafer pinch running again in AZL. Got late jump, CS. Might be Sept cog as extra arm/legs. Looks like they're grooming him for it.— Eric Longenhagen (@longenhagen) August 29, 2016
Double-A: Catcher Shawn Zarraga outrighted off the 40-man roster. Class-A: Mitchell White promoted to Rancho Cucamonga from Great Lakes. The Quakes placed pitcher Rob Rogers on the 7-day DL. Walker Buehler promoted from AZL Dodgers to Great Lakes.
4:05 p.m. PT: Great Lakes (Caleb Ferguson) at South Bend (Oscar De La Cruz)
4:30 p.m.: Tulsa (Chase De Jong) at Memphis (Johnny Walter)
5:05 p.m.: Memphis [Cardinals] (Deck McGuire) at Oklahoma City (Alfredo Figaro)
6:15 p.m.: Ogden (Roberth Fernandez) at Idaho Falls (TBD)