RANCHO CUCAMONGA —- The Quakes salvaged the day for Dodgers minor league affiliates with a win on Saturday night but the other teams were hobbled by some poor pitching and lack of offense.
Player of the day
Yadier Alvarez did not get a swinging strike in his first California League start last Monday night in Lancaster. On Saturday night, he struck out the side once and five of six batters in the second and third innings. He was sitting 96-97 mph in the first two innings and 94 mph in the fourth inning. He also showed some impressive off-speed pitches.
Triple-A Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City took a 1-0 lead to the ninth inning and what might seem as a familiar theme, they gave up six runs in that last inning and the Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals) won, 6-1.
Two Dodgers that had good games were Trevor Oaks and O`Koyea Dickson. Oaks started and pitched five scoreless innings, giving up four hits, a walk while striking out six. Dickson hit his fifth home run of the year to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.
But in the ninth, Brandon Morrow recorded no outs while allowing all seven batters he faced to reach base, and six of them scored.
The Drillers dropped two games to NW Arkansas Naturals (Royals) on Saturday by scores of 3-2 and 5-3. Ivan Vietez went 4⅓ innings in the first game for Tulsa, and gave up no runs with two strikeouts. In the second game, Andrew Sopko made his 2017 debut and he gave up four runs and seven hits in three innings pitched.
Four of the five runs scored by Tulsa were via solo home runs. Jose Miguel Fernandez hit his second home run of the season in the first game and Kyle Garlick hit his third of the year. Logan Landon and Wynston Sawyer each hit their first home runs of the year for the Drillers.
Class-A Rancho Cucamonga
The Quakes combined solid hitting and pitching and beat Inland Empire 66ers (Angels) 7-3 to take the first two games of their series. As noted above, Yadier Alvarez was impressive in his first home start and the bullpen did a good to manage the rest of the game.
Manager Drew Saylor thought Alvarez’s tempo made everything work really well.
“One of the things that really stood out for us was his ability to get in the zone, throw his fastball, be able to do a good job in terms of keeping his tempo,” Saylor said. “That was really a big focus. Don’t take so much time, get the ball, get the sign, go get the hitter.
“With that increased tempo, his direction was better to home plate, he was able to get on top of his breaking ball. I thought his breaking ball today was phenomenal relative to what it was in Lancaster.”
The Quakes hit the ball all over the park with home runs from Drew Jackson, Luke Raley and Ibandel Isabel. DJ Peters had two doubles.
Class-A Great Lakes
The Loons got a fine performance from starting pitcher Jordan Sheffield but an eight-run ninth made it a 12-2 win for the Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres). Sheffield pitched four scoreless innings and struck out five while allowing three hits and a walk.
After Sheffield left, the TinCaps scored three runs off Luis De Paula in the fifth inning, two on a Fernando Tatis Jr two-run homer.
In the seventh inning, Brendon Davis had a two-out single with the bases-loaded to bring the Loons within one, Davis continued his fine start with a 2-for-4 game.
The TinCaps scored a run in the eighth to make it 4-2 but then in the ninth, they sent 12 batters to the plate, scoring eight runs to produce the lopsided win.
Double-A: Right-handed pitcher Andrew Sopko assigned to Tulsa; right-handed pitcher Miguel Urena assigned to Arizona League Dodgers from Tulsa.
Class-A: Right-handed pitcher Gregorio Sequera assigned to Great Lakes from AZL Dodgers; Great Lakes placed left-handed pitcher Christian Stolo on the 7-day disabled list retroactive to Friday.
Rancho Cucamonga 7, Inland Empire 3
11:05 a.m. PT: Great Lakes (Leo Crawford) vs. Fort Wayne (Will Headean)
12:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Wilmer Font) vs. Memphis (Arturo Reyes)
12:05 p.m.: Tulsa (Scott Barlow) at NW Arkansas (Zach Lovvorn)
2:05 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Mitch White) vs. Inland Empire 66ers (TBD)