On a night old friend Jharel Cotton started in the majors for Oakland, the Dodgers faced the other two thirds of the cost of the Rich Hill / Josh Reddick trade on Monday. But a 27-year-old stole the show in Midland.
Player of the day
Tim Shibuya came within one strike of a no-hitter on Monday for Double-A Tulsa, settling for a one-hit shutout of Midland on the road.
Midland center fielder hit a dribbler up the middle off Shibuya’s glove with two outs in the ninth inning, easily reaching for a single to break up history. That was just the second baserunner allowed by Shibuya, who retired 15 straight after a fourth-inning walk.
Shibuya struck out six on Monday and induced an absurd 17 ground ball outs, making the Drillers outfielders almost spectators. Shibuya, a right-hander out of UCSD, threw 111 pitches in his one-hitter, including pounding the zone with 80 strikes.
It was the kind of outing you like to see from a seven-year minor leaguer, who has often been the odd man out this year in Tulsa, and even Triple-A Oklahoma City. There is taking one for the team, and then a few levels beyond that is what Shibuya did in a spot start for OKC on May 5, allowing 13 runs on 14 hits in just 2⅔ innings.
Shibuya now has a 1.51 ERA in 35⅔ innings for Tulsa, where he has been most of the year, healthy though not always active. The Tulsa World beat writer for the Drillers put it this way:
Perhaps Dodgers will keep Tim Shibuya on @TulsaDrillers active roster after his 1-hitter -- has been placed on DL four times this year— Barry Lewis (@BarryLewisTW) July 4, 2017
Monday was the fifth career complete game for Shibuya and the fourth shutout, his first of both since 2014, when he was in the Twins system.
Triple-A Oklahoma City
Alex Verdugo continued his offensive rampage, hitting a two-out, two-run double in the ninth inning, lifting Oklahoma City to a 6-5 road win over the Nashville Sounds (Athletics).
Down a run with two outs in the ninth, a single and an error put two runners on for Verdugo, who hit his second double of the game to give OKC the lead. Verdugo has reached base by hit or walk in 28 straight games, hitting .423/.475/.595 during that span.
Joe Broussard pitched two scoreless innings of relief for the win. Old friend Frankie Montas started for Nashville, allowing two runs in four innings.
Even though Shibuya was putting up zeroes, Tulsa was held down by former Dodgers prospect Grant Holmes until the seventh inning, when the Drillers rallied for two in a 3-0 win over the Midland RockHounds (A’s).
Four singles and an error brought home two runs against Holmes in the seventh, then against the bullpen in the eighth inning Edwin Rios doubled and scored in the win.
Class-A Rancho Cucamonga
The Quakes scored five runs in the bottom of the first, but the Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies) scored in six of the next seven innings to beat Rancho Cucamonga, 11-8.
Yadier Alvarez had a mediocre start, allowing four runs in 3 innings, with more walks (three) than strikeouts (two) for the first time since his 2017 debut on Apr. 17, in Lancaster.
DJ Peters had three hits, including a triple and a double, and the Quakes got home runs from designated hitter Will Smith and first baseman Luke Raley in defeat.
Class-A Great Lakes
A.J. Alexy struck out five in five scoreless innings, leading the Loons over the West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers), 4-1 on Monday. The right-hander, drafted out of high school by the Dodgers in the 11th round in 2016, has a 2.47 ERA in 15 starts for the Loons, including three scoreless outings in his last four starts.
20-year-old Logan Crouse, the consolation prize when the Dodgers failed to sign 2015 draftee Kyle Funkhouser — LA was able to use the over-slot money they allotted for Funkhouser to lure the 30th-rounder Crouse to sign out of high school rather than go to Florida State — made his full-season debut on Monday, allowing one run in three innings in relief of Alexy.
The Raptors beat the Idaho Falls Chukars (Royals), 7-6 on a walk-off error in 10 innings on Monday. A pair of 2017 draft picks each had good games for Ogden.
Left fielder Tyler Adkison, the 32nd-rounder out of San Diego State, was 3-for-5 with three runs scored. Eighth-rounder Rylan Bannon, the third baseman from Xavier, was 2-for-5 with a double in the win.
Double-A: One of those four DL stints ended for Shibuya, who was activated to make Monday’s start; Left-handed pitcher Chris Cotton was placed on the seven-day disabled list.
Class-A: Pitcher Sven Schuller was promoted from Great Lakes to Rancho Cucamonga, and the Quakes placed pitcher Chris Powell on the DL; the Loons activated pitcher Jeremiah Muhammad from the DL, sent infielder Gersel Pitre to Ogden and released pitcher Kyle Grana; pitcher Logan Crouse and 2017 10th-round pick Zach Reks, the latter an outfielder out of Kentucky, were both promoted from Ogden to Great Lakes.
Lancaster 11, Rancho Cucamonga 8
Great Lakes 4, West Michigan 1
AZL Dodgers 3, AZL Athletics 2
(Yes, seeing those last two scores together confused me, too)
3:30 p.m. PT - Ogden (Carlos Felix) at Idaho Falls (TBD)
4:30 p.m. - Tulsa (TBD) at Midland (Heath Fillmyer)
4:35 p.m. - Great Lakes (Jordan Sheffield) at South Bend [Cubs] (Bryan Hudson)
5:05 p.m. - Oklahoma City (Trevor Oaks) vs. Iowa [Cubs] (Casey Kelly)
6:30 p.m. - Rancho Cucamonga (Devin Smeltzer) at San Jose [Giants] (Matt Krook)