The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes won 11-3 on Friday night and clinched their third consecutive postseason appearance. The Quakes will play the Lancaster JetHawks in a best three-out-of-five division series starting next Wednesday at Lancaster.
The only thing left to determine is who will have home field advantage if a fifth game is necessary, the JetHawks host the first two games, the Quakes will host the third and if necessary, the fourth game.
Home field advantage for that game is determined by best overall record for the season, currently the JetHawks lead the Quakes by a game plus they have the tie-breaker. So it is likely that the Quakes need to win all three of their remaining games and hope the JetHawks lose two of three.
Player of the day
Caleb Ferguson rightly was the winning pitcher in the clinching game, the 2017 California League all-star pitched five innings, giving up two runs and five hits. He struck out seven against one walk.
Triple-A Oklahoma City
The Dodgers held on to a 6-5 win over the Round Rock Express (Rangers) on Friday. The Express scored four runs in the eighth inning to bring them within one but that was as close as they got.
Eddie Gamboa pitched six innings, he allowed an unearned run and five hits. He also struck out four with no walks. Adam Liberatore continued his rehab assignment with a scoreless inning in the books.
Jordan Jankowski came in to pitch the eighth inning and after he faced five batters, he left having given up two hits and walking three. Four of those hitters would score.
Dylan Floro gave up two of those runs but he also pitched the final two innings for his second save.
Max Muncy hit a three-run homer to get the Dodgers on the board. They scored their other runs on a Bobby Wilson fielder’s choice and a Kyle Farmer two-run single.
The Drillers won 4-3 over the NW Arkansas Naturals (Royals) and that win meant that the Drillers just need one win in their upcoming three-game home series against the Springfield Cardinals to clinch the second-half division and a playoff spot.
Yadier Alvarez pitched six solid innings to get his second win for Tulsa. He gave up two runs and four hits. He struck out seven and walked two.
Brian Moran is not a prospect, he’s a 28-year old right-handed pitcher who’s been pitching professionally since 2009. The Drillers signed him in July and he’s been a big help in their bullpen. On Friday, he pitched two innings and struck out six. For the season, in 18 innings, he’s struck out 25 and walked two.
Johan Mieses was the Drillers offensive star, he was 2-for-2 with a three-run homer and an RBI single. Mieses also walked twice.
Class-A Rancho Cucamonga
The Quakes knew all they needed to clinch their third consecutive postseason appearance was either a win over the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres) or an Inland Empire 66er loss at the Lancaster JetHawks.
Early on, the Quakes they had a good chance to clinch it themselves as while they jumped out to a 9-2 lead, the 66ers had a 6-0 lead over the JetHawks in the third inning.
Both of those games continued in that fashion so it was the Quakes punching their playoff ticket with a 11-3 win.
Caleb Ferguson got the win and he did a nice job but it was also the offense that busted out on Friday. Every Quake in the starting lineup had at least a hit.
Omar Estevez and Brandon Montgomery had three hits. DJ Peters hit his 26th home run. Luke Raley went 2-for-3 with a double and a triple, two walks, scored twice and had three RBI.
Class-A Great Lakes
The Loons carried a 2-0 lead to the bottom of the eighth but then the Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres) scored five runs and went on to win 5-2. Four of those runs came on two out back-to-back home runs.
Trailing by a run, Buddy Reed hit the crusher, a three-run home run that gave the TinCaps the lead. Reinaldo Ilarraza followed with a solo home run to make it 5-2.
Alfredo Tavarez pitched five scoreless innings with seven strikeouts for the Loons, he gave up two hits but he also walked five.
The Loons scored their runs in the first. Cristian Santana singled home Gavin Lux, who had walked. Connor Wong followed with an RBI single, driving home Jeren Kendall who had reached on an error.
But that was the extent of their attack, the TinCaps pitchers pitched well, striking out 15 and walking only one Loon on Friday.
The Raptors had a chance to increase their lead but instead, the Orem Owlz (Angels) scored seven runs in the ninth inning to win 10-4. The loss kept the Raptors lead over the Grand Junction Rockies at three games with eight to play.
The Owlz had given the Raptors three runs in the eighth inning with sloppy play but that all changed in the ninth. The Owlz got a leadoff home run from Jeyson Sanchez to tie the game. Then two singles a walk and then a two-run single that gave the Owlz the lead again.
The Owlz would eventually bat around and score those seven runs.
It was a rare game for the Raptors, even with six Owlz errors, they could not sustain any big innings plus they went 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
The AZL Dodgers trailed early but then they scored plenty of runs to beat the AZL Royals 11-4. That win lowered their magic number to one but it does not matter in the sense that the AZL Dodgers play the AZL White Sox today and the winner of that game will win the second half division. The White Sox have played one more game than the Dodgers.
The Dodgers fell behind 3-0 and and 4-2 after two innings. However, that was all the scoring the Royals would do and the Dodgers soon tied and went ahead for good.
The Dodgers had 14 hits and eight walks. Jacob Amaya had four hits including a home run.
Triple-A: For a review of the major league call ups, please review this article by Eric Stephen.
Class-A: Rancho Cucamonga activated left-handed pitcher Caleb Ferguson from the 7-day disabled list.
Rancho Cucamonga 11, Lake Elsinore 3
4:05 p.m. PT: Great Lakes (TBD) vs. Lake County Captains [Indians] (Juan Hillman)
5:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (TBD) at Round Rock (Anthony Bass)
5:05 p.m.: Tulsa (TBD) vs. Springfield Cardinals (Pedro Echemendia)
5:35 p.m.: Ogden (Adalberto Pena) vs. Orem (Cole Duensing)
7:00 p.m.: AZL Dodgers at AZL White Sox
7:05 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Devin Smeltzer) vs. Lake Elsinore (TBD)