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Late homers from Smith and Joe lead Drillers to victory

Will Smith and Connor Joe hit back-to-back home runs in 7th to give Tulsa their third straight win

Will Smith
Will Smith
Rich Crimi

Rancho Cucamonga — The Quakes fell behind early but like the Oklahoma City Dodgers and Tulsa Drillers, they were able to comeback to win their game on Saturday. The Loons fell victim to more poor weather so they postponed their scheduled doubleheader (to makeup for Friday’s postponement) and will try again today to play two at Great Lakes.

Player of the day

Will Smith is part of one the best catching duos in the minor leagues as he and Keibert Ruiz are playing behind the plate at Tulsa. Smith’s 3-for-4 night pushed his average to .300 and his OPS to .882.

Triple-A Oklahoma City

The Dodgers had their second walk-off win this week as they mounted a late comeback to beat the New Orleans Baby Cakes (Marlins) 3-2 on Saturday night. Trailing 2-0, Alex Verdugo hit a two-run homer in the eighth to tie the game. For Oklahoma City, it was their sixth straight win.

The win also gave them a 5-0 start at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark which they had not done since 2006. And their 7-1 start to the season is the franchise’s best since joining the Pacific Coast League in 1998.

Reliever Daniel Hudson worked out a little trouble in the top of ninth to keep the game tied. Baby Cakes reliever Jumbo Diaz, who has pitched in 173 major league games in the last four seasons, entered the game.

WIth one out, Travis Taijeron walked, Jake Peter singled to put runners on first and third. That brought up Rocky Gale, who proceeded to lay down a squeeze bunt to score Taijeron and win the game.

One other highlight was the relief work by Guillermo Moscoso. Moscoso worked four scoreless innings, giving up two hits and two walks. Moscoso struck out seven.

Double-A Tulsa

The Drillers trailed 3-2 going to the bottom of the sixth inning but then a solo home run by Mike Ahmed tied the game. In the seventh inning, Will Smith and Connor Joe hit back-to-back home runs and went on to edge the Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers) 5-4 to win their third straight game.

Devin Smeltzer started and pitched four strong innings, striking out eight and giving up a run and four hits. Michael Johnson gave up a run in the eighth but he got credit for the win. Josh Sborz pitched the final 1⅓ innings to get his second save.

Smith and Luke Raley each had three hits, Ahmed also had a sacrifice fly and Angelo Mora doubled and scored for the Drillers.

Class-A Rancho Cucamonga

The Quakes and Inland Empire 66ers (Angels) did not play crisply on Saturday at LoanMart Field as the nine-inning game took 3 hours and 49 minutes to play. But in the end, the Quakes came back to win their second straight on a 7-6 walk-off win. Sven Schueller, who allowed tying runs to score in the eighth and ninth innings, was credited with the win.

The 66ers tied in the top of the ninth when Jared Walsh crushed a home run to right. The Quakes final rally started with a Logan Landon double, his third hit of the game, to left. A fly ball moved Landon to third base.

The 66ers played the five infielders, two outfielders defense and it almost worked as Hamlet Marte grounded to third. But a poor throw allowed Landon to score and Quakes won the game.

An inning earlier, the Quakes had their first late rally when with two out, Connor Wong singled and stole second. Cristian Santana singled, his third hit of the game, to bring Wong home to take a brief lead.

In this back and forth game, the Quakes initially trailed 3-0 but then were able to tie the game in the third inning. The 66ers took a one run lead in the fourth but then the Quakes scored two more runs in the fourth to take the lead for the first time.

Imani Adbullah has not pitched well in his first two starts this season. Abdullah faced 12 batters, he got four outs, gave up three runs, four hits and walked five. It appeared he had good stuff but he had no command. Isaac Anderson and Parker Curry were able to settle things down and keep the Quakes in the game.

Class-A Great Lakes

The scheduled doubleheader between the Loons and Dayton Dragons (Reds) was postponed due to bad weather. The Loons have scheduled a doubleheader for today, weather permitting.


Triple-A: Oklahoma City placed outfielder Andrew Toles on the 7-day disabled list and activated catcher Alex Burg from the 7-day disabled list.

Double-A: Los Angeles Dodgers sent right-handed pitcher Dylan Baker outright to Tulsa Drillers.

Saturday’s scores

Oklahoma City 3, New Orleans 2

Tulsa 5, Frisco 4

Rancho Cucamonga 7, Inland Empire 6

Sunday’s schedule

11:05 a.m. PT: Great Lakes (Jesus Vargas & TBD) vs. Dayton (Hunter Greene & TBD)

12:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Zach Neal) vs. New Orleans (Adam Conley)

2:05 p.m.: Tulsa (Yadier Alvarez) vs. Midland [Athletics] (TBD)

2:05 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Dean Kremer) vs. Inland Empire (Erik Manoah)