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Drillers win 11-0 behind 17 hit attack

Yusniel Diaz returns to lineup with 3 hits and 2 walks

Yusniel Diaz
Photo credit: Rich Crimi | Tulsa Drillers

For a moment it looked like a perfect day for the four Dodger affiliates. But then a two-run homer in the 9th inning would end up beating Rancho Cucamonga. Prior to that game, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Great Lakes each won their games.

Player of the day

Loons designated hitter Nick Yarnall had four hits including his third home run. Two Drillers, Keibert Ruiz and Jacob Scavuzzo each had four hits.

But I picked Yusniel Diaz for today’s Player of the Day. Diaz was making his 2018 debut and he had great game with three hits and two walks. Diaz was the No. 11 prospect on the 2018 True Blue LA list. He joins a lineup with three True Blue LA Top 10 Dodger prospects Keibert Ruiz, DJ Peters and Will Smith.

Triple-A Oklahoma City

The Dodgers bounced back from their extra-inning loss and beat the Round Rock Express (Rangers) 2-1 on Thursday. The Dodgers got solid relief work from Pat Venditte, who threw two scoreless innings and Brian Schlitter, who recorded his second save.

Trailing by a run and with one out, Travis Taijeron singled and went to second on a wild pitch. The recently returned Breyvic Valera singled home Taijeron.

Tied 1-1, the Dodgers took the lead when Alex Verdugo hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Tim Locastro, who had tripled to lead off the sixth inning.

Justus DeFratus made his first start for Oklahoma City after starting his season in Tulsa. DeFratus pitched 5⅔ innings and allowed one run and six hits. While he had no walks, DeFratus only had one strikeout.

Double-A Tulsa

The Drillers were refreshed after their off-day and went to Springdale, Arkansas to beat NW Arkansas Naturals (Royals) 11-0. The Drillers had 17 hits, including home runs from Will Smith and Jacob Scavuzzo.

Four players had multiple hit games, Keibert Ruiz and Scavuzzo each had four hits, Luke Raley and Yusniel Diaz had three hits. Diaz would also walk twice and score twice.

In his first four games this season, DJ Peters had struck out eight times with no walks. Since April 12th, Peters has seven walks, including four on Thursday, while striking out seven times.

Four pitchers combined to pitch the shutout, Frank Duncan started and went 3⅔ innings. Duncan was followed by Shea Spitzbarth and Michael Johnson each pitched 2⅓ scoreless innings. Corey Copping recorded to the final two outs to ensure the shutout.

Class-A Rancho Cucamonga

The Quakes returned home trying to go over .500 for the first time this season. They took a one-run lead to the ninth inning but then Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres) came back with two runs to win 5-4.

Stetson Allie entered the game looking for his first career save but he gave up a single to Brad Zunica. Luis Torrens, who had six career home runs in over 600 minor league at-bats, hit a two-run homer to give the Storm the lead.

Prior to the ninth inning, Isaac Anderson and Andrew Istler combined to pitch six innings and give up two runs. Jason Richman pitched a scoreless seventh but allowed one run in the eighth that set up the Storm’s comeback win.

As for the Quakes offense, Cristian Santana had two hits and an RBI, Donovan Casey scored two runs and Gavin Lux had a key two-run double that gave the lead to the Quakes.

Class-A Great Lakes

The Loons had lost six straight games while also having an entire weekend series at home postponed due to weather. So on Thursday, they hopefully turned the corner with a 10-2 win over the Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres).

Nick Yarnall, who has played well despite the off-days and bad weather, went 4-for-5 with a home run and four RBI. Yarnall was a 35th round pick in 2016 and he is making his second stop at Great Lakes. Moises Perez also had four hits including a double.

Jesus Vargas is an intriguing pitcher, the nineteen year old has been in the Dodger organization since 2015. Last season, in stops at both Dodger Rookie League teams, Vargas pitched 62⅔ innings with 52 strikeouts and nine walks.

On Thursday, Vargas got his first Midwest League win when he pitched five scoreless innings with no runs or hits. Vargas struck out five and walked three.


Triple-A: Right-handed pitchers Justin DeFratus and Daniel Corcino assigned to Oklahoma City from Tulsa

Double-A: Outfielder Yusniel Diaz assigned to Tulsa from Extended Spring Training.

Class-A: Right-handed pitcher Alfredo Tavarez assigned to Great Lakes from Ogden.

Thursday’s scores

Oklahoma City 2, Round Rock 1

Tulsa 11, NW Arkansas 0

Lake Elsinore 5, Rancho Cucamonga 4

Great Lakes 10, Fort Wayne 2

Friday’s schedule

3:05 p.m. PT: Great Lakes (TBD) vs. West Michigan [Tigers] (Matt Manning)

5:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (TBD) at Round Rock (TBD)

5:05 p.m.: Tulsa (Devin Smeltzer) at NW Arkansas (Emilio Ogando)

7:05 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Dean Kremer) vs. Lake Elsinore (Pedro Avila)