The Dodgers minor league affiliates had a mixed start to their 2018 season. Oklahoma City split their double-header and Tulsa took their first road game of the season. Rancho Cucamonga fell two runs short in their comeback.
Unfortunately the only affiliate opening at home, Great Lakes, took a double-digit loss in their first game.
Player of the day
Walker Buehler started his 2018 season with a four-inning start at Iowa. The right-hander gave up a run, three hits, walked one and struck out five.
Triple-A Oklahoma City
All-time great Ernie Banks always wanted to play two but it was a dismal weather forecast that made the Dodgers and Iowa Cubs have an Opening Day double-header.
The teams split their double-header with the Dodgers taking the first game by a 2-1 score and the second game went to “extra-innings” with the Cubs winning 3-2 in eight innings.
Walker Buehler started the first game and he pitched well, going four innings and striking out five. Brian Schlitter pitched an inning and got the win, Pat Venditte and Joe Broussard finished up with Broussard getting his first save.
Rocky Gale singled in Donovan Solano to tie the game and in the following inning, Max Muncy homered to provide the winning run.
That win gave Oklahoma City manager Bill Haselman his 500th managerial win, 154 of those are with Oklahoma City.
The second game was notable as it featured the first instance of a Dodger affiliate playing with the new rule of putting a runner on second base to start an extra-inning. The Dodgers had the first chance to score and with a runner on second, Alex Verdugo singled but he was thrown out at second with the pinch runner, pitcher Edward Paredes staying on third.
The Dodgers were unable to bring the runner home and in the bottom of the eighth, back-to-back singles scored the winning run for the Cubs.
With cold weather forecast for today, tonight’s game at Iowa has been postponed and no makeup date has been announced yet.
The Drillers scored all of their runs in one inning but that was enough to beat Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers) 5-2 on Thursday night. In the fourth inning, Errol Robinson hit a grand slam and then Luke Raley followed with a solo home run to put five runs on the board.
Dennis Santana made his 2018 debut with a 4⅔ innings start. Santana gave up a run, four hits, and struck out seven. Shea Spitzbarth pitched two innings for the win, Josh Sborz., who made 24 starts in 2017 without one relief appearance, closed it out for his first save.
Besides Robinson and Raley providing the power, DJ Peters had two hits, with Will Smith and Keibert Ruiz each having one hit. Angelo Mora had three hits in his Dodger organizational debut.
Class-A Rancho Cucamonga
The Quakes left the tying runs on base as they went down 11-9 at Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks). Donovan Casey had runners on the corners with two outs but he grounded out to end the game.
The first two pitchers for the Quakes gave up nine runs in five innings, Dean Kremer allowed six and Parker Curry gave up three runs. Trailing 9-3, the Quakes scored six times in the remaining four innings.
While the two first round picks, Gavin Lux (2016) and Jeren Kendall (2017) each went 0-for-4, Omar Estevez, Cristian Santana and Connor Wong each had two hits. Santana had a double and four RBI while Wong homered and drove in two.
Class-A Great Lakes
The Loons opened up their 2018 season at home but that was probably the only nice thing that happened as they lost 11-1 to the Lansing Lugnuts (Blue Jays). Until a leadoff double in the sixth, the Loons were hitless, in fact they sent only 16 batters to the plate in the first five innings.
Overall, the Loons were stymied on offense, striking out 15 times with just two hits and a walk.
Meanwhile, Loons starter Max Gamboa took the loss but he did not pitch poorly, in four innings, he gave up three runs (one earned), three hits, one walk and struck out four. Three of the four Loons relievers gave up runs, right-handed pitcher Aneurys Zabala struck out six in his second turn in a Loons uniform. The 21-year old, who was initially signed by the Mariners, pitched mostly in Rookie ball until making five appearances for Great Lakes in 2017.
Triple-A: Los Angeles optioned right-handed pitcher Alec Asher to Oklahoma City; Oklahoma City placed catcher Alex Burg on 7-day DL, right-handed pitchers Brian Schlitter, Jesen Therrien and left-handed pitcher Brian Moran were assigned to Oklahoma City.
Class-A: Rancho Cucamonga placed catcher Steve Berman on the 7-day DL.
Great Lakes placed pitcher Victor Gonzalez and infielder Moises Perez on the 7-day disabled list; catcher Gersel Pitre and pitcher Austin Hamilton were transferred to rookie-level Ogden’s roster, and outfielder Zach Reks was sent to extended spring training.
3:05 p.m. PT: Great Lakes (Riley Ottesen) vs. Lansing (Zach Logue)
5:05 p.m.: Tulsa (Caleb Ferguson) at Frisco (Ariel Jurado)
7:00 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Andrew Sopko) at Visalia (Bo Takahashi)