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Keibert Ruiz homers twice, Dustin May strikes out 12

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Catcher Keibert Ruiz, who turns 20 next week, homered twice for Double-A Tulsa on Thursday.
Photo credit: Matthew Christensen | Tulsa Drillers

Thursday night saw lots of offense among Dodgers minor league affiliates, and some standout performances both at the plate and on the mound from many of the names you might have seen in recent trade rumors.

Player of the day

Catcher Keibert Ruiz broke out for the Drillers against Northwest Arkansas with two home runs and a double, driving in four runs in Tulsa’s 14-3 road shellacking. Ruiz also walked, but the hits were a welcome sight for the switch-hitter who was 18 for his last 102, hitting just .176/.257/.245 in his previous 29 games before Thursday night.

Ruiz is hitting .251/.315/.397 on the season even with those struggles, and has also struck out just 20 times in 270 plate appearances (a minuscule 7.4% rate). The season-long performance gains even more perspective when realizing that Ruiz doesn’t turn 20 until next Friday.

Triple-A Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City in their first game back after the Triple-A All-Star break fell to the Round Rock Express (Rangers), 8-4. Daniel Corcino allowed six runs and couldn’t get out of the fourth inning.

Alex Verdugo hit a two-run home run in his first at-bat back from the break, and Jake Peter added a two-run shot in the fifth. Zach Neal pitched scoreless ball in 3⅔ innings of relief.

Double-A Tulsa

The Drillers did most of the drilling on Thursday in their 14-3 road victory over the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Royals). In addition to Ruiz’s big night, Tulsa also got home runs from second baseman Drew Jackson and first baseman Luke Raley. Yusniel Diaz had four hits, including two doubles, and a walk in the blowout. Diaz is 18-for-40 (.450) with seven extra-base hits and seven walks in 10 July games for a tidy .532 on-base percentage.

All that offense was in support of Mitch White, who pitched his best game of the season. White struck out six and pitched scoreless ball into the seventh, when he allowed a lone unearned run.

Advanced Class-A Rancho Cucamonga

Dustin May struck out a career-high 12 in the Quakes’ 8-4 win over the Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies), continuing a strong run for the 20-year-old right-hander. May pitched 6⅔ innings in what was actually his shortest outing in his last four starts. He allowed three runs, two of which were earned, and owns a 3.09 ERA this season that ranks third in the California League.

Fellow 20-year-old Gavin Lux continued his hot hitting with a home run, a double and a single. Lux has a 14-game hitting streak, during which he is hitting .383/.424/.550.

Marshall Kasowski struck out four in 1⅓ scoreless innings of relief. Since joining the Quakes, the 23-year-old right-hander — drafted in the 13th round in 2017 — has a 0.95 ERA with 35 strikeouts and eight walks in just 19 innings. Counting his time in Great Lakes this year Kasowski has 84 strikeouts in 47 innings and a 44.7% K rate.

Class-A Great Lakes

The Midwest League isn’t necessarily known for offense, but the Loons busted out on Thursday night with a season-best 18 hits in a 10-1 road win over the Clinton LumberKings (Mariners). Every Great Lakes batter scored a run and eight of the nine batters had a hit. The only Loon without a hit was 2018 fifth-round pick Devin Mann, who walked, scored and drove in a run.

Fellow 2018 Dodgers draftees excelled on Thursday, with third baseman Luke Heyer (eighth round) doubling twice and singling, and left fielder Josh McLain (ninth round) 3-for-5 with a run scored.

Rookie-level Ogden

The Raptors got drubbed 11-4 by the Missoula Batters (Diamondbacks), but Ogden did get home runs from both Drew Avans and Ronny Brito in the loss.

Transactions

Triple-A: Tim Locastro was activated from the disabled list, and pitcher Madison Younginer was placed on the DL retroactive to Monday.

Class-A: Great Lakes placed pitcher Victor Gonzalez on the disabled list, and pitcher Riley Richert was promoted to the Loons from Ogden.

Thursday scores

Round Rock 8, Oklahoma City 4

Tulsa 14, Northwest Arkansas 3

Rancho Cucamonga 8, Lancaster 4

Great Lakes 10, Clinton 1

Missoula 11, Ogden 4

AZL Indians 2, AZL Dodgers 1

DSL Dodgers Robinson 3, DSL Royals 1

DSL Rays 3, DSL Dodgers Guerrero 2

Friday schedule

4:30 p.m. PT: Great Lakes (TBD) at Clinton (TBD)

5:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Tyler Pill) at Round Rock (Michael Roth)

5:05 p.m.: Tulsa (TBD) at Northwest Arkansas (Scott Blewett)

6 p.m.: Ogden (TBD) vs. Missoula (TBD)

7:05 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Parker Curry) at Inland Empire [Angels] (TBD)