We normally try to only choose one standout player in the Dodgers minor leagues to write about each day, but sometimes exceptions can be made.
Player of the day
The last few years have been injury plagued for Steven Souza Jr., including this season when he was sidelined for the first nine games of the season. He suffered a gruesome knee injury in spring training that cost him the entire 2019 season, and only played in 11 major league games last year with the Cubs, which included time on the injured list with a hamstring injury.
But the 32-year-old outfielder is heating up for Triple-A Oklahoma City, peaking on Sunday night in El Paso with a three-homer game. Souza hit a three-run home run in the first inning off starter Brett Kennedy, then did the same in the third inning. After a groundout and fly out, Souza led off the eighth with another homer, giving him seven RBI.
Souza, who has reached base in all 11 starts, has four home runs in his last two games. He got a shot at a fourth home run on Sunday in the ninth, but was hit by a pitch. One of the reasons Souza even got that sixth plate appearance was thanks to ...
Player of the day, Part II
With two outs in the ninth inning, Luke Raley hit a two-run home run, part of a five-run inning that punctuated Oklahoma City’s 20-9 road win. OKC sent nine hitters to the plate in that final inning, all against the same player, so technically they were Batten around.
It was the third home run of the game for Raley, who hit a three-run home run in the fifth and a grand slam in sixth. Raley scored five runs and drove in nine, the latter possibly a club record though not yet confirmed.
Since getting optioned by the Dodgers on May 21, Raley is 13-for-32 (.406) with five home runs, a triple, a double, 11 runs scored, and 21 RBI in eight games.
Raley was also hit by a pitch on Sunday, his fourth HBP in 43 plate appearances with Oklahoma City. He was also hit by four pitches in his 50 PA with the Dodgers. I’m starting to sense a trend here.
Triple-A Oklahoma City
When Souza and Raley weren’t driving in themselves or each other, there was still a ton of offense to go around in OKC’s romp over the El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres). Zach Reks (two doubles, four runs scored) and Matt Davidson (home run, double) had two of the quietest four-hit games you’ll see, overshadowed by the pair of three-homer teammates.
Some quick notes on tonight’s @okc_dodgers game:— Alex Freedman (@azfreedman) May 31, 2021
-First game with 20 runs since 2013.
-First game with 20 hits since 2014.
-First time in team history two guys have hit 3 HR in the same game.
-First career 3 HR games for both Raley and Souza Jr.
John Rooney had his best game of the year so far in the Drillers’ win over the Arkansas Travelers (Mariners). The Dodgers’ third-round pick in 2018 out of Hofstra, Rooney struck out nine and allowed only two hits and a walk in his 4⅔ scoreless frames.
Juan Zabala, the 21-year-old catcher playing in just his second career game above rookie ball, homered in the win for Tulsa.
High-A Great Lakes
Two of the most power-packed prospects in the Dodgers system paced the Loons’ win over the Lansing Lugnuts (A’s). Third baseman Miguel Vargas doubled twice, singled, and scored thrice. Right fielder Andy Pages homered, singled, and drove in three.
Bobby Miller struck out three in 2⅔ innings, allowing a run.
Low-A Rancho Cucamonga
Center fielder Jonny Deluca homered in the Quakes’ loss to the Stockton Ports (A’s). Brandon Lewis hit his eighth double in 22 games this season.
In the second game of his rehab assignment, AJ Pollock was 0-for-3 as the designated hitter on Sunday.
“He’ll be down tomorrow and play Tuesday,” Dave Roberts said before Sunday’s game. “All reports that I got were positive.”
Double-A: Pitcher Mark Washington was activated from the injured list, and pitched a scoreless seventh inning with two strikeouts for Tulsa.
- Oklahoma City 20, El Paso 9
- Tulsa 2, Arkansas 1
- Great Lakes 6, Lansing 2
- Stockton 7, Rancho Cucamonga 3
5:35 p.m. PT: Oklahoma City (Aaron Wilkerson) at El Paso (TBD)
Tulsa, Great Lakes, Rancho Cucamonga are off on Mondays in 2021.