A record hitting streak, a strong pitching performance, and two walk-offs, but only one in the Dodgers favor on Wednesday in the minor leagues.
Player of the day
Andre Jackson, one of two Tulsa pitchers on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster, continued his solid start to Double-A, pitching four scoreless innings in the Drillers’ win over Wichita. Jackson has allowed more than two runs only once in his seven outings, and his five hits allowed on Wednesday — all singles — were a season high.
The Dodgers’ 12th-round pick in 2017 out of Utah has a 2.76 ERA, 35 strikeouts, and eight walks in 29⅓ innings for Tulsa. His 30.7 strikeout rate is higher than the league rate (26.3 percent) in Double-A Central.
Behind Jackson and three relievers, the Drillers pitched a shutout, but offense was hard to come by. The only run of the game came on an infield single with two outs in the ninth by left fielder Romer Cuadrado, delivering a walk-off win over the Wichita Wind Surge (Twins).
In a fight to the finish, @Romercuadrado17 seals a walk-off win for the Drillers, receiving a well deserved celebration! pic.twitter.com/E32XZOrSfE— Tulsa Drillers (@TulsaDrillers) June 9, 2021
Kody Hoese and Devin Mann walked with one out in the ninth, then after a force out, team home run leader Ryan Noda was intentionally walked to set up Cuadrado for his game-winning chopper.
Barry Lewis at Tulsa World recapped the Drillers’ win, highlighting right-hander Andrew Schwaab’s first game in Double-A after 10 games with Oklahoma City.
High-A Great Lakes
For the second night in a row, the Loons charged out to a big lead, only to blow it in heartbreaking fashion in another loss to the Dayton Dragons (Reds). Miguel Vargas hit a solo home run, then two batters later Andy Pages hit a two-run shot in the third, giving Great Lakes a 5-0 lead.
Vargas had two hits in the game, and now has the longest hitting streak in franchise history.
It's a franchise record!@Dodgers No. 11 prospect Miguel Vargas extends his hitting streak to 25 games, the longest in @greatlakesloons history. pic.twitter.com/rpNNjMJPw4— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) June 9, 2021
“Fortunate to have a front row seat watching this dude on a daily basis,” Great Lakes manager Austin Chubb tweeted. “Congrats Vargy!”
But after those five runs, the Loons never scored again. Dayton chipped away with single runs here and there, then a two-run home run by Quin Cotton off Mike Mokma tied things up in the ninth.
The home run was hit with one out, but then the Dragons followed with a single, an error by Pages in right field, then an intentional walk to load the bases. Francisco Urbaez lined a single to right field for the walk-off win.
This came one day after Great Lakes led 7-0 early, only to fall 8-7.
Dodgers 2020 first-round pick Bobby Miller, who starts for the Loons on Friday, talked at length to David Laurila at FanGraphs about his pitch mix, relying more on his four-seam fastball than his two-seamer since college, and lots more. Here is an excerpt about a new pitch Miller is working on:
“One of my sliders is usually around 84-86. That’s my bigger one that has a little more depth and a little more glove-side movement. I also have another kind of slider, or slutter — whatever you want to call it. Cutter. It can be harder and run up to the upper-80s, low-90s. But yeah, I haven’t thrown that yet this season. Hopefully I can bring that in, but at the same time I don’t want to get too caught up in that stuff. I obviously want to go with what’s working best for me.”
Low-A Rancho Cucamonga
The Quakes lost on the road to the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres). First baseman Brandon Lewis doubled, singled, and walked. Center fielder Sam McWilliams walked three times and scored twice.
Diego Cartaya was 0-for-4, but his ninth inning walk with the bases loaded drove in a run.
Double-A: Luis Yanel Diaz, a 21-year-old infielder from the Dominican Republic, joined the Drillers from the Dodgers complex in Arizona.
- 4:05 p.m. PT: Great Lakes (Clayton Beeter) at Dayton (Noah Davis)
- 5:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Yefry Ramírez) vs. El Paso [Padres] (Jesse Scholtens)
- 5:05 p.m.: Tulsa (Michael Grove) vs. Wichita (Jordan Balazovic)
- 6:05 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Robbie Peto) at Lake Elsinore (Levin Thomas)