A pair of extra-inning losses at the top two levels of the Dodgers minors was overshadowed on Saturday by a dominant pitching performance.
Player of the day
Ryan Pepiot took a perfect game into the sixth inning in his longest and best start of the season for Double-A Tulsa. The right-hander retired his first 15 batters faced, and struck out eight, the latter tying a season high. Pepiot walked the first batter of the sixth, Wichita center fielder Aaron Whitfield, on four pitches to end his night, settling for five hitless innings.
Both the five innings and 72 pitches are season highs for Pepiot, who has a 1.64 ERA with 33 strikeouts and 10 walks in his 22 innings this year. Pepiot, the Dodgers’ third-round draft pick out of Butler in 2019 who was a non-roster invitee with the Dodgers in spring training, has a 39.3-percent strikeout rate for Tulsa this season, much higher than the 26.2-percent K rate for Double-A Central.
Maybe the closest Pepiot came to allowing a hit was this smash by Jermaine Palacios in the fourth inning, but third baseman Devin Mann’s diving stop and quick throw negated that idea.
Triple-A Oklahoma City
Aaron Wilkerson struck out eight in six innings, but OKC lost in 10 innings to the El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres). Let’s look at how the players on the 40-man did on Saturday:
- Zach Reks doubled and singled, scoring once and driving in one
- Sheldon Neuse singled twice and scored
- DJ Peters doubled home a run to start the game-tying eighth-inning rally
- Brusdar Graterol struck out two in a perfect eighth inning, throwing nine of 12 pitches for strikes.
I’m not the first person to say it, but until you see it in person, you don’t realize how it really is a seemingly effortless 100+ mph with sink from Brusdar Graterol.#Dodgers— Alex Freedman (@azfreedman) June 13, 2021
Yoshi Tsutsugo, currently on the injured list with a right calf strain, hit against Scott Alexander in a simulated game on Saturday at Dodger Stadium. Tsutsugo will fly to Oklahoma City on Sunday, and is likely to begin a rehab assignment in Triple-A on Monday.
The Drillers led 2-0 when Pepiot left, thanks to an RBI double by Mann and a run-scoring single by right fielder Donovan Casey. But they ended up losing to the Wichita Wind Surge (Twins) in 10 innings.
Jeren Kendall doubled to extend his hit streak to 10 games, and also stole his 10th base of the season.
High-A Great Lakes
Andrew Shaps didn’t start, but still drove in five runs in a Loons blowout of the Dayton Dragons (Reds). Pinch hitting for left fielder Joe Vranesh in the fourth inning, Shaps hit a three-run triple, then hit a two-run double in the seventh.
Andy Pages doubled twice in the win, James Outman homered, and shortstop Zac Ching had three hits and scored twice.
Low-A Rancho Cucamonga
A three-run fifth spoiled a Kendall Williams start, and a pair of late runs sank the Quakes in a road loss to the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres). Armed with a 6-2 lead, Williams allowed two home runs in the fifth inning — a three-run shot to center fielder Robert Hassell III, the eighth-overall pick last season, and a solo shot by Joshua Mears to tie things up.
First baseman Sauryn Lao homered twice, and right fielder Jonny Deluca homered and drove in four.
Triple-A: Andy Burns and Luke Raley were called up to the majors. Dennis Santana was designated for assignment. Mitch White was optioned to Oklahoma City. Old friend Vidal Nuño, a 33-year-old left-hander who was on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster for three months in the 2016-2017 offseason, signed a minor league deal and, per OKC play-by-play broadcaster Alex Freedman, will wear number zero.
Double-A: Gus Varland was placed on the seven-day injured list. Left-hander Jordan Martinson joined Tulsa from Oklahoma City, and allowed a pair of runs in the 10th inning to suffer the loss.
- Oklahoma City 4, El Paso 3 (10 innings)
- Wichita 4, Tulsa 2 (10 innings)
- Great Lakes 10, Dayton 2
- Lake Elsinore 8, Rancho Cucamonga 6
- 10:05 a.m. PT: Tulsa (Gerardo Carrillo) vs. Wichita (Josh Winder)
- 11:05 a.m.: Great Lakes (Jesus Vargas) at Dayton (Lyon Richardson)
- 12:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Edwin Uceta) vs. El Paso (Jerry Keel)
- 4:05 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Carlos Duran) at Lake Elsinore (Nick Thwaits)