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AJ Pollock homers in rehab assignment, will accompany Dodgers to Atlanta

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Pollock could be activated as early as Friday vs. Braves

Los Angeles Dodgers v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Dodgers outfielder AJ Pollock homered on Tuesday night in the third game of his minor league rehab assignment with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. His plan for return to the majors remains the same, with the only question whether Pollock will play another game with the Quakes.

Pollock played six innings in left field on Tuesday, the second time in three games he was in the field, along with serving as the designated hitter on Sunday. Pollock last played in the majors on May 14, missing the last 2½ weeks with a left hamstring strain.

He will accompany the Dodgers on Thursday’s flight to Atlanta, and could be activated from the injured list as early as Friday against the Braves. He might or might not play one more rehab game with the Quakes.

“The plan was for him to play tomorrow as well, but we might pivot if he feels good enough,” manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday. “I think right now, as it stands, he’s going to play both games [Tuesday and Wednesday].”

Player of the day

Braydon Fisher, the Dodgers’ fourth-rounder in 2018, struck out eight in his four scoreless innings to pick up the save for Rancho Cucamonga, but that doesn’t tell the full story. This wasn’t a typical four-inning save, finishing up a blowout. Fisher entered with a two-run lead in the fifth, and promptly allowed a walk and a bunt single to his first two batters faced, putting the tying runs on with nobody out.

Two grounders and a strikeout got Fisher out of that jam, and then he just kept rolling. Another strikeout and two more groundouts made for a perfect seventh, then he struck out his final six batters of the game. Twelve straight batters retired for the 20-year-old right-hander.

Triple-A Oklahoma City

Andy Burns had a four-hit game but an early deficit proved too much in Oklahoma City’s loss to the El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres). The utility man Burns, playing second base on Tuesday, homered in the fourth inning and singled three times, driving in two.

DJ Peters was 2-for-5 in his third game back in Triple-A, but also struck out three times.

Brusdar Graterol didn’t pitch on Tuesday, after throwing a scoreless inning Monday for OKC in the first game of his rehab assignment. But unlike Jimmy Nelson, Graterol — who last pitched in the majors on April 26, sidelined by right forearm tightness — probably won’t be back with the Dodgers soon.

“Some of it is contingent on the build-up. Some of it is contingent on performance. Some of it is contingent on need here. We really could go in a couple different directions,” Roberts said. “I think it’s keep him on the rehab for however long that is, and then we’ll make a decision at a later date.”

Luke Raley had a three-homer, nine-RBI game last week, and Aaron Wilkerson flirted with a no-hitter. Both were honored on Tuesday.

Double-A Tulsa

The Drillers only scored one run in a loss to the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Royals), on a home run by Jeren Kendall, his third of the season and one of two hits on the night.

Ryan Pepiot allowed two runs on three hits and two walks in his 1⅔-inning start, and was hung with the loss in his shortest outing of the year to date.

High-A Great Lakes

A six-run first inning spelled doom in the Loons’ loss to the West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers). But there were a few individual highlights, including Andy Pages hitting a three-run home run and a triple.

Cole Percival struck out three in three scoreless innings in relief.

Low-A Rancho Cucamonga

Diego Cartaya homered and doubled in the Quakes’ home win over the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels). The 19-year-old catcher is hitting .450/.522/1.050 in his first five games in Class-A.

Kendall Williams struck out five in five innings for the win.

Also, the MLB-instituted pitch clock in Low-A West will soon be functional. The clock is 15 seconds, unlike the 20-second clock already used in Triple-A and Double-A. The real question is whether umpires will enforce it.

Transactions

High-A: Jacob Cantleberry was the second Quakes reliever with an over-50-percent strikeout rate this season, along with Cameron Gibbens in May, to be promoted to the Loons. Great Lakes activated pitcher Mike Mokma on the seven-day injured list. Catcher Chase Barbary, son of Triple-A manager Travis Barbary, was promoted to Great Lakes from Camelback Ranch. Pitcher Kevin Malisheski was transferred to the developmental list, while pitcher Ryley Widell and catcher Tre Todd were released.

Low-A: Outfielder Jake Vogel was placed on the injured list, and Rancho Cucamonga added outfielder Imanol Vargas from extended spring training and activated pitcher Daniel Cruz from the IL.

Wednesday schedule

  • 4:05 p.m. PT: Great Lakes (Jesus Vargas) vs. West Michigan (Jesus Rodriguez)
  • 5:05 p.m.: Tulsa (Gerardo Carrillo) at Northwest Arkansas (Stephen Woods Jr.)
  • 6:30 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Carlos Duran) vs. Inland Empire (Jose Salvador)

Oklahoma City is off on Wednesdays this season.