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Double-A Tulsa rallies for improbable comeback win in the rain

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MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at Pittsburgh Pirates Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Weather wreaked havoc on a summer Saturday in the Dodgers minors, but it couldn’t stop a furious comeback in Double-A.

Player of the day

It’s been a rough year for Tulsa outfielder Romer Cuadrado, the 23-year-old who before this year has never played above Low-A, perhaps his development stalled during the lost 2020 season.

In 29 games this season in Double-A, the Dodgers’ 2014 international signee out of Venezuela has a 42.3-percent strikeout rate while hitting .200/.243/.314 for Tulsa. In December, Eric Longenhagen at FanGraphs characterized Cuadrado as a role player in the system, outside of the Dodgers’ top 51 prospects: “Cuadrado is a 30 athlete [on the 20-80 scouting scale] with huge power and a swing that the org hasn’t been able to dial in to produce power yet.”

Cuadrado was in a 1-for-23 slump, including 12 strikeouts, when he finally got a good result on Saturday, hitting his fourth home run of the season:

Cuadrado also walked on Saturday, his fifth of the season.

Triple-A Oklahoma City

Luke Raley and Omar Estevez each doubled, and each drove in a run in a three-run sixth inning for Oklahoma City. But that was all the offense in a one-run loss to the Sugar Land Skeeters (Astros).

Left-hander Justin Bruihl struck out one in a scoreless eighth inning, and since joining Triple-A has a 1.35 ERA and 40.7-percent strikeout rate in five games.

Scott Alexander pitched his second rehab game with Oklahoma City, coming into a sticky situation with the bases loaded and one out in the third inning. He induced a sacrifice fly to bring home a run, then struck out his next batter faced. The earliest that Alexander, on the 60-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation, can be activated is July 2.

Double-A Tulsa

Andre Jackson got tagged for two home runs in four innings, and Tulsa trailed 5-2 and 7-3. But the Drillers rallied for five runs in the eighth to stun the Springfield Cardinals.

But before the big rally came a 59-minute rain delay in the seventh, that included this tarp wackiness:

Left fielder Ryan Noda, acquired from Toronto in the Ross Stripling trade, had the big blow, a three-run home run to tie things up.

Catcher Stevie Berman and Cuadrado walked after Noda’s home run, then a passed ball moved both into scoring position. Centerfielder Donovan Casey delivered a sacrifice fly to provide the winning margin.

On the uptick: Third baseman Miguel Vargas got off to a relatively slow start after his promotion from High-A, going hitless in eight at-bats in his first two games with Tulsa. But since then, he just keeps hitting 10-for-28 (.357/.424/.750) with three home runs and 11 RBI in his last seven games, including a solo shot and a double on Saturday.

High-A Great Lakes

Saturday’s game against the Lake County Captains (Cleveland) was postponed by rain. They will play a doubleheader of two seven-inning games on Sunday.

Low-A Rancho Cucamonga

Gavin Stone allowed four runs in his 3⅔ innings, which was a hole the Quakes couldn’t dig out of in a road loss to the San Jose Giants. Both Rancho Cucamonga runs were scored on groundouts.

Designated hitter Eddys Leonard doubled and had two hits, driving in one. First baseman Imanol Vargas singled, walked three times, and scored.

Saturday scores

Sunday schedule

  • 10:05 a.m. PT (doubleheader): Great Lakes (TBA, TBA) vs. Lake County (Mason Hickman, TBA)
  • 11:05 a.m.: Tulsa (Michael Grove) vs. Springfield (Kevin McGovern)
  • 4:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Yefry Ramírez) at Sugar Land (Austin Pruitt)
  • 5 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Robbie Peto) at San Jose (Ryan Murphy)