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Landon Knack makes professional debut for Dodgers, Diego Cartaya homers twice

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Sunday minor league highlights

Dodgers 2020 second-round draft pick Landon Knack makes his professional debut for High-A Great Lakes on June 6, 2021.

Sunday in the Dodgers minors saw several 2020 draftees in action, a 19-year-old catcher continuing to rake, and a couple pitchers on the 40-man roster struggling in Triple-A.

Player of the day

Landon Knack, the Dodgers’ second-round draft pick last year, made his professional debut on Sunday, striking out three in two innings for High-A Great Lakes. Knack, a fifth-year senior from East Tennessee State, struck out 51 and walked only one in 25 innings in an abbreviated 2020, after an uptick in velocity in his final year in college.

Knack relieved fellow 2020 draftee Clayton Beeter and pitched a scoreless second. He struck out his first batter faced as a pro, West Michigan designated hitter Dillon Dingler, who leads the formerly-named Midwest League (now High-A Central) in OPS.

Knack’s run allowed in the third was driven in by Tigers top prospect Spencer Torkelson, the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft.

Triple-A Oklahoma City

It was a rough day for pitchers on the 40-man roster in Oklahoma City’s loss to the Sugar Land Skeeters (Astros). Dennis Santana started for the second time since getting optioned to Triple-A, and was roughed up on Sunday, allowing five runs on five hits — including a home run and two doubles — while recording only four outs.

OKC rallied from down those five runs to tie Sugar Land, only to see Brusdar Graterol allow three runs on four singles to his six batters faced in the eighth, in Graterol’s first game since getting optioned for what Dave Roberts termed “finishing school.”

Luke Raley and DJ Peters each doubled, and Keibert Ruiz walked and scored in defeat.

Double-A Tulsa

Rain suspended the Drillers’ road game against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Royals) after one inning on Sunday. Ryan Pepiot struck out two but allowed two singles in the bottom of the first, including an RBI double to Royals shortstop prospect Bobby Witt Jr.

The game will begin in the top of the second, with the Drillers batting, but in Tulsa, during NW Arkansas’ series from July 20-25.

High-A Great Lakes

With Knack now playing, all six 2020 Dodgers draft picks are active, and three of them played a part in the Loons’ win over the West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers). Beeter pitched a scoreless first inning, with one strikeout. Both Beeter and Knack were caught by fourth-rounder Carson Taylor, who doubled, tripled, walked, and drove in two in the win.

Designated hitter Miguel Vargas remained hot, finishing a single shy of the cycle. The third baseman has a 23-game hitting streak and a 27-game on-base streak, and has eight extra-base hits in his last seven games.

Low-A Rancho Cucamonga

Diego Cartaya continued to run roughshod through his first week and a half in Low-A West (formerly the California League), hitting two home runs in the Quakes’ win over the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels). The 19-year-old catcher has at least one hit in each of his eight games, hitting .419/.486/1.000 with five home runs and three doubles.

Transactions

High-A: Knack was added to the Loons roster, and first baseman Luke Heyer was transferred to the developmental list.

Sunday scores

Monday schedule

2:35 p.m. PT: Game 1 — Oklahoma City (Aaron Wilkerson) vs. Sugar Land (Carson LaRue)
Game 2 — Oklahoma City (Edwin Uceta) vs. Sugar Land (Ryan Hartman)

OKC and Sugar Land will play a pair of seven-inning games in Monday’s doubleheader, making up for Saturday’s rainout.

Tulsa, Great Lakes, and Rancho Cucamonga are off on Mondays this season