Plenty of standout performances stood out on Tuesday in the Dodgers minors.
Player of the day
Rancho Cucamonga second baseman Jorbit Vivas had a six-hit game, including a grand slam in the Quakes’ road romp in Lake Elsinore. Batting second in the lineup on Tuesday, Vivas singled in the first, did the same to lead off the third, then in the fifth both singled and scored and hit a grand slam as part of a 10-run frame. Vivas added singles in the seventh and ninth innings.
The six hits matched a franchise record, matching Mike Darr in 1997 when Rancho Cucamonga was a Padres affiliate, per Quakes play-by-play broadcaster Mike Lindskog.
The 20-year-old middle infielder, signed by the Dodgers out of Venezuela in 2017, started Tuesday with a .776 OPS and ended the day at .878. Vivas even added to his night by shifting over in the middle infield for the final two innings, his first professional game at shortstop.
Triple-A Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City hit three home runs in beating the Sugar Land Skeeters (Astros). Steven Souza Jr. hit a two-run shot in the third, helping OKC start a comeback from an early 4-0 deficit. In the fifth, Andy Burns and DJ Peters hit back-to-back home runs to tie things up.
Luke Raley’s two-run triple provided the go-ahead and ultimately winning runs, driving in fellow 40-man roster members Zach Reks, who doubled three times, and Keibert Ruiz.
Justin Bruihl struck out four of nine batters faced in his Triple-A debut, pitching 2⅓ scoreless innings (through he did allow one of two inherited runners to score). The left-hander, who turns 24 in three weeks, was promoted from Double-A on June 3, and on the season has 24 strikeouts and three walks in 17⅓ innings.
Garrett Cleavinger didn’t pitch on Tuesday, but began a minor league rehab assignment with OKC on Monday. The left-hander has been on the injured list since May 17 with left forearm inflammation. Previously, when Cleavinger was rehabbing at Camelback Ranch in Arizona, manager Dave Roberts said Cleavinger would need about a week’s worth of games on a rehab assignment. On Tuesday, Roberts said the left-hander’s stuff was good in an 11-pitch, scoreless inning with a walk.
“He’ll make a couple outings, and we’ll evaluate then,” Roberts said.
With two left-handers already in the Dodgers bullpen in Victor Gonzalez and David Price, and a full, five-man rotation now set, Cleavinger’s path back to the majors isn’t necessarily clear. It’s likely once his rehab assignment is over, he could be optioned and remain in Triple-A, just like Brusdar Graterol’s current path.
Three runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth lifted the Drillers over the Wichita Wind Surge (Twins). Right fielder Donovan Casey homered and had two hits. First baseman Devin Mann doubled, drove in two, and walked twice in the win.
Center fielder Jeren Kendall had the big blow, a three-run, go-ahead home run in the seventh. He also homered in the third inning, giving him the third two-homer game of his career while driving in four.
The game also highlighted what could be a problem for the Dodgers’ 2017 first-round pick. Kendall struck out in all three of his non-homer at-bats on Tuesday, and even though he is hitting .407 (11-for-27) with six extra-base hits in his seven-game hitting streak in June, Kendall has also struck out 13 times in 29 plate appearances. On the season, Kendall has a 39-percent strikeout rate, which tempers his overall .234/.368/.447 line.
Guillermo Zuniga retired all seven batters he faced, striking out two, to earn the win in relief.
Right-hander Nolan Long, a non-roster invitee this spring, drafted by the Dodgers in the 16th round in 2015, started the year on Tulsa’s roster, though on the injured list and hasn’t pitched. His 2021 season is over, after elbow surgery last week.
High-A Great Lakes
A 7-0 lead after two innings instead became a stunning one-run loss to the Dayton Dragons (Reds). Catcher Carson Taylor, serving as the designated hitter on Tuesday, hit a bases-loaded double in a four-run first inning, then the Loons tacked on three more in the second thanks to home runs by Miguel Vargas and shortstop Leonel Valera.
That’s a 24-game hitting streak for Vargas. Half of those games are multi-hit affairs, including his 2-for-5 night on Tuesday. The 24-game streak matched Brian Cavazos-Galvez (2010) for the longest hit streak in Great Lakes history.
But the game came apart in the middle innings for Great Lakes, thanks in part to errors by Vargas and Valera, the two players who homered. Five of Daytona’s eight runs came with two outs, those five runs unearned.
Low-A Rancho Cucamonga
Vivas took the marquee, but there was plenty of offense to go around in the Quakes rout of the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres). Designated hitter Eddys Leonard homered and had three hits, Sam McWilliams played right field and second base while reaching base four times with two singles, a double, a walk, and scored three times.
Third baseman Brandon Lewis hit two doubles as part of his three-hit, three-run game, shortstop Alex De Jesus homered, and red-hot catcher Diego Cartaya only doubled.
Triple-A: Catcher Tim Federowicz rejoined Oklahoma City, activated from the temporary inactive list after being on the roster for USA Baseball’s qualifying for the Olympics.
Double-A: Third baseman Clayton Daniel was placed on the seven-day injured list.
- Oklahoma City 9, Sugar Land 6
- Tulsa 8, Wichita 3
- Dayton 8, Great Lakes 7
- Rancho Cucamonga 15, Lake Elsinore 4
- 10:05 a.m. PT: Tulsa (Andre Jackson) vs. Wichita (Cole Sands)
- 4:05 p.m.: Great Lakes (Alec Gamboa) at Dayton (Eduardo Salazar)
- 6:35 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Gavin Stone) at Lake Elsinore (Carlos Duarte)
Oklahoma City is off on Wednesdays.