Ryan Pepiot has been incredibly stingy this season for Double-A Tulsa, and on Sunday night the 23-year-old Dodgers right-hander was at his absolute best, taking a perfect game into the eighth inning, striking out 11.
Pepiot retired his first 21 batters faced on Sunday against the Arkansas Travelers (Mariners), pitching past the sixth inning for the first time as a professional. He walked designated hitter Brian O’Keefe to start the eighth inning, ending the perfect game bid. But at a career-high 77 pitches, Pepiot was reluctantly removed by manager Scott Hennessey.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because on June 12, Pepiot retired his first 15 batters faced, striking out eight. But he was pulled after walking the first batter of the sixth inning, at the time with career highs in both innings and pitches (72).
In between then and now, Pepiot on June 23 allowed only one hit in six innings, facing the minimum 18 batters. In that one, he retired the first 12 batters. Pepiot has pitched in 10 games this season, not counting a one-inning start on June 6 that was suspended by rain. In six of those games, the right-hander has allowed zero or one hit.
The 2019 third-round pick out of Butler was ranked as the Dodgers’ sixth-best prospect by FanGraphs before the season, and No. 8 by Baseball America.
I’m not sure how hard Pepiot was throwing all game, but according to Tulsa play-by-play announcer Dennis Higgins, Pepiot hit 97 mph against O’Keefe in the eighth. The right-hander has a 1.73 ERA this season in Double-A, with 57 strikeouts (a 36.3-percent strikeout rate) and 18 walks in 41⅔ innings.
Triple-A Oklahoma City
Riding the good vibes from Josiah Gray’s first game in two months, Oklahoma City beat the Salt Lake Bees (Angels). Gray retired all six batters he faced in two innings after missing time with a right shoulder impingement.
Zach Reks had three hits and drove in three runs, including an RBI double in the second inning and a two-run home run in the fourth. Alex Vesia pitched a perfect eighth, and struck out all three batters faced. Again.
Rehab update: Yoshi Tsutsugo had two hits, including a two-run double on Sunday, his 14th game with Oklahoma City. He made his eighth start at first base in Triple-A, and has started six times in left field. Sunday was the 18th day of his 20-day minor league rehab assignment while on the injured list with a right calf strain, during which he is 8-for-54 with three home runs, hitting .148/.242/.333 with 18 strikeouts and seven walks.
Pepiot’s gem set the tone, and his battery mate Hunter Feduccia hit a two-run home run in Tulsa’s shutout of Arkansas. Pepiot left up 3-0 after walking the leadoff batter of the eighth, and things got a little hairy when Justin Hagenman allowed a single — breaking the combined no-hit attempt — and walk to load the bases with one out. But Hagenman recovered to strike out two in a row, ending the Travelers’ only real threat of the night.
High-A Great Lakes
Bobby Miller had his longest outing as a pro, earning the win in the Loons’ victory over the Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres). The Dodgers’ 2020 first-round pick struck out five in 4⅔ innings, allowing only a run on three hits.
Center fielder James Outman and a two-run home run and an RBI single from the leadoff spot. First baseman Justin Yurchak hit a two-run double and stole a base.
Low-A Rancho Cucamonga
Shortstop Eddys Leonard doubled twice and had four hits in the Quakes win over the Fresno Grizzlies (Rockies). Catcher Wladmir Chalo had three hits. Second baseman Sam McWilliams reached base three times with a double, single, and walk, scoring twice, and driving in two runs.
Hyun-il Choi took over pitching duties in the fourth inning, and tossed six scoreless frames, allowing only two singles with five strikeouts. On the season, the 21-year-old right-hander has 54 strikeouts and five walks in 46⅔ innings.
Rancho Cucamonga’s win was the 1,600th in the managerial career of Dodgers lifer John Shoemaker, the organization’s captain of player development.
Triple-A: Edwin Uceta was called up to the Dodgers, and Brusdar Graterol was optioned to Oklahoma City.
- Oklahoma City 6, Salt Lake 3
- Tulsa 3, Arkansas 0
- Great Lakes 7, Fort Wayne 5
- Rancho Cucamonga 6, Fresno 1
5:05 p.m. PT: Oklahoma City (Aaron Wilkerson) vs. Salt Lake (Brian Johnson)