Big innings and big games across the Dodgers minor leagues on Sunday.
Player of the day
Double-A Tulsa first baseman Justin Yurchak singled twice, doubled, and drove in two runs on Sunday, extending his on-base streak to 11 games, eight of which have been multi-hit contests.
The Dodgers acquired Yurchak in November 2018 from the White Sox for pitcher Manny Bañuelos. The 24-year-old talked this week with David Laurila at FanGraphs about his breakout season:
“From a young age, I was always taught to ‘hit’ over [hitting for] power,” explained Yurchak, who hails from Clifton Park, New York. “I’ve molded myself off of that, and sometimes it benefits me, and sometimes it hurts me. Slugging is an important part of the game today — it helps create runs for your team — so I’m trying to find that happy medium. Being able to hit doubles, triples and homers [is important].”
Yurchak began the season in High-A Great Lakes, but was only 4-for-42 in May. Since then all he’s done is hit. In June and July, Yurchak hit .415/.491/.563 before getting promoted to Double-A, where he’s hitting .431/.491/.627 in 13 games.
After striking out 28.3 percent of the time in May, Yurchak has struck out 14.6 percent of the time since.
Triple-A Oklahoma City
Omar Estévez hit a two-run double in the eighth inning to beat the Round Rock Express (Rangers). Estévez had two hits and drove in three runs on the night.
Gavin Lux played second base on Sunday and had two hits, including a double. Sheldon Neuse played third base, and homered and doubled out of the leadoff spot. Aaron Wilkerson allowed four runs but left with a lead, pitching a season-high seven innings.
Tulsa had a 6-0 lead after two innings, but allowed six runs in the eighth to lose to the Wichita Wind Surge (Twins). Lefty Bryan Warzek allowed the tying run in the seventh inning, then faced six batters in the eighth but retired none of them. In all, Warzek allowed four home runs and seven runs in his 12 batters faced to take the loss.
In addition to another big day for Yurchak, third baseman Miguel Vargas singled three times and scored three runs, and second baseman Michael Busch doubled, singled, scored twice, and drove in one.
High-A Great Lakes
A five-run sixth inning against Logan Boyer spelled doom for the Loons in a loss to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Brewers).
Clayton Beeter started for Great Lakes and struck out six of his 11 batters faced. Beeter allowed a run in his 2⅔ innings, a solo home run by center fielder Joey Wiemer in the first inning.
Left fielder Ryan Ward homered twice as part of a three-hit day, giving him 20 homers on the season. Great Lakes also got home runs from catcher Carson Taylor and shortstop Zac Ching.
Low-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
An eighth-inning run broke a tie in the Quakes’ road loss to the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels). Third baseman Luis Diaz hit a two-run home run in the loss.
Left fielder Edwin Mateo also homered, and he like second baseman Jorbit Vivas had three hits on Sunday.
Triple-A: Zach McKinstry was optioned to Oklahoma City. Catcher Tim Federowicz was activated from the temporary inactive list by Oklahoma City, after winning a silver medal with Team USA in the Olympics.
High-A: Great Lakes activated pitcher Braidyn Fink off the injured list. Fink retired all three batters he faced in relief on Sunday, pitching 1⅓ innings thanks to picking off an inherited runner in the third.
- Oklahoma City 6, Round Rock 4
- Wichita 14, Tulsa 8
- Wisconsin 8, Great Lakes 6
- Inland Empire 5, Rancho Cucamonga 4
5:05 p.m. PT: Oklahoma City (Andre Jackson) vs. Round Rock (Jake Latz)
Andre Jackson is slated to start for Oklahoma City on Monday, but as the only healthy, built-up starter on the 40-man roster who isn’t already on the Dodgers, he could be a candidate to pitch at least part of Monday’s major league bullpen game against the Pirates.
“He’s part of the conversation,” said Dave Roberts, who said the club would likely add a few pitchers on Monday. On Saturday, he mentioned Victor Gonzalez and Darien Núñez as potential pitchers who could return from the injured list soon.
But Jackson is extremely likely to pitch on Monday, somewhere. It just remains to be seen whether it’s in Oklahoma City at 5 p.m. PT or in Los Angeles roughly two hours later in what would be the major league debut for the 2017 12th-round pick out of Utah.