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Zach McKinstry hits walk-off homer for Oklahoma City

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McKinstry has 14 extra-base hits in 29 games with OKC

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers-Workouts Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers’ affiliates combined for 22 hits, three losses and one walk-off winner on the final day of 2021 for three of the four clubs.

Player of the day

Oklahoma City’s Zach McKinstry and Drew Avans share the honors with big moments Sunday afternoon.

McKinstry clobbered a 1-2 pitch over the center field wall in the bottom of the ninth with two outs to rescue the game from extra innings, handing Oklahoma City an 8-7 win. It was the second baseman’s only hit of the game but an important one nonetheless.

With a grand slam in the second inning, Avans gets the nod here because he drove in more runs with that one hit than the total (2) from all other three affiliates on the day.

Triple-A Oklahoma City

The Dodgers used a five-run second that included Avans’ grand slam to jump out to an early lead. Round Rock (Rangers) chipped away with a run in the third and three in the fifth to climb back in the game.

Back-to-back doubles for Anthony Bemboom and Elliot Soto plated two more runs for Oklahoma City but they would give that right back on a Yohel Pozo two-run homer in the seventh for the Express. Round Rock tied it in the eighth on a two-out Jason Martin RBI-single.

Down to the last strike before the game ended regulation, McKinstry sent the home crowd home happy with the walk-off homer.

Mitch White made the start for OKC, going four innings on 69 pitches with six strikeouts and a walk. The right-hander only allowed an unearned run on three hits.

Double-A Tulsa

A solo homer from Miguel Vargas in the first inning would be all the offense Tulsa could muster Sunday as they fell 2-1 to Midland (Athletics).

Driller pitching only allowed five hits and two runs in the pitcher’s duel as Tulsa dropped the final game of the season. Tulsa will not participate in the postseason after being eliminated from contention Saturday.

No. 4 Dodgers prospect Bobby Miller made the start for the Drillers and struck out eight of the 16 batters he faced. The right-hander gave up one run in 3.2 innings of work and allowed only two hits.

Devin Mann finished strong with there more hits Sunday, finishing 20-for-62 (.323) with eight homers and 17 RBI in September.

Here are some notes from the team on their final game:

Vargas finished the 2021 season with the Double-A Central batting title. He ended the season with a .321 batting average.

Vargas’ first-inning home run was his 23rd home run of the year spanning across High-A and Double-A.

Ryan Noda finished the year with the most home runs in the Double-A Central with 29, home runs, tied for the 5th most in a season by a Drillers player. He is tied with Trey McCoy (1993) and DJ Peters (2018). Noda also finished with the most walks (74) in the league and with the second-most RBI (78) behind Amarillo’s Stone Garrett (81).

Michael Busch finished with the most runs scored (84) and the most extra-base hits (48) in the Double-A Central.

High-A Great Lakes

Great Lakes was held to just three hits all day as they ended their season with a 2-0 loss to Wisconsin (Brewers). The Loons were eliminated Saturday from playoff contention just like Tulsa.

There were a ton of positives for the Loons this season and Andy Pages was a huge bright spot. Here are the notes from the team on the No. 5 prospect:

Andy Pages is running away with the High-A Central League Player of the Year award.

-Ranks 1st in wRC at 104 (17 more than 2nd in the league - his teammate, Ryan Ward)

-Only player in the league to have played every game

-Ranks 1st in HR (31), RBI (87), SLG (.550), OPS (.945), XBH (56), TB (233), and Runs (95)

-Ranks 2nd in OBP (.395), Hits (114), and BB (73)

Low-A Rancho Cucamonga

Rancho had no life on offense with only five hits and a run in a 6-1 loss to Visalia (Diamondbacks). the only run came in the eighth on a run-scoring groundout.

Finishing the year 67-53, the Quakes didn’t make the playoffs due to an abbreviated postseason schedule in Low-A that was cut in half. This is the first time since 2014 that Rancho has missed the playoffs.

Transactions

High-A: Chase Barbary activated from the development list. Jesus Vargas transferred to the development list.

Low-A: Jerming Rosario transferred to the development list. Benony Robles assigned to Rancho Cucamonga from ACL Dodgers.

Sunday’s scores

Monday’s schedule

  • 5:05 p.m. PT: Oklahoma City (Andre Jackson) vs Round Rock (Tyson Miller)