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Michael Busch homers twice, drives in six for Tulsa

The second multi-homer effort of Busch’s career

MLB: Spring Training-Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday’s trip around the Dodgers minor leagues include an offensive shootout, a pair of one-run games and a rainout.

Player of the day

Michael Busch hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning for the Drillers to tie the game at 7-7 to that point. The 24-year-old would plate four more in the fifth inning with a grand slam that gave Tulsa a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

The No. 3 prospect in the Dodgers’ system according to MLB Pipeline, Busch is now 6-for-20 (.300) so far this season.

Triple-A Oklahoma City

Four straight one-out singles scored two runs in the ninth inning for OKC but they ultimately fell one short, stranding the tying run on second. El Paso (Padres) held on to the 4-3 win to hand the Dodgers their second consecutive loss after a 5-1 start.

Kevin Pillar continues to rake to start the year, going 2-for-3 Wednesday with a sac fly that started the scoring in the third. The outfielder now has 10 hits in 27 at-bats (.370) through the first eight games.

Former Dodger Trayce Thompson smacked a solo homer and scored on a double in the fifth inning to help give El Paso the lead. Up 3-1 in the sixth, Brent Rooker’s solo homer off Phil Bickford provided what would be the winning run.

With two more hits in this contest, Zach McKinstry is now 14-for-32 (.438) to start his season. Outfielder Jason Martin, who signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers in the offseason, was 3-for-4 on the night to join Pillar at 10-for-27 in OKC’s first eight games.

Double-A Tulsa

It was a barn burner out in Tulsa with the two teams combining for 24 runs on the night. Each team had a big inning of batting around the lineup but it was the six-run fifth, featuring the Busch grand slam that made the difference for the Drillers in a 13-11 win over Amarillo (Diamondbacks).

Tulsa had jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead after two innings before the Sod Poodles broke out for seven runs in the fourth. That’s when Busch took over with his two-run bomb in the fourth and his bases-loaded jack in the fifth.

A total of five Drillers had multiple hits in the game, including three apiece from Justin Yurchak, Carson Taylor and 2017 first-rounder Jeren Kendall.

Amarillo scored a run in the fifth and three in the sixth to keep themselves in the game but reliever Mark Washington pitched two scoreless for Tulsa to seal the fourth victory in the first five games for the Drillers.

High-A Great Lakes

Low-A Rancho Cucamonga

With the score tied at six in the eighth, the Quakes got a leadoff double from Kenneth Betancourt and a Jake Vogel single to bring home the go-ahead run for a 7-6 win over Inland Empire (Angels).

Taken in the third round of the 2020 draft, Vogel struggled at the plate at times last season as a 19-year-old in Rancho before hitting .318 over the final month of the season. The two hits Wednesday give him four in 21 at-bats this season.

The big hit on the night came off the bat of Luis Yanel Diaz in the third inning, crushing a grand slam to give the Quakes a 5-4 lead in a hurry. The first baseman even enjoyed watching it for a few seconds before taking his trip around the bases.

Wednesday scores

Thursday schedule

  • 4:35 p.m. PT: Great Lakes (Kyle Hurt) at Peoria (Nathaniel Heredia)
  • 5:05 p.m.: Tulsa (Gus Varland) vs. Amarillo (Drey Jameson)
  • 5:35 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Beau Burrows) at El Paso (TBA)
  • 6:30 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Kendall Williams) vs. Inland Empire (Jose Salvador)