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Varland brothers start against one another in Double-A

They also shared the same mound April 8 but Louie didn’t start

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The rains finally cleared up enough for Tulsa and Wichita to get their series started after three straight days of canceled games. Both teams had a Varland brother make the start and it was a momentous occasion for the family in attendance.

Gus Varland of the Drillers and Twins’ No. 15 prospect Louie Varland pitched in front of their parents in Game 1 of the doubleheader Friday. While it didn’t go the way of older brother Gus, it was still a night to remember.

“It was unbelievable,” Gus said to minor league reporter Stephanie Sheehan. “It’s one of those things that you dream of. … In pro ball, you don’t really think that you’re gonna play against each other, because [Louie] is a year younger and the Twins and Dodgers affiliates never really play each other. But in Double-A, it just so happens that we get to play each other. It was awesome. Just to pitch against each other was unbelievable. The emotions were flowing, which was so cool.”

While both likely felt those emotions, the first inning went very differently for the brothers. Louie struck out the side on 12 pitches for Wichita and Gus gave up a three-run homer in the bottom of the first. That inning was emblematic of the way the day would go for Tulsa as Gus would go on to surrender six runs in three innings of work.

The only offense was a two-run homer for Michael Busch in the third inning but by that point, the Wind Surge were well on their way to a 7-2 win.

Hitter of the Day

Kevin Pillar followed up his three hits from Thursday with four more Friday, including two homers for Oklahoma City. Going 4-for-4, Pillar raised his average to .329 and is among Triple-A leaders with 24 RBIs in 24 games played.

The 33-year-old outfielder, who is primed for the big club soon, has also walked 13 times and with only eight strikeouts..

Pitcher of the day

19-year-old Jerming Rosario was nearly perfect for five innings for Rancho. The right-hander struck out six and a hit batter to open the fifth inning was his blemish on his way to his first professional win.

Triple-A Oklahoma City

Albuquerque (Rockies) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first but that would be all the offense they would get. Oklahoma City immediately responded with a three-run first and never looked back on their way to a 9-2 victory in front of the home crowd.

OKC pounded out 17 hits and all nine hitters had at least one hit, including five different players with more than one. Aside from Pillar’s two homers and RBI-sac fly on a four-hit night, Omar Estévez went 3-for-5 with an RBI-single in the sixth.

Miguel Vargas, Stefen Romero and Jason Martin all knocked in runs on extra base hits as well.

Double-A Tulsa

Outside of the Varland Brothers story and Busch’s two-run homer in Game 1, Tulsa had a long day to lose 7-2 and 10-0 to Wichita (Twins).

The Drillers managed just four hits all game in Game 2 and were still technically in the game until Wichita hung eight runs in the sixth inning to run away with the sweep. Tulsa waited four days to get outscored 17-2 and outhit 23-9.

High-A Great Lakes

Leonel Valera drove in three runs late in the contest Friday to help push Great Lakes to a 5-2 win over Beloit (Marlins). The 22-year-old infielder was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer in the sixth and an RBI-single in the eighth.

Starter Cole Percival pitched five solid innings for the Loons, pitching around a bases-loaded and no outs situation in the third to only surrender one. The right-hander gave up four hits and two walks to go with three strikeouts.

Low-A Rancho Cucamonga

By the time Rosario was done with his five scoreless innings, the Quakes were already on top 3-0 thanks to a two-run blast from Alex De Jesus and an Austin Gauthier RBI-single in the fifth. Rancho received four innings of shutout relief to cruise to a 4-0 win over Lake Elsinore (Padres).

The undrafted Gauthier has been interesting of late for Rancho, going 6-for-7 with seven walks in his last 14 plate appearances over three games. The 23-year-old walked four times Friday.

Transactions

High-A: Pitcher Andrew Shaps and infielder Hector Martinez were added from extended from spring training. Pitcher Kyle Hurt and infielder Zac Ching were placed on the injured list.

Low-A: RHP Huei-Sheng Lin was placed on the temporarily inactive list, catcher Marco Hernandez was activated and RHP Axel Acevedo assigned to Rancho Cucamonga Quakes from ACL Dodgers.

Friday Scores

Saturday Schedule

  • 3:05 p.m. PT: Great Lakes (Kendall Williams) vs Beloit (Evan Fitterer)
  • 4:05 p.m.: Tulsa (Bobby Miller) at Wichita (TBD)
  • 5:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Robbie Erlin) vs Albuquerque (Brandon Gold)
  • 5:05 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Orlando Ortiz) at Lake Elsinore (Victor Lizarraga)