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Mitch White has hitless start in Triple-A return, Nelson Quiroz homers 3 times for Rancho Cucamonga

MLB: JUN 07 Dodgers at White Sox Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sunday in the Dodgers minors saw a pair of standout starting pitching performances, a home run from a top prospect, yet another power-hitting catcher in Rancho Cucamonga, and a left-handed reliever continuing to thrive in Triple-A since getting optioned.

Player of the day

Major league rules no longer allow for Mitch White to be optioned to the minors ten times during the season like he was in 2021. But he handled his first time getting sent down this year with aplomb, retiring 16 of his 19 batters faced for Triple-A Oklahoma City. White walked two and hit a batter, but allowed no hits, and struck out six, including his only two hitters faced in the sixth before getting pulled.

Triple-A Oklahoma City

White walked off the mound with a three-run advantage, then Oklahoma City piled on in a win over the Salt Lake Bees (Angels). A five-run sixth inning was highlighted by a three-run double from center fielder Drew Avans.

Miguel Vargas hit a two-run home run in the third inning, his 10th of the season.

Garrett Cleavinger pitched a perfect eighth inning with one strikeout. Friday’s outing was the first time the left-hander allowed runs in over a month. Since getting optioned to Triple-A on May 15, Cleavinger has allowed two runs in 12 innings, striking out 20 of his 50 batters faced.

Double-A Tulsa

Gavin Stone proved mortal for the first time since joining the Drillers, allowing four runs in four innings in a loss to the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Royals). The right-hander didn’t allow a home run — he hasn’t done so yet in five Tulsa starts, and has only allowed one homer in 11 starts on the season, counting his time in Great Lakes — but did allow a season-high seven hits.

Stone also allowed two doubles. Amazingly, in his first 10 starts this season, Stone allowed only two extra base hits: one home run and one double, both with the Loons.

Left fielder Ryan Ward had two hits for Tulsa, including a double. Center fielder Jeren Kendall walked twice and homered.

Leonel Valera was 2-for-4, extending his hitting streak to eight games since getting promoted to Double-A at the beginning of June. The 22-year-old Venezuelan infielder played second base for the second time with Tulsa on Sunday after playing third base in his first games with them. So far in Double-A, Valera is 11-for-29 (.379) with a double.

High-A Great Lakes

The only thing that stopped Kendall Williams was rain on Sunday, in the Loons’ win over the Dayton Dragons (Reds). Great Lakes’ starting pitcher faced 10 batters and struck out eight, allowing only a single in three scoreless innings before a ... delay.

Catcher Diego Cartaya has adjusted quite nicely to High-A, driving in two runs Sunday with a double, single, and walk. Every Great Lakes starter either scored or drove in a run, with five doing both.

Low-A Rancho Cucamonga

Nelson Quiroz, playing in just his fifth game with the Quakes, homered three times and doubled, driving in six runs in a rout of the Stockton Ports (A’s).

Quiroz was signed out of Mexico in 2019 and is just 20 years old. In his previous 71 career minor league games — 2019 in the Dominican Summer League, 2021 in the Arizona Complex League, and this year with Rancho Cucamonga — the switch-hitting catcher had one home run, though he also had 13 doubles and excellent plate discipline, with nearly as many walks (34) as strikeouts (36).

On Sunday, Quiroz hit a two-run home run in the second, then added a two-run double in the third. After a fifth-inning groundout, he added solo home runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Three home runs in a game tied the Quakes record, and he even got a chance to add to his day in the ninth, but he struck out.

Sunday scores

Tuesday schedule

  • 4:05 p.m. PT: Great Lakes vs. Wisconsin [Brewers]
  • 5:05 p.m.: Tulsa vs. Wichita [Twins]
  • 5:35 p.m.: Oklahoma City at Reno [D-backs]
  • 6:30 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Peter Neubeck) vs. Inland Empire [Angels] (Mason Albright)

The top four affiliates are all off Monday.