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Michael Grove, Jason Martin lead Oklahoma City to late comeback win

Pittsburgh Pirates v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Thursday around Dodgers minors saw the four affiliates split the four games, with two games being decided on the final at-bat. Two catching prospects went deep and a pitching prospect racked up double-digit strikeouts.

Triple-A Oklahoma City

We’ll skip the player of the day section since it really came down to two players telling most of the story of Oklahoma City Wednesday. There wasn’t much by way of offense in this one but the Dodgers got it when they needed to have it late.

Down 1-0 entering the ninth, Edwin Ríos worked a one-out walk to bring Jason Martin to the plate. The OKC outfielder smashed a ball in the gap left of center that just cleared the wall for a two-run homer and the Dodgers went on to a 2-1 win over Sugar Land (Astros) on the road.

Martin now has a career-high 26 homers on the year and is hitting .288/.383/.584 (104-for-361) in 100 games. The 26-year-old So Cal native finished the night 1-for-3 with a walk.

The pitching that kept OKC in striking distance was led by Michael Grove as the bulk pitcher after an opener. Coming in with two on and nobody out in the second inning, the right-hander dominated for five innings, striking out 10 without a walk on four hits.

The only run for the Space Cowboys came on a single from the second batter Grove faced that brought in the runner that reached on a leadoff walk from opener Marshall Kasowski. It was just the third time this season Grove has gone five innings and the 10 strikouts were a career-high, having never gone above seven previously.

Brusdar Graterol was back on the mound for OKC, pitching a scoreless seventh on 13 pitches with two ground outs and a strikeout to end the inning. The plan is for Bazooka to pitch again Thursday to show he can be used on back-to-back nights and provided everything comes out well, the Dodgers will activate him for the weekend series against the Marlins.

After Martin gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead in the ninth, reliever Daniel Zamora walked the leadoff man and allowed a single to put the winning run aboard with nobody out. The 29-year-old lefty came back with two strikeouts and closed it out with a fly out to right.

Double-A Tulsa

Ismael Alcantara hit a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning for Tulsa to force extra innings on the road Wednesday. But Wichita (Twins) loaded the bases in the extra frame and Aaron Sabato launched a walk-off grand slam to send the Drillers to a 9-5 loss.

After walking the leadoff hitter in the 10th on a wild pitch that allowed the placed runner to reach third, reliever Jordan Leasure intentionally walked the next hitter to load the bases with no outs, setting up an out at any base on the infield.

The right-hander got Austin Martin on a line drive to center that couldn’t score a run. But then left a breaking ball right over the heart of the plate and Sabato knew what to do with it, going to the deepest part of the park to send everyone home.

The Drillers got behind early and could only muster two run-scoring ground outs to find themselves down 4-2 after five innings. Abiatal Avelino changed that in the sixth when he hit a two-run homer to tie the game at four apiece.

Wichita once again took the lead in the seventh before Alcantara hit his home run to tie in the ninth.

The story of the game was really the walks. Starter Lael Lockhart (7) and Kyle Hurt (5) combined to walk 12 and Tulsa pitching combined to walk 15 in total. All four innings that saw the Wind Surge score runs included at least two walks before pushing any runs across.

Check out this cool story involving the owners of the Drillers that goes back to the 1980s and somehow includes Scott Boras.

High-A Great Lakes

The Loons had a 2-1 lead after four innings Wednesday but Lansing (Athletics) scored four in the fifth to eventually send Great Lakes to a 6-3 loss.

After falling behind 1-0, Jose Ramos tripled in a run and came around to score on a Damon Keith single to give Great Lakes what would be their only lead of the game.

Reliever Antonio Knowles came in to start the fifth and was immediately in trouble, failing to retire the first five batters he faced. The right-hander allowed a leadoff single before Brayan Buelvas hit a two-run homer to give the Lungnuts a 3-2 lead. A walk and a single to the next two hitters set up a two-run triple that put Lansing on top 5-2.

Top prospect Diego Cartaya hit his 21st homer (12th with the Loons) of the season in the eighth but that was hardly enough for a comeback.

Low-A Rancho Cucamonga

The Quakes scored multiple runs in three different innings on their way to a 9-6 win at home Wednesday.

Dalton Rushing, the Dodgers’ 2022 second-round pick (40th overall), has shown that hitting is not going to be an issue for him early on. The 21-year-old crushed a three-run homer in the third inning that put the Quakes on top 4-1.

Rushing is now 15-for-32 (.469) in 10 games since joining the Quakes, hitting three homers and three doubles while driving in 11. He has even walked more (9) than he has struck out (8).

Yeiner Fernandez drove in two more runs while reaching base three times for Rancho. The catcher singled in a run in the first inning and hit a solo homer in the fifth to finish 2-for-3 with a walk.

After going up 5-1 after four innings, Rancho scored two in the fifth and two in the sixth, holding on for the 9-6 win.


Triple-A: Los Angeles Dodgers optioned 3B Edwin Rios to Oklahoma City Dodgers. Oklahoma City Dodgers placed OF Drew Avans on the 7-day injured list. Oklahoma City Dodgers released RHP Dellin Betances. Oklahoma City Dodgers activated RHP Aaron Ochsenbein from the 7-day injured list.

Double-A: Tulsa Drillers transferred C Wladimir Chalo to the Development List. Tulsa Drillers activated CF Jeren Kendall from the 7-day injured list.

Low-A: Rancho Cucamonga Quakes placed RHP Edgardo Henriquez on the 7-day injured list.

Wednesday scores

Thursday schedule

  • 4:05 p.m. PT: Great Lakes (Carlos Duran) at Lansing (Joey Estes)
  • 5:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Andre Jackson) at Sugar Land (Brandon Bielak)
  • 5:05 p.m.: Tulsa (Kyle Hurt) at Wichita (Brent Headrick)
  • 6:30 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Peter Heubeck) vs. Modesto (Adrian Quintana)