Catcher Dalton Rushing, the Dodgers’ top draft pick this season, was promoted from Low-A Rancho Cucamonga to High-A Great Lakes on Sunday, in time to join the Loons for the Midwest League playoffs.
Rushing, selected by the Dodgers in the second round of the draft in July, 40th overall, was a hitting machine in his time with the Quakes, hitting .424/.539/.778, a 225 wRC+ with 11 doubles and eight home runs in 28 games, with as many walks (21) as strikeouts. The 21-year-old reached base in all but one game with Rancho Cucamonga.
Rushing started 15 games at catcher for the Quakes, plus five games at first base and seven at designated hitter. “We really believe that the catching outcome is going to be possible and a path he can do,” Dodgers vice president of amateur scouting Billy Gasparino said in July after picking Rushing. “We like his strength, we like his athleticism. We thought he could hit with power and control the zone.”
Sunday was the final day of the regular season for both Class-A levels. Rancho Cucamonga’s season is over, but Great Lakes is headed for the postseason, by virtue of winning the Midwest League Eastern Division in the first half.
Up next for the Loons is a best-of-3 series with the Lake County Captains (Guardians), who won the Eastern Division in the second half. Lake County hosts Game 1 on Tuesday, with Great Lakes hosting Game 2 on Thursday and, if necessary, Game 3 on Friday.
Player of the day
Jake Amaya hit a grand slam in the second inning to start Oklahoma City’s juggernaut offensive outburst on Sunday, part of a three-hit day that also included a double, a walk, and four runs scored.
Bases un-loaded!— Oklahoma City Dodgers (@okc_dodgers) September 11, 2022
Jake Amaya hits his second grand slam with OKC and the Dodgers take a 4-1 lead! pic.twitter.com/zCvNQvgOyC
Triple-A Oklahoma City
After losing eight out of 10 games to tighten things up in the Pacific Coast League standings, Oklahoma City exploded for 20 runs to rout the Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners).
OKC was held without a home run in its previous six games, but on Sunday hit five of them. In addition to Amaya’s grand slam, home runs were hit by Edwin Ríos, James Outman, Jason Martin, and Devin Mann. Mann reached base five times including a triple, scored four times, and drove in four.
With 15 games remaining on the schedule, Oklahoma City is tied atop the PCL East Division with El Paso (Padres), with Round Rock (Rangers) just one game behind.
Tulsa was on the other end of a drilling, allowing 18 runs in a loss to the Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers). Guillermo Zuniga stood out with a scoreless eighth inning for the Drillers.
Shortstop Leonel Valera homered and had an RBI single.
High-A Great Lakes
The Loons ended the regular season with a rainout on the road against the West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers). The regular season is over.
Great Lakes on the season was 76-55 (.580), the second-best record in the Midwest League, trailing only Lake County, their opponent in the first round of the playoffs. The Loons’ +84 run differential was also second in the league, behind only Cedar Rapids (Twins) at +143.
Low-A Rancho Cucamonga
The Quakes ended their season by allowing four runs in the ninth inning in a three-run loss to the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres). Darlin Pinales, who turned 20 just two weeks ago, pitched 4⅓ scoreless innings in relief with three strikeouts.
Third baseman Kyle Froemke hit a solo home run, the 143rd and final homer of the season for Rancho Cucamonga, third-most in the California League.
Triple-A: Right-hander Keegan Curtis was promoted from Tulsa.
High-A: Dalton Rushing was promoted from Rancho Cucamonga.
- Oklahoma City 20, Tacoma 5
- Frisco 18, Tulsa 3
- Great Lakes at West Michigan, cancelled (rain)
- Lake Elsinore 5, Rancho Cucamonga 2
- 4 p.m. PT: Playoffs — Great Lakes at Lake County (Guardians), Game 1
- 4:05 p.m.: Tulsa vs. Springfield (Cardinals)
- 5:35 p.m.: Oklahoma City at Albuquerque (Rockies)