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Dodgers minors: Strong debut for Payton Martin, Yusniel Díaz placed on injured list

Syndication: The Enquirer Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Only one win in four games in the Dodgers minors on Wednesday, which was highlighted by an impressive professional debut and a good start for a minor league Rule 5 Draft pick.

Player of the day

Payton Martin pitched three scoreless, hitless innings in his professional debut, striking out three and walking two for Low-A Rancho Cucamonga on the road in Visalia.

Martin was drafted by the Dodgers in the 17th round last year out of West Forsyth High School in North Carolina. At just 18 years, 328 days old — Martin turns 19 on May 19 — he is the sixth-youngest player in the California League, per Baseball America.

Triple-A Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City managed only four hits on Wednesday afternoon, falling behind early in a home loss to the Sugar Land Space Cowboys (Astros).

Michael Busch had OKC’s lone extra-base hit with a sixth-inning double, and also walked twice, stole a base, and scored two of the team’s three runs. Busch played third base on Wednesday, the first time he’s played there as a professional after seven starts at second base and three at first base in the first 10 games. If Oklahoma City sticks to manager Travis Barbary’s plan — as pointed out by play-by-play broadcaster Alex Freedman on opening day — expect Busch to play more games at the hot corner this week.

Victor González, one of two Dodgers pitchers on the 40-man roster but not active in the majors or on the injured list (along with fellow lefty Justin Bruihl), walked two in a scoreless sixth inning, but also struck out a pair.

Double-A Tulsa

All nine Drillers starters had at least one hit in a win over the Midland RockHounds (A’s). Andy Pages and Jose Ramos had RBI doubles, Jorbit Vivas hit a two-run triple, and Jonny DeLuca reached base three times (two singles and a walk) from the leadoff spot.

Josh Stowers had three hits, including a double, scored twice, and drove in a run. It’s been a hot start for the outfielder, who was selected by the Dodgers from the Rangers in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft in December.

Stowers has only played three games so far, but he has five hits in 10 at-bats plus a pair of walks for Tulsa. He’s been the designated hitter in all three starts, though he’s played all three outfield spots in the last two seasons.

This is the third straight year in Double-A for the 26-year-old Stowers, who was a second-round draft pick by Seattle in 2018. He hit .221/.322/.416 over the previous two years with Frisco, with a 103 wRC+ in 2021 and an 85 wRC+ in 2022.

Landon Knack allowed only a run on four hits in his start, with three strikeouts. The right-hander has allowed one run in eight innings to begin this season.

High-A Great Lakes

A four-run first off Adolfo Ramirez was enough for Great Lakes to lose to the Dayton Dragons (Reds).

First baseman Yunior Garcia homered among his two hits. The two catchers combined for a run in the seventh, with Yeiner Fernandez (the DH on Wednesday) doubling home Dalton Rushing.

Right-handed reliever Reinaldo De Paula dazzled in relief, with five strikeouts in two scoreless innings in his season debut, working around a single and a hit batter.

Low-A Rancho Cucamonga

The Quakes rallied to tie in the seventh inning, but lost in walk-off fashion to the Visalia Rawhide (D-backs).

Lucas Wepf took the loss for Rancho Cucamonga, allowing two hits and a walk in the ninth, his second inning of work. Wepf followed Jared Karros, who struck out seven in an impressive 3⅔-inning relief effort, allowing only one run.

Rayne Doncon homered and had two hits for the Quakes in defeat.


Double-A: Shortstop Bryson Brigman joined Tulsa from extended spring training, and outfielder Yusniel Díaz landed on the seven-day injured list one day after injuring himself on a ninth-inning slide into second base. Díaz was pinch-running Tuesday for catcher Diego Cartaya, who walked after fouling a ball off his foot. Cartaya did not play Wednesday.

Wednesday scores

Thursday schedule

  • 4:05 p.m. PT: Great Lakes (Ronan Kopp) at Dayton (Javi Rivera)
  • 5 p.m.: Tulsa (Nick Frasso) at Midland (Joey Estes)
  • 5:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Robbie Erlin) vs. Sugar Land (Austin Hansen)
  • 6:30 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Maddux Bruns) at Visalia (Wyatt Wendell)