Thursday saw a pair of Dodgers first-round draft picks get hit around on the mound, plus a few standout offensive performances.
Player of the day
Luke Williams hit a go-ahead grand slam in the seventh inning for Oklahoma City in his best game since getting optioned back to Triple-A on April 28.
For the second time in three games, the Dodgers hit a go-ahead grand slam in the 7th inning!— Oklahoma City Dodgers (@okc_dodgers) May 12, 2023
Luke Williams does the honors tonight to give OKC a 8-5 lead! pic.twitter.com/8WBUMcxUeJ
Williams entered Thursday in a 1-for-13 slump, but added a pair of singles to go with his home run against Round Rock. He scored twice.
Triple-A Oklahoma City
Williams, Bradley Zimmer, and Ben DeLuzio all homered and combined to drive in eight of the nine runs in Oklahoma City’s road win over the Round Rock Express (Rangers).
Zimmer’s home run was a two-run shot, and he later walked with the bases loaded. DeLuzio homered, doubled, and singled.
Bobby Miller’s slow start to 2023 continued, allowing four runs in 3⅓ innings. He faced the minimum through two innings but only recorded four more outs, allowing two runs in each of the third and fourth innings, including a two-run home run.
William Cuevas allowed Miller’s bequeathed runner to score, then allowed a run of his own in the fourth, but Justin Hagenman, Adam Kolarek, Nick Robertson, and Bryan Hudson combined for five scoreless innings to close out the win.
The @okc_dodgers are 25-11. It is tied for the team's best start through 36 games during OKC's Bricktown era (since 1998), joining the 2015 team.— Alex Freedman (@azfreedman) May 12, 2023
Of their 25 wins, they have won 9 times when trailing after 6 innings, including in each of the last 3 games.
Eddys Leonard continued his hot streak, leading the Drillers to a win over the Springfield Cardinals. Leonard homered and doubled in this one, giving him 10 extra-base hits in nine games in May.
Diego Cartaya was 1-for-3 and drove in a run in his second straight game, though the RBI came in painful fashion on a bases-loaded hit by pitch.
Cartaya gets hit by a pitch ( ) and DeLuca scores ( ) pic.twitter.com/0JrAyBKZ3Q— Tulsa Drillers (@TulsaDrillers) May 12, 2023
Emmet Sheehan had his wildest start of the season, walking five and hitting a batter, but he remained exceedingly difficult to hit against, allowing no runs in 4⅔ innings. He’s allowed seven runs in his seven starts this season. He only had eight walks in his first six starts before Thursday’s wildness.
Sheehan didn’t allow a hit until a fifth-inning single. He left with two runners on and two out in the fifth, and both were stranded The right-hander struck out five, giving him 48 in 29 innings this year. Opponents have only 13 hits in 99 at-bats against Sheehan this season, hitting .131/.259/.273 against him.
Jake Pilarski got the first two outs in his Double-A debut, pitching the ninth with a three-run cushion. But after an error by first baseman Brandon Lewis, Pilarski allowed two singles to bring home one run. He stranded the tying runs on base with a final ground out to earn the save. Pilarski leads the minor leagues with 10 saves on the season.
High-A Great Lakes
Maddux Bruns got a rude awakening in his High-A debut, allowing five runs in the Loons’ loss to the Lake County Captains (Guardians). The 2021 first-round pick had a 1.29 ERA in six starts with Rancho Cucamonga, with 33 strikeouts and 13 walks in 21 innings. He allowed only three runs in his six starts in Low-A, but on Thursday allowed five runs in 3⅔ innings.
That included a four-run fourth inning keyed by a three-run home run by Christian Cairo, the first homer allowed by Bruns this season.
Great Lakes chipped away, with Austin Gauthier collecting two more hits including a home run. Dalton Rushing doubled and scored, and walked three more times.
Low-A Rancho Cucamonga
Chris Newell and Thayron Liranzo hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning, turning a one-run deficit into a Quakes’ one-run win over the Stockton Ports (A’s).
Jared Karros allowed two unearned runs in four innings in his fifth professional appearance and second start, matching a season (and career) high with seven strikeouts. Karros, drafted in the 16th round last year out of UCLA, has 25 strikeouts (a 36.2-percent strikeout rate) and seven walks in 17⅓ innings this season, to go with his 1.56 ERA.
Quakes pitchers struck out 18 batters in the win. Infielder-turned-pitcher Sauryn Lao struck out three in his 1⅓ innings, allowing an unearned run. Right-hander Lucas Wepf struck out all five batters he faced in the seventh and eighth to earn the win.
High-A: Maddux Bruns was promoted to Great Lakes. First baseman Yunior Garcia was placed on the 7-day injured list after getting hit in the face by a pitch on Wednesday. Catcher Frank Rodriguez joined the Loons from Arizona. The 21-year-old played two games in a brief stint with Rancho Cucamonga in April, going 2-for-6 with a double and a walk.
- Oklahoma City 9, Round Rock 5
- Tulsa 5, Springfield 3
- Lake County 6, Great Lakes 5
- Rancho Cucamonga 4, Stockton 3
- 3:35 p.m. PT: Great Lakes (Ronan Kopp) at Lake County (Will Dion)
- 5:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Matt Andriese) at Round Rock (Robert Dugger)
- 5:05 p.m.: Tulsa (Landon Knack) vs. Springfield (Logan Gragg)
- 6:30 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Payton Martin) vs. Stockton (Yehizon Sanchez)