A blowout win with loads of extra-base hits, a ninth-inning rally after flirting dangerously with getting no-hit, a 10th-inning walk-off, and a nine-game winning streak. The Dodgers minor leagues had it all on Tuesday.
Player of the day
After a putrid start to his season, shortstop Eddys Leonard broke out in a big way on Tuesday for Double-A Tulsa, hitting a home run and three doubles, the first Dodgers minor leaguer with four extra-base hits in a game this season. One of the doubles was high off the wall in left center, narrowly missing another homer.
Those were the first extra-base hits of the season for Leonard, who had nine hits in 70 at-bats (.129) in his first 20 games.
After his 4-for-5 performance on Tuesday, Leonard raised his season OPS from .376 to .532.
Triple-A Oklahoma City
Down 2-0 entering the ninth inning, Oklahoma City rallied for five runs to stun the El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres) in the series opener on the road.
Luke Williams started the rally with a solo home run, then two walks set the stage for Ryan Ward’s two-run double, which gave Oklahoma City its first lead.
THIS. TEAM.— Oklahoma City Dodgers (@okc_dodgers) May 3, 2023
Now they take the lead in the 9th inning on a two-run double by Ryan Ward! pic.twitter.com/lqg4nX0Xe4
Those were the only two hits in the inning for OKC, which also walked five times, reached on an error, and mixed in a sacrifice fly.
Oklahoma City didn’t even have a hit until the seventh inning, when Yonny Hernández singled off reliever Drew Carlton. El Paso starter Jay Groome struck out nine in six hitless, scoreless frames with three walks.
Leonard was by no means alone in Tulsa’s offensive attack, blowing out the San Antonio Missions (Padres).
Jonny DeLuca homered, doubled, and singled. Jose Ramos homered and walked twice. Jorbit Vivas had three more hits.
Diego Cartaya hit his second home run of the season, but it’s been a slow start in Double-A for the Dodgers’ top prospect. Cartaya was 1-for-5 on Tuesday, and on the season is hitting just .197/.254/.344. He’s only caught on consecutive days twice this season, and has been designated hitter only twice, limiting him to playing in 15 of the Drillers’ 22 games.
On the mound, starter Kyle Hurt and piggybacker Alec Gamboa each pitched three scoreless innings. Gamboa retired all nine batters he faced, striking out four. Hurt allowed a single and struck out three.
High-A Great Lakes
After a 42-minute rain delay before the start, the Loons needed extra innings to decide things on Tuesday afternoon in Midland, Michigan. Yunior Garcia’s walk-off, seeing-eye single capped a wild final few innings in Great Lakes’ win over the Quad Cities River Bandits (Royals).
Great Lakes broke a tie with two runs in the seventh. Quad Cities scored twice in the eighth to tie things back up, only for the Loons to re-take the lead in the bottom of the inning. Quad Cities scored a run in the ninth off Jake Pilarski, before Garcia’s second hit of the game ended things in the 10th.
Dalton Rushing reached base four times with two singles and two walks, scoring once and driving in another.
Third baseman Austin Gauthier had three hits and a walk. The third baseman homered in the seventh to give the Loons their first lead of the game, then singled home another run in the eighth to regain the lead for Great Lakes. Gauthier also doubled.
Gauther, an undrafted free agent signed by the Dodgers out of Hofstra in 2021, has four three-hit games and eight multi-hit games this season. He’s hitting .406/.500/.580, leading the Midwest League in batting average, hits (28), and runs scored (19).
Starter Ben Casparius didn’t allow a hit until one out in the fifth inning, but a single followed by two home runs charged three runs to his ledger. Casparius walked two batters, retiring 13 of his first 15 batters faced, striking out four in his five innings.
Low-A Rancho Cucamonga
Chris Newell had two hits, a walk, and the game-winning sacrifice fly in the seventh inning, lifting the Quakes over the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres). On Monday, Newell won the California League player of the week.
Scoring was at a premium in this one, with Rancho Cucamonga scoring its first run on a balk, and Lake Elsinore scoring its only run on a wild pitch. After a walk with one out in the ninth inning, Storm first baseman Griffin Doersching nearly hit a two-run, walk-off home run, but his drive down the left field line veered just foul. Jeisson Cabrera recovered to strike out Doersching and Chase Valentine to record his second save of the season.
Starter Peter Heubeck pitched 3⅓ scoreless innings, allowing two singles and three walks, striking out three. But he had some help in keeping that zero in the run column.
Sauryn Lao, the corner infielder converted to pitcher who joined the Quakes on Saturday, made his professional pitching debut on Tuesday afternoon, entering with the bases loaded and one out in the fourth of a scoreless game. Lao struck out both batters he faced to escape the threat.
The Quakes win was their ninth straight, and snapped Lake Elsinore’s eight-game winning streak. Five games remain in the series this week between the teams that share the California League’s best record at 16-6.
Double-A: Trevor Bettencourt was promoted from Rancho Cucamonga to Tulsa, and he got four outs in a scoreless relief appearance for the Drillers on Tuesday.
High-A: Pitcher Juan Morillo was promoted from Rancho Cucamonga to Great Lakes after a 3.38 ERA and 41.7-percent strikeout rate with the Quakes. The right-hander, who missed nearly two seasons while injured, impressed during spring training, throwing 100 mph. Pitcher Antonio Knowles was placed on the temporary inactive list. Pitcher Carlos De Los Santos joined the Quakes from extended spring training.
Low-A: Third baseman Kyle Nevin was placed on the 7-day injured list. Outfielder Juan Alonso was activated off the IL after missing 10 games. Justin Bruihl, who was optioned by the Dodgers on Friday, was moved from Oklahoma City to Rancho Cucamonga, in a move that smells like the start of some roster shenanigans.
- Oklahoma City 5, El Paso 2
- Tulsa 11, San Antonio 1
- Great Lakes 7, Quad Cities 6
- Rancho Cucamonga 2, Lake Elsinore 1
- 9:05 a.m. PT: Tulsa (Nick Nastrini) vs. San Antonio (Duncan Snider)
- 3:05 p.m.: Great Lakes (Justin Wrobleski) vs. Quad Cities (TBD)
- 5:35 p.m.: Oklahoma City (William Cuevas) at El Paso (Ryan Weathers)
- 6:05 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Jerming Rosario) at Lake Elsinore (TBD)