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Chris Newell homers twice, doubles in his Great Lakes debut

Loons set franchise record with 20 runs

Rancho Cucamonga Chris Newell scores against Visalia Rawhide during the home opener Tuesday, April 11, 2023 Ron Holman / Visalia Times-Delta / USA TODAY NETWORK

Tuesday was moving day for a handful of hitters in the Dodgers minors, with several promotions.

Player of the day

Outfielder Chris Newell got promoted from Low-A Rancho Cucamonga, and hit the ground running in his first game with High-A Great Lakes. He doubled home a run in his second at-bat, then hit two-run home runs in both the fifth and ninth innings for a three-hit, five-RBI night, playing left field for the Loons.

Newell was drafted last year in the 13th round out of Virginia. This year with the Quakes, he led the California League in home runs (14), slugging percentage (.662), and OPS (1.088) before getting promoted on Tuesday.

His 16 home runs on the season lead all Dodgers minor leaguers.

Triple-A Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City hit six doubles and a triple, and their pitchers allowed only two singles in a shutout romp over the Reno Aces (D-backs).

Ryan Ward had a triple and a double, and Hunter Feduccia had three hits, including a double. Jonny DeLuca, whose 13 home runs this season are second in the Dodgers minors to Newell, added a two-run double to extend his hitting streak to six games. Since getting promoted to Triple-A on May 16, DeLuca is hitting .321/.367/.550 with eight extra-base hits in 13 games.

OKC pitching was split between four relievers after scheduled starter Matt Andriese was scratched. Mark Washington started and went three scoreless innings, allowing two singles and a walk in his longest outing of the season.

Beginning with Washington getting the last out of the third inning, Oklahoma City pitchers retired the final 19 Reno batters. Trevor Bettencourt pitched three innings in his longest outing since last August 5 with Double-A Reading in the Phillies system. Tayler Scott struck out two in a perfect seventh, and Wander Suero struck out two over the final two frames.

Double-A Tulsa

Three straight hits in the eighth inning broke a tie to cap a comeback win by the Drillers over the Wichita Wind Surge (Twins). Austin Gauthier, in his first game in Double-A, doubled in the eighth following a Diego Cartaya single to set up Brandon Lewis for a two-run single, giving Tulsa its first lead.

Lewis has 12 RBI in his last four games.

Trailing 6-0, Tulsa tied things with a six-run fifth inning, including a two-run home run by Cartaya — his second straight game with a home run — and a three-run shot by Eddys Leonard, his 18th extra-base hit in 25 games in May.

It’s always news when a Tulsa pitcher gets hit around a little bit, which was the case on Tuesday when Landon Knack allowed six runs (five earned) in four innings, with as many walks (four) as strikeouts. Those runs allowed matched Knack’s total over his previous seven starts and 33 innings, raising his season ERA from 1.32 to 2.20.

The Drillers bullpen picked Knack up, keeping Wichita scoreless until the ninth inning. The insurance run Tulsa scored in the top of the ninth proved useful in the bottom of the frame when Jordan Leasure allowed a two-run home run. Leasure did record the final four outs, including three strikeouts, to close out the one-run win for his fourth save of the year.

High-A Great Lakes

Newell was nowhere near alone at the plate on Tuesday. The Loons scored in seven of nine innings in a 20-0 drubbing of the Beloit Sky Carp (Marlins).

Dalton Rushing doubled three times, drove in four runs and scored three times. Shortstop Alex Freeland had three hits, including a double, drove home three and scored twice. Luis Diaz also had three hits, including a double, and scored three times. Great Lakes hit a franchise-record 10 doubles, and Jake Vogel added his first home run of the season as part of the Loons’ 20-hit attack.

Great Lakes set franchise records in runs scored and extra-base hits (13) as well.

The offense headlined, but Yon Castro was no slouch on the mound, striking out five in five scoreless innings for the win.

Low-A Rancho Cucamonga

The Quakes managed only three hits on the bad end of a blowout shutout against the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels).

A six-run third inning chased starter Chris Campos. Converted infielder Sauryn Lao followed with 2⅔ innings in relief allowing a run with five strikeouts. In his first year on the mound, the 23-year-old Lao has a 3.46 ERA in 13 innings with 17 strikeouts (32-percent K rate) against only two walks.

Outfielder Josue De Paula was 0-for-3 in his full-season ball debut. More on his below.


Triple-A: Starter Gavin Stone was optioned to Oklahoma City, and left-hander Alex Vesia was called up to join the Dodgers bullpen. Reliever Marshall Kasowski was released after appearing in four games with a 7.79 ERA. The 13th-round draft pick in 2017, now 28 years old, has a 2.94 ERA in 180⅔ innings in his minor league career, with 266 strikeouts and 118 walks, including a 3.99 ERA in 67⅔ innings over the last three years with Oklahoma City.

Double-A: Austin Gauthier got promoted to Tulsa after winning his second Midwest League player of the week award for Great Lakes. Infielder Bryson Brigman was transferred to the developmental list.

High-A: Outfielder Chris Newell was promoted to Great Lakes.

Low-A: Outfielder Josue De Paula joined the Quakes from extended spring training, six days after his 18th birthday. De Paula hit .350/.448/.522 with 20 extra-base hits in 54 games in the Dominican Summer League last year in his pro debut, and in January was rated the Dodgers’ No. 7 prospect by Eric Longenhagen at FanGraphs. Outfielder Luis Rodriguez also joined Rancho Cucamonga from extended spring training, and outfielder Cameron Decker was placed on the injured list.

Tuesday scores

Wednesday schedule

  • 4:35 p.m. PT: Great Lakes (Robbie Peto) at Beloit (Gabe Bierman)
  • 5:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Robbie Erlin) vs. Reno (Konnor Pilkington)
  • 5:05 p.m.: Tulsa (Kyle Hurt) at Wichita (Carlos Luna)
  • 6:30 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Peter Heubeck) vs. Inland Empire (Walbert Urena)