The last Dodgers minor league game of the week was its highest-scoring, with Oklahoma City having a game to remember in El Paso.
Player of the day
One could argue for just about any one of the nine starters for Oklahoma City on Sunday, but we’ll go here with first baseman Justin Yurchak, who drove in a career-high seven runs as the designated hitter while batting ninth. The big blow was a grand slam in the fifth inning.
JUSTIN YURCHAK, MERCY!— Oklahoma City Dodgers (@okc_dodgers) June 12, 2023
He blasts a grand slam into the Big Dog House for the team's third granny of the season!
The Dodgers have scored 19 -- yes, 19! -- runs in 5 innings today. pic.twitter.com/FoUKYldZbO
Yurchak also drove in runs on a single in the third inning and a double in the eighth. A run even scored when he grounded into a double play in the seventh, though Yurchak didn’t get an RBI for that one.
Triple-A Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City matched a team record with 24 runs in a rout of the El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres). Every OKC starter scored at least two runs, had at least one hit, and walked at least once. The only player not to reach base three times was Yonny Hernández, who singled, walked, and stole a base.
Nine players scoring at least two runs in a game has only happened 17 times in modern major league history, dating back to 1901, for reference.
Drew Avans had four hits, including a home run and a double, in what Bill Plunkett would call a “tri-shy-cle,” and drove in five runs. He even stole a base.
Michael Busch homered and doubled among his three hits, and drove in three.
Kole Calhoun hit two doubles and a single, walked, and scored five times.
Veteran catcher David Freitas has been on the developmental list most of the year, playing only five games, four in June. In his four starts this season, Freitas has 10 RBI, including three on Sunday.
Oklahoma City scored five runs in the third inning, seven in the fourth, and five more in the fifth, and scored in seven of nine innings. Seven of OKC’s 13 walks came in the fourth and fifth innings.
The @okc_dodgers have scored 12 runs the last 2 innings on 4 hits.— Alex Freedman (@azfreedman) June 12, 2023
I repeat, 12 runs on 4 hits. Insane.
Three runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh doomed the Drillers in a loss to the Arkansas Travelers (Mariners).
Ryan Sublette pitched a scoreless fifth, but allowed a home run to his lone batter faced in the sixth, breaking a 1-1 tie. John Rooney allowed two more runs in the frame, then Kevin Gowdy allowed three more runs on three hits and a walk in the seventh.
Kyle Hurt struck out eight in his four innings, allowing only a solo home run. He has a 3.47 ERA with 63 strikeouts in 36⅓ innings this season, and Hurt’s 40.6-percent strikeout rate is second among Dodgers minor league pitchers with at least 20 innings, trailing only Emmet Sheehan (41.7 percent).
Eddys Leonard hit a three-run home run in the ninth, his 22nd extra-base hit in 36 games since the start of May.
High-A Great Lakes
Sunday’s series finale against the Lake County Captains (Guardians) was rained out, and won’t be made up, as the two teams are not scheduled to meet again this season.
The rainout essentially clinched a playoff spot for the Loons (39-17), who own a 10-game lead over both Dayton (29-27) and West Michigan (29-27) in the East Division of the Midwest League, with only nine games remaining in the first half.
Low-A Rancho Cucamonga
The Quakes managed only four hits in a shutout loss to the Modesto Nuts (Mariners).
Starter Peter Heubeck struck out six in his four innings, but also allowed three runs.
Triple-A: After one day back in the majors, Andre Jackson was optioned back to Oklahoma City.