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Austin Gauthier homers, Tulsa bullpen fuels comeback win

Los Angeles Dodgers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images

Thursday in the Dodgers minors featured a herculean bullpen effort in a comeback win, a six-run inning elsewhere, and inclement weather in Oklahoma City.

Player of the day

Austin Gauthier has continued to hit since getting promoted to Double-A. On Tuesday, he homered for the second time with Tulsa. His third-inning blast was a two-run shot that tied the game.

Gauthier has reached base in 12 straight games for Tulsa, and since joining the Drillers is hitting .296/.432/.493 with eight extra-base hits in 19 games, with more walks (17) than strikeouts (12).

Triple-A Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City’s game against the Las Vegas Aviators (A’s) was canceled by rain.

It’s unclear if the two teams will stick with their Thursday starters (Gavin Stone, Aaron Wilkerson) on Friday, or go with the originally scheduled Friday starters (Landon Knack, Adam Oller).

Double-A Tulsa

The Drillers bullpen combined to record 26 outs without allowing a run, paving the way for a comeback win over the Northwest Arkansas (Royals).

Nick Frasso was wild and couldn’t get out of the first inning, with two walks and a wild pitch. He nearly escaped unscathed, but a two-out bloop fell in short right field for a single to bring home two runs. Frasso then lost an eight-pitch battle, giving up an RBI triple to Dillan Shrum. That ended Frasso’s night after three runs and 34 pitches, only 19 of which were strikes.

Alec Gamboa got the final out of the first inning, then pitched four scoreless innings after that, allowing only two hits with five strikeouts and no walks.

Ryan Sublette recorded five outs and struck out four. John Rooney allowed a walk and a single in the eighth but Jordan Leasure after a two-out walk escaped the jam, then recorded the final three outs in the ninth for his seventh save. Gamboa, Sublette, Rooney, and Leasure combined for 13 strikeouts, two walks, and five hits allowed in 8⅔ scoreless innings.

Imanol Vargas doubled home Tulsa’s first run, in the first inning, then scored on Eddys Leonard’s two-run double in the third to give the Drillers the lead for good.

Tulsa (41-25) remains one game back of Arkansas (42-24) in the North Division of the Texas League, with three games remaining in the first half. Because Arkansas owns the tiebreaker, Tulsa needs five of six outcomes to go their way the rest of this week to clinch a playoff berth. Arkansas is playing in Wichita.

High-A Great Lakes

Six straight hits fueled a six-run third inning in Great Lakes’ road win over the West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers). The big hits in the frame were a ground-rule double by Max Hewitt and a two-run triple by Chris Newell, who also stole a base.

Shortstop Luis Diaz had three singles, a walk, and drove in two. Catcher Griffin Lockwood-Powell doubled twice, walked, and scored twice. Chris Alleyne singled twice and stole a base.

A two-out double cashed in both Maddux Bruns walks in the first inning, but that was the only hit allowed by the left-hander in his three innings. The 2021 first-round pick struck out six but also walked four, keeping in line with his time thus far in High-A. Bruns in seven starts with the Loons has a 3.38 ERA, 38.2-percent strikeout rate, and 16.7-percent walk rate.

Orlando Ortiz-Mayr followed with four innings of relief, allowing two runs with five strikeouts to earn the win.

Low-A Rancho Cucamonga

The Quakes didn’t score until the seventh inning while getting blown out by the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres).

Nick Biddison hit a solo home run for Rancho Cucamonga’s only run of the game, one of his two hits.

Transactions

Low-A: Catcher Thayron Liranzo and outfielder Juan Alonso were both placed on the injured list Wednesday, retroactive to Tuesday. Pitchers Jared Karros and Joel Ibarra were placed on the developmental list on Wednesday. A pair of 2022 Dodgers draftees joined the Quakes on Wednesday from the Arizona Complex League — pitcher Brandon Neeck, a ninth-round pick, and catcher Simon Reid, a 10th-round selection.

Thursday scores

Friday scores

  • 3:35 p.m. PT: Great Lakes (Kendall Williams) at West Michigan (Wilkel Hernandez)
  • 5:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (TBD) vs. Las Vegas (TBD)
  • 5:05 p.m.: Tulsa (Kyle Hurt) vs. Northwest Arkansas (Angel Zerpa)
  • 6:30 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Peter Heubeck) vs. Lake Elsinore (Miguel Cienfuegos)