A pair of stellar pitching performances highlighted Friday night in the Dodgers minor leagues.
Player of the day
Kyle Hurt struck out 11 of 18 batters faced on Friday night for Tulsa, his second double-digit-strikeout game of the year. The 11 strikeouts are a career high.
It’s Kyle’s world and we’re just living in it— Tulsa Drillers (@TulsaDrillers) June 24, 2023
Congrats on a career high in strikeouts! pic.twitter.com/NmUuYeXY8f
He left trailing 2-1 after 4⅔ innings, and got hung with a hard-luck loss. But Hurt has been impressive this season, with a 3.89 ERA and 80 strikeouts against only 16 walks in 44 innings. Hurt’s 42.3-percent strikeout rate and 33.9-percent strikeout-minus-walk-rate are both second-highest among Dodgers minor leaguers with at least 30 innings this season.
Triple-A Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City fell behind in the middle innings and could muster much on offense in a loss to the Las Vegas Aviators (A’s).
Gavin Stone pitched a season-high six innings, but allowed five runs, including a pair of two-run home runs as he still tries to find his way. Stone struck out six and walked two.
Drew Avans and David Freitas hit solo home runs to account for both Oklahoma City runs.
Jimmy Nelson made his first appearance for Oklahoma City on this rehab assignment, pitching the seventh. He allowed a single, a stolen base, hit a batter, and struck a batter out in his one inning. Nelson allowed one unearned run, thanks to his own throwing error. Friday marked the fifth game for Nelson on this minor league rehab stint, which began on June 10.
Down three in the ninth, Tulsa rallied for two runs but fell short in a loss to the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Royals). Coupled with the Arkansas Travelers’ win, the Drillers were eliminated in the first-half North Division race, down two with two games left in the first half.
Yusniel Díaz and Jorbit Vivas hit solo home runs for Tulsa. In the ninth, Carson Taylor’s two-out pinch-hit single pulled the Drillers to within 5-3, and Austin Gauthier singled home Imanol Vargas to pull within a run. With runners at the corners, Eddys Leonard flew out to end the game.
High-A Great Lakes
A pair of four-run frames proved enough for the Loons to outlast the West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers). The four-run third inning featured four singles, and the four-run fifth had three doubles.
Third baseman Luis Diaz had three singles. Shortstop Alex Freeland and second baseman Taylor Young each had two hits, with Young including a double. Young stole one base and Freeland stole two, tying them atop the Loons roster with 24 steals apiece on the season.
Dalton Rushing was back in the Loons lineup as the designated hitter after missing eight games. The catcher was hit flush in the helmet on a backswing on June 13, and had to leave the game one batter later. He walked twice in his five plate appearances on Friday, scoring once.
Kendall Williams was wild in his second start this year with Great Lakes, walking four against only one strikeout, but he managed to keep West Michigan to just one run in his four innings.
Low-A Rancho Cucamonga
Peter Heubeck allowed only one single in five scoreless innings in the Quakes’ shutout of the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres). It was the second straight scoreless start for Heubeck, who struck out six.
Shortstop Jose Izarra hit a two-run home run for Rancho Cucamonga, one of his two hits. Josue De Paula and Rayne Doncon also had two hits each in the win.
Triple-A: Phil Bickford’s rehab assignment ended after one game, as he was activated off the injured list by the Dodgers. Alex Vesia was optioned to Oklahoma City.
High-A: Catcher Dalton Rushing was activated off the IL.
Low-A: Pitcher Gabe Emmett was placed on the developmental list. Pitcher Ben Serunkuma, who the Dodgers signed out of Uganda in January 2022, joined the Quakes after pitching four games in the Arizona Complex League.
- Las Vegas 7, Oklahoma City 2
- Northwest Arkansas 5, Tulsa 4
- Great Lakes 8, West Michigan 6
- Rancho Cucamonga 4, Lake Elsinore 0
- 4:05 p.m. PT: Great Lakes (Hyun-il Choi) at West Michigan (Carlos Pena)
- 5:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Landon Knack) vs. Las Vegas (Adrian Martinez)
- 5:05 p.m.: Tulsa (Nick Nastrini) vs. Northwest Arkansas (Drew Parrish)
- 6:30 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (TBD) vs. Lake Elsinore (Henry Williams)