Dodgers pitcher Noah Syndergaard started a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City, working his way back from a blister on his right index finger and ineffectiveness on the mound for the first two-plus months of the season.
The plan was to throw roughly four innings and 60 pitches, but Syndergaard only needed 52 pitches to get through five innings. He allowed a first-inning home run and another run in the fifth, but that was it. Syndergaard struck out six and walked none.
With Syndergaard already at five innings, he’s already ahead of fellow rehabber Ryan Pepiot, who pitched two innings on Friday for Oklahoma City in his first game since spring training. But whether Syndergaard moves into position of a next possible call-up should the Dodgers need another starter, between now and either a trade happens or when Clayton Kershaw is ready to return from shoulder soreness, will depend on how Syndergaard performs.
Syndergaard last pitched for the Dodgers on June 7, and on the season has a 7.16 ERA in 12 starts in the majors.
“It’s going to be health number one,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said on July 7, when Syndergaard threw three simulated innings at Dodger Stadium. “Then we’ve got to make a call — obviously, Noah’s going to be in the conversation — if the stuff plays at the major league level, to the standard he’s set for himself.”
Player of the day
Nick Frasso had his longest outing in over two months, striking out six and walking none in his 4⅓ scoreless innings for Double-A Tulsa. He allowed a two-out double in the first inning but retired his next 10 batters faced.
The only other batter to reach base did so on an error to open the fifth inning. Frasso got the next batter to pop out, and was pulled after 66 pitches, his highest total since April 30.
Triple-A Oklahoma City
Four runs in the top of the ninth inning broke a tie in Oklahoma City’s win over the Sacramento River Cats (Giants). Drew Avans’ second double of the game brought home the go-ahead run. Michael Busch followed with a two-run home run.
Michael Busch does it again! His fourth homer in eight games gives the Dodgers some more breathing room in the 9th inning at 6-3! pic.twitter.com/4hmipPdVKV— Oklahoma City Dodgers (@okc_dodgers) July 16, 2023
David Dahl hit a two-run home run of Sean Hjelle in the third inning, and Devin Mann hit his minors-leading 32nd double.
Ken Giles made his first appearance for Oklahoma City after pitching twice in the Arizona Complex League. The veteran right-hander, who signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers on June 4, allowed a solo home run and a walk in his lone inning on Saturday, and struck out one.
Alec Gamboa struck out all three batters he faced in a scoreless seventh inning, to keep his Triple-A ERA at zero. The Dodgers’ ninth-round draft pick in 2019 has pitched five times for Oklahoma City this season, allowing only two unearned runs in 12 innings, with 12 strikeouts and three walks, to go with his 2.25 ERA in 36 innings for Double-A Tulsa.
Dodgers’ 40-man-roster pitcher Justin Bruihl and Bryan Hudson each pitched scoreless innings to close out the win.
Six Drillers pitchers combined to shut out the Midland RockHounds (A’s). After Frasso struck out six and got the first 13 outs, the bullpen struck out seven in recording the final 14 outs.
Eddys Leonard had two hits and scored Tulsa’s first run on a wild pitch. Austin Gauthier had two singles, a walk, and scored the second run. That came on an RBI groundout by Imanol Vargas, who also doubled.
High-A Great Lakes
Four runs in the fifth inning and two more in the sixth paced Great Lakes’ win over the Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres). Second baseman Max Hewitt singled home two in the first rally and had a sacrifice fly in the second rally.
Chris Alleyne tripled home a run, singled, walked, and scored twice. Chris Newell doubled, singled, walked, and scored a run.
Maddux Bruns was wild with four walks in his four innings, but the left-hander allowed only one hit. Unfortunately for Bruns, the hit was a home run in the first inning, with the first of his walks on base. Those were the only two runs he would allow, striking out three.
Michael Hobbs struck out five in two scoreless innings, setting up Benony Robles, who saved the game with a scoreless ninth inning and three strikeouts.
Low-A Rancho Cucamonga
Each team scored five runs in the first inning, then settled down. But Quakes wildness and errors proved the difference in a home loss to the Modesto Nuts (Mariners).
Working his second inning of the night, Joel Ibarra started the seventh inning by hitting Michael Arroyo with a pitch, then allowed Arroyo to steal second. He scored the go-ahead run on an error.
In the eighth inning, Kelvin Bautista allowed a walk and two stolen bases, then saw an insurance run score on a two-out passed ball.
Neither starting pitcher made it out of the first inning, each allowing five runs. Peter Heubeck got one out for Rancho Cucamonga, while Shaddon Peavyhouse recorded two outs for Modesto.
Shortstop Sean McLain homered to lead off the first inning, his first of the season and second of his career, and later added a single. The Dodgers’ fifth-round draft pick last June out of Arizona State — and brother of Reds rookie infielder Matt McLain — was sidelined most of last September on the injured list and didn’t play in a game this season until July 3 in the Arizona Complex League. Saturday was McLain’s fourth game with the Quakes this year, and just his 20th game since turning pro.
Center fielder Luis Rodriguez had three hits, including a double. Right fielder Josue De Paula had two hits, including a double and a walk. Both stole a base.
Roque Gutierrez followed Heubeck and struck out five in his 2⅓ innings, allowing a run. Kelvin Ramirez retired all seven batters he faced in relief, striking out two to get the Quakes through the fifth inning.
- Oklahoma City 7, Sacramento 3
- Tulsa 2, Midland 0
- Great Lakes 6, Fort Wayne 3
- Modesto 8, Rancho Cucamonga 6
- 10:05 a.m. PT: Great Lakes (Yon Castro) vs. Fort Wayne (TBD)
- 11 a.m.: Tulsa (River Ryan) at Midland (Jack Cushing)
- 1:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Matt Andriese) at Sacramento (Keaton Winn)
- 5 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Christian Romero) vs. Modesto (Michael Morales)