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Dodgers minors: A 14-run 9th inning & a pitcher used as DH

MLB: NLDS-Los Angeles Dodgers at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Things went off the rails in the Dodgers minors on Wednesday, including an unbelievable ninth inning in Oklahoma City, and a lineup shortage in High-A.

Player of the day

Kendall Williams has pitched well for Great Lakes after working his way back in Arizona for the first two months of the season. One of his best outings to date came Wednesday, allowing only one run in a season-high-trying five innings, with four strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 2.16.

Acquired from Toronto in the Ross Stripling trade in 2020, Williams walked none for the third time in five starts with the Loons this season. Those games have been interspersed by a four-walk start and a three-walk start.

Triple-A Oklahoma City

What was a rather pedestrian 2-0 game after seven innings turned sublime over the next few frames. Oklahoma City allowed seven runs in the top of the ninth, then scored seven themselves in the bottom of the inning to tie the game. But OKC fell short in the 10th in a loss the El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres).

Gus Varland allowed a two-run homer in the eighth inning that tied the game, then Bryan Hudson did not record an out to open the ninth, and allowed five runs. Adam Kolarek finished out the frame with two runs charged to his ledger, giving El Paso a 9-2 lead.

The first eight batters reached base in the bottom of the ninth, including a three-run home run by Miguel Vargas, his only hit in six at-bats. A groundout to first base tied the game, but was only the first out of the inning, with Michael Busch and Vargas due up with runners on second and third base. But both struck out.

In the 10th inning, El Paso scored twice and Oklahoma City once.

Double-A Tulsa

The Drillers rallied for three runs in the eighth inning, but fell one run short in a road loss to the Northwest Arkansas Travelers (Royals).

Northwest Arkansas scored four runs in the first four innings, two each against starter Ben Casparius and Aldry Acosta.

Orlando Ortiz-Mayr kept Tulsa in the game with four scoreless innings of relief, with four strikeouts. Since getting promoted to Double-A on July 6, Ortiz-Mayr has allowed only two runs in 12 innings in his three appearances.

Imanol Vargas had two of Tulsa’s six hits to extend his hitting streak to seven games. He had a two-run single in the eighth.

First baseman Brandon Lewis was hit by a pitch in the top of the ninth inning and left the game with team trainer Jesse Guffey.

High-A Great Lakes

The Loons were short on position players and used pitcher Jack Dreyer as designated hitter. But the depleted Great Lakes lineup still managed to score nine runs in a loss to the Lansing Lugnuts (A’s).

Great Lakes didn’t make any roster moves on Wednesday, but their in-house game recap noted they had only eight available position players. Though the Loons did end up using nine position players, as Chris Alleyne took over the bottom of the ninth in right field for Max Hewitt, a catcher and second baseman whose only previous outfield experience was a single game in center field for the Fort McMurray Giants in the Western Canadian League in the summer of 2019.

Dreyer, a non-drafted free agent signed by the Dodgers in 2021 out of Iowa, has pitched well in the Loons bullpen with a 2.67 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 33⅔ innings, working around 25 walks. But he never batted in three years in college nor his time in the Cape Cod League, and he hadn’t batted in nearly two years as a pro until Wednesday. Dreyer was 0-for-3 with a strikeout, but also had a sacrifice bunt in the eighth inning.

Dalton Rushing hit a two-run home run and also doubled. Frank Rodriguez hit a three-run homer.

Taylor Young had three hits, scored two runs and drove in two. Chris Newell doubled twice.

Low-A Rancho Cucamonga

Rancho Cucamonga pounded out 15 hits to beat the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres). Wilman Diaz played second base in his Low-A debut on Tuesday, then played shortstop on Wednesday. In both games, the 19-year-old had three hits, including a triple. On Wednesday, he added a double as well.

Fellow 19-year-old Luis Guerra, the Quakes right fielder, had three hits, including a double. Eighteen-year-old Josue De Paula, playing center on Wednesday, had two hits and a walk, driving in two.

Simon Reid, Rancho Cucamonga’s 22-year-old catcher drafted by the Dodgers last year in the 10th round, also had three hits, including a double and a walk, and drove in two.

The relief trio of Livan Reinoso, Liam Doolan, and Brandon Neeck each pitched two scoreless innings. Neeck struck out six. Quakes pitchers combined for 18 strikeouts in the win.


Triple-A: Outfielder Jonny DeLuca was called up to the majors. So was left-hander Justin Bruihl, while right-hander Nick Robertson was optioned back to Oklahoma City.

Double-A: Pitcher Ben Casparius was activated to start after a week and a half on the developmental list.

Wednesday scores

Thursday schedule

  • 4:05 p.m. PT: Great Lakes (Ronan Kopp) at Lansing (Jake Garland)
  • 5:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Ryan Pepiot) vs. El Paso (Jay Groome)
  • 5:05 p.m.: Tulsa (Nick Nastrini) at NW Arkansas (Noah Cameron)
  • 6:05 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Payton Martin) at Lake Elsinore (Henry Baez)