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Dodgers acquire Pat Valaika from Mariners, Ken Giles debuts in Arizona

MLB: OCT 02 Orioles at Blue Jays Photo by Gavin Napier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Dodgers on Tuesday made a minor league trade, acquiring infielder Pat Valaika from the Mariners for cash. The 30-year-old Valaika, who played six seasons in the majors with the Rockies and Orioles from 2016-21, was hitting .240/.343/.405 with a 77 wRC+ for Triple-A Tacoma, splitting time between first base, second base, and third base.

On Tuesday for Oklahoma City, Valaika batted third and played second base, collecting two hits in three at-bats plus a walk, and scored a run.

Veteran debut

Ken Giles signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers on June 4, and one month later made his debut in a game. Giles struck out all three batters he faced Tuesday in the Arizona Complex League. The 32-year-old has pitched only eight major league innings since the start of 2020, having Tommy John surgery during that time and was also sidelined by a sprained finger and shoulder soreness.

Players of the week

Great Lakes infielder Luis Yanel Diaz was named Midwest League player of the week for the period of June 26-July 2, with seven hits in 16 at-bats, including three hits and a home run, hitting .438/.500/.813 with six runs scored, three RBI, and three walks.

Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2016, Diaz is hitting .292/.347/.461 with a 129 wRC+ for the Loons this season. He’s started 27 games at third base, 12 times at first base, four games at shortstop, and twice in left field. Those four starts at shortstop came in the last two weeks.

In the California League, Jared Karros won pitcher of the week after retiring 15 of 16 batters in five scoreless innings last week for Rancho Cucamonga. He’s the second straight Quakes pitcher to win the Cal League honor, along with Payton Martin last week.

Player of the day

With three players on the 40-man roster playing for Tulsa (and five players to start the season before Jonny DeLuca and Andy Pages were promoted in May), center fielder Jose Ramos has been under the radar a bit, but is having a solid season.

Ramos drove in three runs on Tuesday, with a two-run home run that tied the game in the eighth inning, then a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning that kept the game going.

The 22-year-old Ramos also singled and is hitting .263/.352/.468 with a team leading 16 home runs for the Drillers. He entered Tuesday with a 112 wRC+, which will be a little bit higher after Tuesday’s effort.

Triple-A Oklahoma City

Michael Busch and Steven Duggar homered in Oklahoma City’s win over the Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies). Since getting optioned a week ago, Busch has five extra-base hits in five games, with a double in addition to his homer on Tuesday. He’s 7-for-19 with six walks during that time.

Devin Mann hit two more doubles to give him 30 on the season. That’s tied for the lead in the entire minor leagues along with Orioles third baseman Coby Mayo for Double-A Bowie.

Justin Hagenman has been getting stretched out for about a month, and on Tuesday pitched five innings for the first time since June 14, 2019 while with Great Lakes. In this one, the right-hander allowed just one run with five strikeouts.

Rehab update

Jimmy Nelson pitched in his ninth game in this minor league rehab assignment, and fifth for Oklahoma City. He pitched a scoreless inning, worked around a leadoff single and threw 23 pitches. Sunday is the 30th and final day of his rehab assignment, after which the Dodgers will need to make a roster decision on Nelson, who is on the 60-day injured list.

Double-A Tulsa

After Ramos tied the game twice late, Eddys Leonard delivered the walk-off winner with an RBI single in the 11th inning to beat the Wichita Wind Surge (Twins).

Ramos and Jorbit Vivas each had two hits.

River Ryan allowed three runs, but was also a steadying force for a Tulsa rotation that needed an extending outing. After Ryan pitched five innings last Wednesday, Drillers starting pitchers totaled just 8⅔ innings in five games before Ryan’s outing on Tuesday.

Trevor Bettencourt struck out four in his two innings to earn the win. He allowed only one of the two free runners to score while covering the 10th and 11th frames.

High-A Great Lakes

Six combined runs in the sixth and seventh innings guided the Loons over the Dayton Dragons (Reds). Yeiner Fernandez, Damon Keith, and Chris Newell each had RBI doubles in the four-run sixth, and Diaz hit a two-run home run in the seventh.

Fernandez and Keith each had three hits.

Starter Ronan Kopp allowed two runs in three innings, leaving six innings for the bullpen. The first two were covered by Carlos De Los Santos in scoreless fashion.

Low-A Rancho Cucamonga

The Quakes got great pitching but only scored once in an extra-inning loss to the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels). Up 1-0 late, Inland Empire scored a run in the ninth and got the walk-off winner in the 10th.

Karros struck out four in his four scoreless innings, his second straight scoreless start. He has pitched 10 straight scoreless innings dating back to the final frame of his June 15 start.

Roque Gutierrez, back with the Quakes (see below), pitched three scoreless innings with three strikeouts following Karros.

Josue De Paula had three of Rancho Cucamonga’s six hits, including a triple.


Triple-A: Infielder Pat Valaika was acquired from the minors for cash. Outfielder Steven Duggar was activated from the injured list.

Double-A: Right-hander Orlando Ortiz-Mayr was promoted from Great Lakes after a 3.58 ERA in 50⅓ innings for the Loons, with 45 strikeouts and 19 walks. He’ll start for the Drillers on Wednesday. Reliever Jake Pilarski was placed on the 7-day injured list.

Low-A: Pitcher Roque Gutierrez was sent back from Triple-A after two days with Oklahoma City during which the 20-year-old did not pitch.

Tuesday scores

Wednesday scores

  • 4:05 p.m. PT: Great Lakes (Jerming Rosario) at Dayton (Chase Petty)
  • 4:35 p.m.: Tulsa (Orlando Ortiz-Mayr) vs. Wichita (Carlos Luna)
  • 5:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (TBD) vs. Albuquerque (Karl Kauffmann)
  • 6:35 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Christian Romero) at Inland Empire (Walbert Urena)