Dodgers designated hitter J.D. Martinez started a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday, as promised, as he works his way back from left groin tightness that has plagued Martinez since late July.
Martinez was hitless in four at-bats against Sugar Land. He had two hard-hit balls, though the hardest (101.7 mph) was a groundout in the ninth inning.
Martinez has been on the injured list since August 22, and before that batted only 42 times in 26 Dodgers games, playing in 11 of them, battling some form of tightness in either his groin or hamstring. He was scratched from the lineup four different times.
Manager Dave Roberts said last Saturday in Los Angeles that Martinez might join the Dodgers in Washington D.C. for potential activation against the Nationals, but that will obviously depend how he comes out of these few games with Oklahoma City.
Gavin Stone on Tuesday was named Pacific Coast League pitcher of the week after pitching six scoreless innings for Oklahoma City on Sunday against Round Rock, allowing only one hit and one walk with seven strikeouts. It’s the third PCL pitcher of the week honor for Stone, who also won for the weeks of July 3-9 and August 1-6.
Tulsa outfielder Yusniel Díaz won Texas League player of the month after hitting .390/.488/.720 with nine home runs and 30 RBI, leading the circuit in all those categories plus hits (39) and runs scored (26) as well.
Dodgers newcomer Óscar Mercado was named Pacific Coast League player of the month after hitting .325/.407/.738 with eight home runs and 27 RBI in August. But 17 of his 20 games came with El Paso before the outfielder opted out of his minor league deal with the Padres to sign with the Dodgers.
Player of the day
Rancho Cucamonga third baseman Jake Gelof hit a grand slam and drove in five runs in the Quakes’ blowout win on Tuesday night. Gelof also doubled and delivered a run-scoring single, driving in a career-best five runs.
Gelof, who was drafted this year by the Dodgers in the second round out of Virginia, has homered in two straight games for Rancho Cucamonga.
Triple-A Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City didn’t score in the first game of a road series in a loss the Sugar Land Space Cowboys (Astros).
Miguel Vargas wasn’t around to see much of it. He walked in the first inning, then on a 2-1 pitch in the third was called for a check swing to even the count. Vargas looked tame on the video broadcast, so maybe he said the magic words, but whatever the reason he was ejected in the middle of an at-bat. Manager Travis Barbary was ejected as well, and got his money’s worth in his argument.
Drew Avans finished the Vargas at-bat and grounded out.
First baseman Justin Yurchak had two of Oklahoma City’s four hits.
Tulsa’s offense scored just once in a blowout loss to the Springfield Cardinals.
Austin Gauthier had two of the Drillers’ six hits, including a triple.
Kendall Williams allowed three runs and took the loss put pitched well enough, outside of maybe just the one strikeout in 27 batters faced. But he did last six innings for the third time in his last five starts.
High-A Great Lakes
The Loons got two great pitching performances to beat the West Michigan (Tigers) in a low-scoring affair.
Peter Heubeck had his best start since getting promoted to High-A, allowing one run in five innings, with four strikeouts and more importantly no walks. The Dodgers’ third-round pick in 2021, now 21 years old, had nearly as many walks (eight) as strikeouts (10) in his first four starts combined for Great Lakes before Tuesday’s gem.
Jared Karros followed with four scoreless innings of his own, allowing only one single with two strikeouts, picking up an all-important four-inning save, pitching the entire time with a one-run lead.
Karros since joining the Loons has allowed one run in nine innings, and counting his last three starts in Low-A has given up only three runs (two earned) in 24 innings over his last five starts, with 23 strikeouts and five walks.
Both Great Lakes runs on Tuesday were solo home runs — by Dalton Rushing, his fifth in eight games, and by Damon Keith.
Low-A Rancho Cucamonga
Gelof wasn’t alone for the Quakes, who delivered an 11-0 shellacking of the Visalia Rawhide (D-backs).
Catcher Thayron Liranzo hit a two-run homer, walked three times, and scored four runs. Kendall George and Joe Vetrano, both 2023 draft picks, had two hits, as did left fielder Luis Rodriguez.
Christian Romero didn’t need that much offense, as he was excellent in his five innings. He allowed only two hits and no walks, with six strikeouts.
Triple-A: J.D. Martinez joined Oklahoma City on a rehab assignment in Sugar Land. Tuesday was his first game for Oklahoma City in almost exactly 11 years. A 24-year-old Martinez hit .233/.263/.300 with six doubles in 23 games in Triple-A as an Astros minor leaguer in 2012, with his last game for OKC on September 3 that season.
High-A: Catcher Frank Rodriguez was activated after missing a month on the injured list. Pitcher Adolfo Ramirez was placed on the development list.
- Sugar Land 6, Oklahoma City 0
- Springfield 9, Tulsa 1
- Great Lakes 2, West Michigan 1
- Rancho Cucamonga 11, Visalia 0
- 3:35 p.m. PT: Great Lakes (Justin Wrobleski) at West Michigan (Dylan Smith)
- 4:35 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Robbie Erlin) at Sugar Land (Ronel Blanco)
- 4:35 p.m.: Tulsa (Orlando Ortiz-Mayr) at Springfield (Tink Hence)
- 6:30 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Chris Campos) vs. Visalia (Casey Anderson)