The Diamondbacks Minor League affiliates combined for a 2-1 record, all three games decided by at least 6 runs. Lefties Blake Walston and Tommy Henry were on the mound for Visalia and visalia while Ryne Nelson got the call for Hillsboro.
Top Pitching Performance: Hillsboro RHP Ryne Nelson – 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 8 L, W (3-1)
Top Hitting Performance: Amarillo LF Stone Garrett – 4 for 6, 2 2B, HR (5), 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 K
Amarillo busted out the hitting sticks, scoring 19 times on 20 hits (9 XBH) and 6 walks. Outfielders Jake McCarthy and Stone Garrett flirted with the cycle in this game, falling a single and triple short of the feat respectively. A pair of 7-run innings in the 2nd and 3rd ultimately put the game away in the early innings. Every starter in the Amarillo line up recorded at least a hit and a run scored.
Tommy Henry struggled with control, which has been a rarity for him this season, as he walked 5 hitters in this outing and allowed 3 runs (1 earned) in 3 2⁄3 innings. The bullpen did a good job of cleaning up the rest of the game, save for a wild spell by Levi Kelly in the 8th inning. Henry and Kelly combined for 10 of Amarillo’s 11 walks, but they were able to strand them for the most part. Mack Lemieux and Edgar Arrendondo each had scoreless outings and accounted for 9 outs on the mound.
CF Jake McCarthy: 3 for 6, 2B, 3B, HR (6), 5 RBI, 3 R, 2 K
RF Dominic Fletcher: 2 for 5, 3 RBI, R
SS Geraldo Perdomo: 2 for 5, RBI, 2 R
LHP Tommy Henry: 3 2⁄3 IP, 6 H, 3 R (1 ER), 5 BB, 6 K
RHP Levi Kelly: 2 1⁄3 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 5 BB, 1 K
Hillsboro took a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the first and never looked back in this game. Buddy Kennedy opened up the scoring with a leadoff homer, followed by a triple by Blaze Alexander and a sacrifice fly to take the lead. It looked like they were going to squander this opportunity, but a HBP and an errant pickoff throw seemed to rattle the opposing pitcher. 4 straight singles followed and that allowed Hillsboro to push 3 more runs across the plate.
That was more than enough offensive support for Ryne Nelson, who once again turned in a quality start. In 5 innings, he allowed just 2 hits and 1 run with 1 walk and 8 strikeouts. The funny part for him is that stat line feels about average for how he’s pitched this year so far. Maybe it’s the fact he’s pitched in Oregon for what feels like 5 years straight? College, rookie ball, High A, doesn’t seem to matter.
The Devils would scratch a run on Hillsboro in the top of the 6th, but the hitters once again responded with a big inning to remind them who’s the better team that night. A leadoff walk followed by a 2-run inside the park homerun by Nick Dalesandro quickly ballooned the lead to 7-2. With 1 out, Kennedy singled and Alexander doubled to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. Andy Yerzy would hit a 2-run double the other way to make it 9-2. Ricky Martinez would add a solo homer in the 8th to the 10th and final run.
SS Blaze Alexander: 2 for 5, 2B, 3B, 2 R, 3 K
3B Tristin English: 0 for 3, HBP, R
RHP Ryne Nelson: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 8 K, W (3-1)
If you were to only look at the final score, you would have thought that Blake Walston had a poor outing, but that was not the case. Instead, he was once again the victim of zero offensive or bullpen support. Walston delivered 5 innings of 1-run ball with 3 walks and 8 strikeouts. He got zero runs of support and left the game trailing 1-0.
Visalia would actually tie the game in the bottom of the 7th. Jeferson Espinal would walk with 1 out, steal 2nd, and advance to 3rd on a ground ball to SS. A fielding error by said SS on the next hitter would allow him to cross the plate to tie the game at 1. That lasted about all of 3 hitters. Denson Hull, who had 2 scoreless innings before falling apart in the 8th, would open the frame with a strikeout before surrender a single, home run, then single. Alex Valdez didn’t fare much better. It would take him 4 hitters before recording an out, thanks to the batter getting thrown out at 2nd trying to stretch a single into a double. The 9th wasn’t much better as David Sanchez would surrender two runs at the end.
3B A.J. Vukovich: 1 for 4, BB, 2 K
RF Jeferson Espinal: 0 for 3, BB, R, 2 K
LHP Blake Walston: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 8 K