Late game dramatics in both Salt Lake and Inland Empire, an offensive outburst in Tri-City, and another great start from a top prospect highlighted a very eventful Thursday down on the Angels farm.
Player of the Day
It was Sam Bachman day once again in Tri-City, and the 2021 first rounder did not disappoint, tossing four shutout innings with three strikeouts while allowing just two hits and no walks.
Sam Bachman tonight for High-A Tri-City: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB’s, 3 K’s. 50 pitches, 37 of them for strikes.— Angels MiLB (@AngelsMiLB) August 27, 2021
This most notable part of Bachman’s outing was probably the innings pitched, as this was the first time he went more than 2.2 innings since debuting in pro ball at the beginning of the month. He maintained his effectiveness throughout as well as evidenced by his final line, and this great effort lowered his ERA in High-A to an excellent mark of 1.69 in his four starts. The lack of time left in the minor league season may mean that he finishes the year in Tri-City, but he is definitely making the case to start next year in AA or perhaps even higher.
Triple-A Salt Lake
For the first half of Salt Lake’s game on Thursday, it looked like there wouldn’t be much to talk about. Starter Brian Johnson had a rough day on the mound, giving up six earned runs on four home runs in five innings, and the lineup behind him went 12-up, 12-down through four innings against Tacoma Rainiers starter Ryan Weber.
This was about as poor of a start as the Bees could’ve gotten out to, but they began to turn things around in the 5th, starting with a home run by Jose Rojas. The comeback effort really got going two innings later, however. Rojas and Scott Schebler both drove in runs with one-out singles in the 7th to further cut into the deficit, and Jake Gatewood brought in a run of his own shortly after with a sacrifice fly to bring the score to 6-4.
The bullpen tandem of Ben Rowen and Jimmy Herget brought things to the 9th at that mark thanks to three scoreless innings, which allowed Salt Lake to complete its furious comeback. Rojas and Chad Wallach led off the inning with a pair of walks, and after a double steal and a subsequent intentional walk to Gatewood, Preston Palmeiro tied the game up at 6 with a two-RBI base hit.
Preston Palmeiro with a game tying 2-run single for AAA Salt Lake in the top of the 9th pic.twitter.com/286WnWhadT— Angels MiLB (@AngelsMiLB) August 27, 2021
Unfortunately for the Bees, however, they were not able to fully finish the job in the bottom half of the inning. Reliever A.J. Ramos loaded the bases with no outs and then struck out the next two batters to come within one out of escaping from his own jam, but Jose Godoy lined a single into right to drive in the winning run and give the Rainiers a 7-6 victory.
Double-A Rocket City
After failing to score in a 1-0 shutout at the hands of the Biloxi Shuckers last night, Rocket City again faltered with the bats, falling on Thursday by a final of 6-2. The Trash Pandas lineup looked to be snapping out of their slump in the first inning, as a single by Orlando Martinez and an RBI double by David MacKinnon helped them jump out to a quick one-run lead. They went cold once again after this, however, failing to tally another run all the way up until the 9th inning when Mitch Nay drove in MacKinnon with a base hit.
This subpar performance offensively meant that starter Robinson Pina would have to turn in a nice effort in just his second AA start, and while his five strikeouts show that he flashed some nice stuff, he was done in by a lack of command in this one. Pina walked four hitters in just 2.2 innings, which gave the Shuckers the necessary traffic on base to do damage despite only managing two hits against him. A three-run home run allowed in the third followed by two free passes spelt the end for Pina, and Nathan Bates allowed three runs of his own in his 1.1 innings of relief. The Trash Pandas got three scoreless innings from Kieran Lovegrove to keep them in striking distance, but they weren’t able to close the gap and lost their second straight to Biloxi as a result.
High-A Tri City
Bachman’s solid effort gave the Dust Devils a lot of wiggle room with the bats, and they managed to take full advantage by drubbing the Eugene Emeralds by the final of 10-2. Tri-City’s offensive outburst was fueled by a number of different players, as four different guys recorded multi-hit games and two more got themselves in the hit column with at least one knock. They were fueled by Jeremy Arocho, who continued his excellent stretch of games since being called up to High-A two weeks ago by posting a three-hit, three-RBI night to raise his batting average to .385. Braxton Martinez also stayed hot in his first game with the Dust Devils, notching two hits and an RBI in five at bats.
The club also got a nice effort from its bullpen after Bachman exited to secure the victory. Zac Kristofak pitched a scoreless 5th inning in relief of Bachman, and Dylan King spun four innings of two-run ball with nine strikeouts to close out the game.
Low-A Inland Empire
Like their Salt Lake counterparts, Inland Empire also did not get off to a very good start to their game on Thursday against the Stockton Ports. Jack Kochanowicz was roughed up in his start to the tune of seven earned runs on three home runs in four innings, and their lineup held to just a pair of runs through the same amount of time. Also like the Bees was the comeback effort that the 66ers started soon thereafter, which started to really take shape in the 7th.
Designated hitter Cade Cabbiness led off the inning with a home run to cut the deficit to four runs, and after Bryce Teodosio doubled and Alexander Ramirez reached on an error, the floodgates really started to open. With two outs, Arol Vera (who was making his Low-A debut) reached on another error to bring in the second run and extend the inning, D’Shawn Knowles singled to bring in a run of his own, and Gabe Matthews tripled to score Vera and Knowles and tie the game at 7 apiece.
Some excellent work by Andrew Peters (who struck out five in two innings of work), Nathan Burns and Ryan Costeiu kept the game tied going into the 10th, where Paxton Wallace singled home Vera to give the 66ers their first lead since the first inning. This wouldn’t last long, however, as the Ports tied the game back up off of Costeiu and almost won it before a bases-loaded strikeout brought the game to the 11th.
The 66ers bats again came through in the clutch, with Edgar Quero (also in his first Low-A game), Jose Guzman and Vera all bringing in runs to give the team a three-run lead. The Ports managed to score one run off of Emilker Guzman in the bottom of the 11th but couldn’t tack on anymore, clinching an 11-9 victory for Inland Empire.
Triple-A: The Bees called up lefty Jhonathan Diaz from Rocket City. He will make his debut with the team as the starter for their game tomorrow.
Double-A: To replace Diaz, the Trash Pandas activated righty Travis Herrin off of the injured list.
4:35 PM PST: Rocket City Trash Pandas (Janson Junk) @ Biloxi Shuckers (Jesus Castillo)
7:05 PM PST: Salt Lake Bees (Jhonathan Diaz) @ Tacoma Rainiers (TBD)
7:05 PM PST: Tri-City Dust Devils (Glenn Albanese Jr.) vs Eugene Emeralds (Ryan Murphy)
7:05 PM PST: Inland Empire 66ers (Jose Salvador) @ Stockton Ports (TBD)