David MacKinnon drives in lone run for Trash Pandas, Low-A Inland Empire stumble in extra innings and a deep center field blast in the 505 area code highlighted Tuesday’s Minor League action.
Player of the Day
Michael Stefanic was the only thump in the lineup for Triple-A Salt Lake, connecting on a two-run home run in the sixth inning, which proved to be the only Bees runs placed on the scoreboard all night long.
Stefanic hits the first pitch of the at-bat to dead center for his eighth home run of the season! pic.twitter.com/ts1ZBMqE2T— Salt Lake Bees (@SaltLakeBees) August 4, 2021
Prior to 2021, Stefanic had never played past the High-A level until he landed an infield roster spot with Rocket City at the beginning of the Minor League season in May. In just 21 games, the Boise, Idaho native impressed with a slash line of .345/.406/.437 in 87 at-bats, earning a quick call-up to Triple-A Salt Lake.
Since the May 29 call-up, Stefanic continues to put the ball in play and get on base. In 53 games, he is batting .327 with a .407 OBP, 8 home runs, 30 runs batted in and 38 runs scored. He has also chipped in with 17 multi-hit games.
Triple-A Salt Lake
Salt Lake only mustered six hits in a series finale loss to the Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies). Besides Stefanic’s two-run home run, designated hitter Matt Thaiss (who was with the Angels over the weekend against Oakland) reached base three times with two walks and a single and eventually scoring on the aforementioned home run. Thaiss has played all season long with Salt Lake and in fact been a driving force in their lineup batting .295 with 14 home runs and 51 runs batted in. Reliever Andrew Wantz, who has also appeared with the Angels this season, tossed two perfect innings of relief with three strikeouts.
Double-A Rocket City
After garnering a 1-0 first inning lead, courtesy of an RBI Double by David Mackinnon, pitching was not kind to Rocket City in the latter third of the game as starter Aaron Hernandez (Angels #24 Prospect) and reliever Matthias Dietz each yielded multiple runs in a losing effort against the Chattanooga Lookouts (Reds).
MacKinnon MacDouble.— Rocket City Trash Pandas (@trashpandas) August 3, 2021
We're on the board first in Chatt! pic.twitter.com/vXKkcBq1wJ
This was the Trash Pandas fourth consecutive loss, dropping them to four games behind the Birmingham Barons (White Sox) for first in the Double-A South-North Division.
Dust Devils pitching was blown away by early offense in a lopsided defeat against the Eugene Emeralds (Giants). Starter Taylor Ahearn allowed seven runs on eight hits while recording seven strikeouts.
After trailing 7-0 just four innings into the game, the Dust Devils lone offense came in the sixth when they plated four runs via two sacrifice flys and a two-run single by outfielder Francisco Del Valle.
The Dust Devils have now lost five of their last seven games.
Low-A Inland Empire
First baseman Braxton Martinez crushed his 10th home run of the season in the fifth inning erasing a one-run deficit and putting the 66ers out in front 3-2. However, two late unearned runs come back to haunt as the 66ers get walked off in the 10th by the Rawhide (Diamondbacks).
The 66ers fall to 3-3 in extra inning games, while suffering their fourth straight loss. On the bright side, infielder Gabe Matthews went 2-for-3 with two walks and has recored a hit in each of his first four pro games.
Triple-A: OF Scott Schebler placed on the 7-Day IL
Albuquerque Isotopes 5 | Salt Lake Bees 2
Chattanooga Lookouts 5 | Rocket City Trash Pandas 1
Visalia Rawhide 4 | Inland Empire 66ers 3 F/10
Eugene Emeralds 11 | Tri-City Dust Devils 4
4:15 p.m. PT: Rocket City Trash Pandas (RHP Jason Junk) @ Chattanooga Lookouts (TBD)
This will be the organizational debut for Jason Junk (Angels #21 Prospect) after being acquired in the Andrew Heaney trade on July 30.
6:00 p.m. PT: Inland Empire 66ers (TBD) @ Visalia Rawhide (TBD)
7:15 p.m. PT: Tri-City Dust Devils (Luis Alvarado) @ Eugene Emeralds (Kai-Wei Teng)