A 12-inning heartbreaker and a couple of offensive power outages highlighted the slate of games down in the Angels minor league system on Tuesday night.
Triple-A Salt Lake
As has been the case in a lot of their games recently, the Bees had some late game dramatics last night against the Tacoma Rainiers.
Tuesday’s contest started rather uneventfully, with both teams failing to score through the first four frames off of starters Brian Johnson and Darren McCaughan. The Rainiers drew first blood in the 5th inning, with Taylor Trammell singling up the middle to drive in two runs. The Bees got these runs back in the seventh, however, as Brendon Davis drove in both Chad Wallach and Preston Palmeiro with a one-out single of his own to even things back up at two.
Brendon Davis with a 2-run single for AAA Salt Lake pic.twitter.com/u9jDnZnwHO— Angels MiLB (@AngelsMiLB) September 1, 2021
After this came some excellent work from both bullpens, as both the Bees and Rainiers were held scoreless from innings eight through eleven. Tacoma almost managed to win it in the bottom of the ninth thanks to a one-out triple from Alen Hanson, but James Hoyt shut down the threat before the winning run could come across. Salt Lake also had a chance of its own in the 11th after loading the bases on two intentional walks but failed to capitalize after Scott Schebler and Palmeiro both struck out to end the inning.
Unfortunately, the Bees could not hold up past the 12th. They went down on three straight strikeouts in the top half of the frame, and a sac bunt followed by a sac fly in the bottom half walked it off for the Rainiers and handed Salt Lake its ninth loss in a row by a final of 3-2.
Double-A Rocket City
The Trash Pandas had their game last night postponed due to a need for additional COVID testing and contact tracing from their opponents, the Tennessee Smokies. Tomorrow’s game as already been postponed in advance as well, with the rest of the series being up in the air.
For much of Tuesday’s game, it looked like the Dust Devils were going to come away with a win in their series opener against the Spokane Indians. They fell behind early thanks to a solo home run by Spokane first baseman Grant Lavigne off of starter Jake Smith in the second, but they rallied back quickly and took the lead thanks to an RBI double by Jordyn Adams in the third and an RBI single by Griffin Mazur in the 4th.
Some solid work by Smith and reliever Zac Kristofak kept this one-run lead in tact into the late innings, but it was in the seventh where things started to unravel. Ivan Armstrong went out for a second inning of work after a 1-2-3 sixth and got the first out of the inning before allowing a walk and two straight singles that helped Spokane put a run on the board and tie the game. One more out followed this, but Armstrong could not finish the job, as he allowed a two-RBI single that gave Spokane a 4-2 lead.
This deficit wouldn’t have been too difficult to overcome if Tri-City’s bats were still clicking, but they unfortunately went cold at the wrong time. The Dust Devils went down in order in both the eighth and ninth innings, which sealed their defeat.
Low-A Inland Empire
Inland Empire played its first game in five days on Tuesday thanks to three different postponements at the end of last week, and the rust from this somewhat long layoff was evident, as it dropped a fairly uncompetitive contest to the Modesto Nuts in their series opener by the final of 9-1.
The 66ers actually got out to an early lead in this one, with nine-hole hitter Jose Guzman doubling home Myles Emmerson in the top of the second to open up the scoring. From this point on, however, it was all Modesto, who jumped all over starter Connor Van Scoyoc in what was his second Low-A start. The Nuts strung together three runs on three hits off of him in the third and followed that up with two more in the fourth to give themselves a comfortable lead. One more run in the fifth helped chase Van Scoyoc from the game with six earned runs to his name, and the cushion that Modesto had built held up for the rest of the game.
Triple-A: Kean Wong was optioned back down to Salt Lake, while Jimmy Herget was recalled to take his place on the major league team. Drew Butera was also released by the Bees.
6:30 PM PST: Tri-City Dust Devils (Sam Bachman) @ Spokane Indians (TBD)
7:05 PM PST: Inland Empire 66ers (Kelvin Caceres) @ Modesto Nuts (TBD)