A couple of excellent pitching performances for Rocket City and Inland Empire and an attempt at avoiding the wrong side of history in Salt Lake highlighted what was a pretty eventful Friday night down on the Angels farm.
Player of the Day
After going through 6.1 hitless innings in his last start, John Swanda again turned in an very nice performance on Friday, tossing seven scoreless innings with eight strikeouts and just six baserunners allowed while leading the 66ers to a victory against the Modesto Nuts.
Low-A Inland Empire won, 3-0.— Angels MiLB (@AngelsMiLB) September 4, 2021
Arol Vera: 1-4, BB, R.
Gabe Matthews: 1-4, R.
Bryce Teodosio: 1-3, BB, RBI.
Edgar Quero: 1-3, BB, RBI.
John Swanda: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB’s, 8 K’s.
Brandon Dufault: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K’s.
Swanda earned Low-A West Pitcher of the Week honors for his work last week, and this performance definitely won’t hurt his chances at defending his crown. His effort last night continued what has been a very nice run for him recently, as he’s pitched to a 1.48 ERA in his last four starts to lower his season-long mark to 4.14. Swanda looks to be coming into his own a bit in Low-A, which is without a doubt an encouraging sign for the 2017 4th rounder.
Triple-A Salt Lake
History was made in the Bees game in Sacramento on Friday night, but they were unfortunately on the wrong end of it, as they were no-hit in a combined effort by four different Sacramento River Cats pitchers.
The man who started things off for the River Cats was Norwith Gudino, who struck out nine Bees hitters over four innings. Next up was Conner Menez, who gave up the only Salt Lake baserunner of the game via a hit by pitch to Mitch Walding in the 6th but still got through three hitless innings of his own. Finally, Tyler Cyr and former Angel Trevor Gott closed the door on the historic effort with perfect eighth and ninth innings respectively.
To say that this game didn’t go the Bees way would be an understatement, as they struck out a whopping 15 times while getting just a lone man on base in what amounted to their 11th consecutive loss. Jhonathan Diaz and Ben Rowen put up a decent enough effort on the mound for Salt Lake themselves, holding the River Cats to four runs and keeping the game within striking distance, but the lineup could not hold up their end of the bargain for those two at all.
Double-A Rocket City
The other stellar pitching performance down on the farm came from Davis Daniel, who continued his excellent season on the mound with another great performance on Friday, striking out 11 and giving up just two runs in six innings of work.
Davis Daniel tonight for AA Rocket City: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB’s, 11 K’s. pic.twitter.com/kvTJjq4K47— Angels MiLB (@AngelsMiLB) September 4, 2021
Daniel’s lone blemish came in the second inning, when he gave up a two-run home run to Tennessee Smokies catcher Harrison Wenson. He cruised after this, though, not allowing a single baserunner over his final four frames while punching out six. This outing lowered his Double-A ERA to a very impressive 2.68 mark and further added to his case to be the next in a seemingly endless line of minor-league pitchers to make their debuts with the big league club this season.
The Trash Pandas offense managed to pick up Daniel after his early slip-up, striking back immediately in the bottom of the second on a RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of Livan Soto. Two consecutive singles by Ray-Patrick Didder and Orlando Martinez followed by a sac fly by David MacKinnon in the 5th leveled things at two, and a towering home run by Martinez two innings later gave Rocket City its first lead of the game.
The bullpen trio of Matthias Dietz, Keith Rogalla and Kolton Ingram slammed the door for the Trash Pandas in relief of Daniel, with all of them tossing scoreless frames to secure the victory. The win was Rocket City’s second in a row against the Smokies, and it brought them to within 1.5 games of a playoff spot in their inaugural season.
The Dust Devils came into last night looking to snap their four-game losing streak, but instead walked away with another defeat in tough fashion at the hands of the Spokane Indians.
Tri-City sent Adam Seminaris to the mound for this one, and he put forth a decent effort, going 4.1 innings while giving up two runs and striking out three. The middle innings of his outing were where he really shined, as he went through frames two through four with just two hits and no runs allowed.
The Dust Devils finally got on the board themselves in the sixth inning, with Griffin Mazur bringing in the first run after back-to-back singles by Adrian Rondon and Kyle Kasser and Kyren Paris singling in a run of his own with two outs to level things at two. This wouldn’t hold for very long, however, as the Indians got their lead back in the bottom half of the inning off of reliever Luke Murphy. Murphy had been absolutely stellar since arriving in Tri-City before Friday, but he allowed three runs on three hits and a walk in what proved to be the first rough outing of his young professional career. The Dust Devil bats went quiet from here on out, managing just one hit in the final three innings to finalize their 5-2 loss.
Low-A Inland Empire
Swanda’s excellence on the mound meant that the 66ers lineup didn’t need to carry a huge burden in this one, and they did just enough to secure the victory. Inland Empire opened up the scoring in the 4th, when Bryce Teodosio drove in Carson Matthews thanks to an error by shortstop Noelvi Marte. Two batters later, Edgar Quero singled home Matthews to extend the lead to 2-0.
Edgar Quero with an RBI single for Low-A Inland Empire pic.twitter.com/rnniCP3w3r— Angels MiLB (@AngelsMiLB) September 4, 2021
The 66ers final run came four innings later in a rather peculiar fashion, with two Modesto pitchers walking four batters to bring home a run without even giving up a base hit. This gave Inland Empire a three-run lead, and reliever Brandon Dufault kept it that way with two scoreless innings to earn his first professional save.
Double-A: Janson Junk was called up to the major-league club prior to Friday’s game. To take his spot, Matthias Dietz was activated to the Trash Pandas roster.
Low-A: The 66ers sent pitcher Stiward Aquino on a rehab assignment to the ACL Angels.
4:35 PM PST: Rocket City Trash Pandas (Cristopher Molina) vs Tennessee Smokies (TBD)
6:05 PM PST: Inland Empire 66ers (Brett Kerry) @ Modesto Nuts (TBD)
6:30 PM PST: Tri-City Dust Devils (Ky Bush) @ Spokane Indians (Noah Davis)
7:05 PM PST: Salt Lake Bees (Thomas Pannone) @ Sacramento River Cats (Sean Hjelle)