Winter Ball: Thigpen Homers, Drives in Three

Curtis Thigpen had a big day in the Arizona Fall League on Wednesday, hitting a home run, and adding two more hits, while driving in three runs. Chip Cannon continued his solid hitting with a hit, and an RBI. Kyle Yates got the start for Phoenix, while Tracy Thorpe notched his first save of the fall. Meanwhile, in Mexico, Lee Gronkiewicz tossed a scoreless ninth inning.

Curtis Thigpen began his successful afternoon in the bottom of the second inning with a line single to right field. In the third inning with one out and runners on the corners, Thigpen blooped an RBI double to right field. The 23-year-old followed that at bat up with a walk in the fourth inning.

In the sixth inning, with Ben Zobrist on first base, Thigpen had his best at bat of the evening. The catcher ended a nine-pitch at bat by ripping a two-run home run off Matt Yourkin.

Cannon finished the game 1-for-3 with an RBI. The first baseman drew a walk, but also struck out in the game.

Kyle Yates started the game for the Desert Dogs, but was not as dominating as he was in his first outing when he fanned six batters in three innings. Yates fanned the first batter of the game, J.C. Holt, on three pitches, and after allowing back-to-back singles, got Gaby Sanchez to ground into a 4-6-3 double play.

In the second inning, Chad Spann led off with a home run to dead-center field in an 0-1 pitch. After Yates got Michael Wilson to strike out swinging, he allowed a single to Matt Tuiasosopo, but an error by right field Brent Clevlen enabled Tuiasosopo to reach third base. Josh Burrus then stepped to the plate, and after fouling off the first pitch, he took four consecutive balls to walk. Dustin Brown then grounded out to shortstop, but Tuiasosopo scored on the play. J.C. Holt then grounded out to the pitcher to end the inning.

Yates began the third inning by getting Michael Garciaparra to ground out to short. The right-hander then fanned Brett Carroll on three pitches, before allowing a walk to Gaby Sanchez, and a single to Chad Spann. Yates fanned Michael Wilson the final batter of the inning, and what would end up being his final batter of the game.

In all, Yates allowing two runs, one earned, in three innings, while issuing five hits, two walks, and fanning four. Forty-two of his sixty-nine pitches were strikes.

Tracy Thorpe pitched the final 1 1/3 innings for Phoenix and notched his first save of the fall. Thorpe didn't allow a hit, while walking one and fanning two batters.

Thigpen meanwhile has hit safely in all five of his Arizona Fall League games this season. He is batting .318 (7-22) with a home run, and five runs batted in.

Cannon is batting .333 (8-24) with two home runs and five runs batted in, but has fanned eight times.

Yates is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in six innings this fall. He has walked three batters, while striking out ten.

Mexican Winter League

Lee Gronkiewicz pitched the ninth inning for Obregon, his Mexican Winter League club, and threw a perfect inning. Gronkiewicz got Gonzalo Meza to ground out to third and then went on to strike out Cristhian Presichi. Jesus Castillo ended the game by flying out to left field.

Hawaii Winter Baseball League

Eric Nielsen was held hitless going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. Ryan Patterson went 1-for-4 in the game.

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