Results from the Arizona Fall League game played Wednesday, November 18th.
On Wednesday, in the second day of the away-and-home series against Glendale, the Saguaros (18-11) earned a split. Surprise scored big early, then held on for an 8-6 win over the Desert Dogs (12-15).
All four St. Louis Cardinals position players started and batted in the second inning as the Saguaros struck quickly with a seven spot, sending 11 men to the plate.
Center fielder Charlie Tilson made two of the second-inning outs on ground balls. First baseman Michael Ohlman grounded out as well, but a run scored on the play. Shortstop Aledmys Diaz singled on a pop-up to short which brought in a run. Diaz eventually came home on a Gary Sanchez double, but third baseman Patrick Wisdom struck the big blow, a three-run home run.
Back to the bullpen after two starts – one good and one bad - Luke Weaver (3.72 ERA) took over in the top of the third. In a 12-pitch outing, he fanned two of three batters faced. It was Weaver’s only inning of work.
In the home third, Surprise scored what would be its final run of the day on a Diaz RBI single.
With Dean Kiekhefer (2.93 ERA) pitching in the sixth, the Desert Dogs finally got on the scoreboard. An uncharacteristic walk, followed by a single and a sacrifice fly cut the lead to a still-comfortable 8-1. In fact, it was Kiekhefer’s first AFL free pass issued in 15 1/3 innings (against 14 strikeouts, including his final batter Wednesday).
The game became interesting again in the eighth as Glendale scored five runs against a pair of Rangers relievers, Connor Sadzeck and Ryne Slack.
However, 8-6 was as close as the score would be as a member of my All-AFL Name Team, Damien Magnifico (MIL), picked up his fourth save for Surprise. It wasn’t easy, though. With the bases loaded and two out in the ninth, his All-Name teammate, Nicky Delmonico, lined out to right to end the game.
Batting second, Diaz went 2-for-5 with two runs batted in and a run scored, improving his AFL average to .309. He also grounded into a double play. Wisdom’s three-run shot was the number five batter’s only hit in four at-bats, lowering his fall batting average to .239. He now has 19 RBI in 23 games.
After an 0-for-4 day, Tilson, in the seventh spot in the lineup, is hitting .200 in AFL action. Batting eighth, Ohlman also dropped to .200 this fall on the heels of his own 0-for-4 performance. He struck out once and plated one.
Thursday’s game: at Peoria (12-13), 12:35 p.m. MST, starting pitcher TBA.
Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Coach Carlos Reyes on Cardinals AFL Pitchers
Coming at The Cardinal Nation: More interviews with St. Louis Cardinals prospects playing in the AFL.
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