Things got off to a stellar start for the AZL Padres as starter Dan Dallas struck out the first four hitters he faced and flew through his first two innings of work. But in the third inning, the seventh-rounder and his defense both faltered as two walks, two errors and two singles turned into a two-run inning for the host Indians.
Dallas worked with a nice tempo and a three-pitch mix, topping out at 92 with a fastball that showed impressive arm-side run and a few strong curves, including one to freeze Cleveland first-rounder Will Benson. The lefty matched up especially well against a left-handed-heavy lineup from the Indians, holding them to a 1-for-8 mark. When he couldn't get out of the third, Seth Lucio came on to get the final out of the frame in what could well be his final appearance in the desert before heading out to rejoin the TinCaps, where he's been on the disabled list all season.
The Padres offense couldn't get anything going against starter Felix Tati, who limited them to just four singles and two Reinaldo Ilarraza walks. Their best chance against the 19-year-old Dominican came in the fifth inning when they loaded the bases for Tre Carter, who smashed a liner back up the middle which Tati caught to put an end to the threat.
The club wouldn't score until the eighth inning. After Ilarraza was hit by a pitch and Carter walked to open the frame, Luis Anguizola crushed an RBI double to center. But with runners on second and third and no outs, they could manage just one more on a groundout by Bryant Aragon.
On the mound, Lake Bachar delivered two strong innings, sitting at 93 with his fastball and flashing both a slider and curve as well as a change. The Indians didn't make solid contact against the fifth-round pick, striking out twice and pounding four grounders into the dirt. Bachar was undersized through high school and never recruited as a pitcher, but got back into baseball while he was at Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater as a punter on the football team. He showed the sort of athleticism and lower body strength you'd expect given his background.
A trio of hard-throwing righties followed Bachar to the mound. Andres Munoz came in once again with a blazing fastball, getting up to 96 with an easy delivery. After a leadoff single, he struck out the next two hitters he saw - getting a strike against each with a devastating mid-70s breaking ball. But he gave up a second single and then lost his feel, uncorking four wild pitches and a walk to push across three more runs.
The final wild pitch caught the home plate umpire flush on the hand at 96 MPH, leading to an extended delay as he ultimately had to leave the game. After a nearly 30 minute layoff, Starlin Cordero came on to get the final strike to retire Hosea Nelson. (Note that while the box score credits that strikeout to Cordero, it should have gone to Munoz.)
Cordero came back out for the seventh and the huge 18-year-old showed a power profile with a fastball that sat mid-90s and a slider at 86-87. He was relieved in the eighth by Wilmer Torres, who is easly 30 pounds more than his listed weight and breezed through his frame using only a fastball that registered 93-94.
Saturday's game marked the stateside debut of 16-year-old Eguy Rosario, who was greeted with a first-pitch change-up in his first trip to the plate and had gone 0-for-2 on just two pitches. But in his third trip to the plate, he took a pair of pitches before lacing a single to left with a compact stroke. With a runner on second ahead of him though, he got caught taking too bid of a secondary lead and was picked off by the catcher. He was hit by a pitch in his final trip to the plate. In the field, he juggled the first ball hit to him at third base, but showed a strong arm as he recovered. In the midst of the Indians' three-run third, he tried unnecessarily to barehand a sacrifice bunt and didn't come up with it. He wasn't tested again.null