July 10, 2018

AZL Indians 1

Shut outs and pitchers’ duels are fun, but they rarely happen in the wild and wacky Arizona Rookie League. So instead, let’s look at a kooky game from 2018 that had 20 hits, 15 runs scored and 12 innings.

This was a home game for the Arizona League Indians 1 squad against the AZL Giants  Black and the newly healthy Andrew Lantrip made the start for the home team. This was just Lantrip’s third professional appearance after being drafted in 2016 and his first two had been extreme successes with two shut out, hitless innings including one against the Giants Orange.

Things didn’t go that well for Lantrip this time around, however, as he got two quick outs, then allowed his first three career hits to give the Giants a one run lead and remove him from the game. Interestingly enough, this was just one of two times in his career that Lantrip allowed even a single run prior to his 2019 release.

Dante Mendoza, just prior to his trade to Pittsburgh, then walked two and was victim of a passed ball to allow two more runs to score before he finally recorded the third out. In similar fashion, with one out in the bottom of the inning the Indians used a single, double and wild pitch to score one themselves.

Dante Mendoza4
Mendoza pitches in relief for the AZL Indians 1 on 7/10/18 at Goodyear Ballpark. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

The first of these runs came in the seventh when Cody Farhat doubled to lead off the inning, then came home on a John Rodriguez single. After a scoreless eighth, Liam Jenkins jumped in for relief and struck out all three batters faced in the ninth. With two outs in the bottom half and still down one, Miguel Jerez went deep for the third time of the 2018 season on his way to one of the best AZL Indians seasons ever.

Since in extra innings in the minors a runner starts at second, things kept going at a similar pace. In the tenth, a Sean Roby double brought home Canario to give the Giants the lead and hit Jenkins up with an unearned run. This was the only run and hit Jenkins would allow in three innings of relief where he struck out six.

Cody Farhat2
Smith stands at the plate for AZL Indians 1 against Giants Black on 7/10/18. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

Just like in the top half, the Indians began the bottom of the tenth with a sacrifice bunt and it also worked as a Connor Smith sac fly brought home the tying run. Fast-forwarding to the 12th, Canario used a single to advance the runner, but was caught trying to go to second. However, Frankie Tostado still managed a sac fly to grab the lead one last time.

For the Indians, this time the bunt didn’t work as Lavastida popped out. With this option gone, Pedro Alfonseca simply stole third instead, then scored on a Smith single. Jon Lopez and Jhan Rodriguez singled behind him to load the bases, then in the most possible dramatic result, Farhat was hit by the pitch to walk off the game.

In addition to the extreme drama of a bottom of the ninth, two out, game tying home run and a walk of HBP, the Indians had two players with three hits (Smith and Lopez), one with three RBI (Smith) and a pair with two runs scored (Lavastida and Alfonseca). Following the first inning, Mendoza, Figueroa, Jenkins and the closer Kellen Rholl combined to pitch 11 innings, struck out 13 and gave up just one earned run.

Pedro Alfonseca
Alfonseca throws the ball back into the infield following a putout in centerfield. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

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