The Peoria Javelinas haven't exactly burned up the Arizona Fall League, but it hasn't been for a lack of talent.
On Tuesday, two of the team's more productive players ensured the club continued to trend upward with its second win in as many days.
No. 15 Padres prospect Keyvius Sampson scattered three hits and a walk over three scoreless innings and batterymate Cameron Rupp (Phillies) smacked a solo homer in the Javelinas' 3-2 win over the visiting Scottsdale Scorpions.
It was Peoria's fourth win in 10 contests and the team improved to 7-11 overall.
"It's great to get back in win column. It's always nice after a tough stretch like we had," said Rupp, who raised his average to .303. "[Sampson] was great. He struggled a little bit in the first inning. He was nibbling a little bit. Then he got right back in the zone and pitched to contact. It was good."
A fourth-round pick in the 2009 Draft, the right-hander struck out three batters and threw 23 of 43 pitches for strikes in lowering his ERA to 0.90.
Alen Hanson (Pirates) led off with a double to right-center field off Sampson in the first inning, but the hurler fanned Addison Maruszak (Yankees) and got Alex Dickerson (Pirates) to line into a double play. Sampson also pitched around Giants prospect Jarrett Parker's single to center in the second.
The 22-year-old worked out of the stretch again in the third when Hanson reached on a bunt single, but he set down the final two batters he faced.
Peoria took the lead on Mariners third baseman Patrick Kivlehan's RBI single in the fourth, but Gift Ngoepe (Pirates) tied the game on Maruszak's run-scoring liner to left an inning later.
Tommy Medica (Padres) regained the lead for the Javelinas in the seventh when he scampered home on fellow Padres prospect Cory Spangenberg's RBI fielder's choice to first base and Rupp added an insurance solo homer to right field in the eighth.
"I've been struggling a little bit through the last few afternoons," Rupp said. "I wanted to see pitches, to see it deep [in the zone]. I wanted to use the middle- to right-center field. I fouled off a couple good pitches and then I hit a mistake."
Peter O'Brien (Yankees) halved the deficit with a solo shot to center field with one out in the ninth, but the Javelinas held on to secure the victory.
"There's a lot of good arms, a lot of good players," said Rupp. "There's a lot of guys that can play defense and swing it a little bit. You see a lot of guys that played in this league that now have successful careers in the big leagues. They established themselves and showed they can do it in this league. That's a positive for everybody that plays in it."
Andrew Robinson (Astros) allowed a run on two hits and a pair of walks while striking out three batters over two innings and Malcolm Culver (Royals) fired a scoreless sixth. Kansas City's Angel Baez (2-0) worked a perfect seventh and Austin Wright (Phillies) fanned two hitters in a 1-2-3 eighth. Dominic Leone (Mariners) gave up one run in the ninth, but he held on to secure his third AFL save.
"It's a little tough," Rupp said about working with new pitchers every day. "You talk to him between innings and try to get on the same page. Some guys like to pitch backwards when they're ahead, while other guys come right after you in different counts. You learn and go pitch by pitch.
"You have to hang in there. They're probably going to shake a bit. It's not a knock on the catcher, it's just part of the game and not knowing the pitching staff that you have no connection with. It takes a bit. It gets better as season goes on, even though it's short. You see them more and catch their bullpens, which helps."
Mets right-hander Jeurys Familia surrendered the go-ahead run in the seventh to suffer his first loss. Starter Hansel Robles (Mets) gave up one run on three hits while striking out five batters over the first four innings, but did not factor in the decision.