A couple of struggling middle infielders broke out of their slumps in big ways Wednesday afternoon as Glendale rallied past first-place Mesa, 6-4.
Angels prospect Taylor Lindsey had gone two games without a hit and seven without an extra-base hit before clubbing a solo shot in the fifth inning. He'd already driven home Mesa teammate Addison Russell (A's) with a sacrifice fly in the third.
Corey Seager, a 19-year-old shortstop who is the Dodgers' No. 2 prospect, began the day batting just .148 in 14 AFL games. With Glendale trailing the Solar Sox 4-0 in the eighth, Seager delivered a one-out grand slam to right-center off right-hander Corey Knebel (Tigers). Seager had been 4-for-39 against righties in AFL play.
"Everybody here is a top guy in his organization," Seager told MiLB.com's Josh Jackson. "Every pitcher has good quality off-speed stuff and throws well and hits his spot. There's a real difference with the control they have over all their stuff. [It] changes your approach a little bit. You've got to be a little quicker."
After Seager tied the game at four, Glendale struck again in the ninth. Following two quick outs, second baseman Marcus Semien (White Sox) drew a walk from Mesa reliever Mike Morin (Angels). Morin, who had allowed just three hits over nine scoreless innings, was then taken deep on a 3-1 pitch by White Sox prospect Jared Mitchell.
"I know he likes to throw offspeed a lot," Mitchell said. "So I wanted to make sure he got something over the plate. He didn't do that, so I took a 3-0 fastball. I told myself if I got something over the plate again, I wouldn't miss it. I actually got good wood on it."
It was Mitchell's second hit of the day and fifth in two games, and it helped the Desert Dogs snap a three-game skid. Mitchell is batting .353 with four homers in 15 AFL games after hitting .167 with five long balls in 90 regular-season games.
Right fielder Brandon Jacobs, also of the White Sox, added a double and a single for the Desert Dogs.
Solar Sox sluggers Steven Souza Jr. and Kris Bryant continued their assaults on AFL pitching with two hits apiece. Souza (Nationals) is batting .364 in nine games while top Cubs Draft pick Bryant leads the AFL with a .390 average.
Glendale starter Michael Lorenzen (Reds) suffered another rough outing, allowing three runs on four hits over three innings. In five AFL starts, he's 0-2 with an 11.30 ERA.
Chris Bassitt (White Sox) got the win for the Desert Dogs, fanning two in a scoreless eighth inning. The Marlins' Nick Wittgren (MiLB.com's Reliever of the Year) struck out the side in the ninth for his second save.
Mesa got strong work early from starter Blaine Hardy (3 IP, 0 R, 1 H) and relievers Cam Bedrosian and Lendy Castillo, who tossed a hitless frame apiece. After Knebel allowed the game-tying grand slam to Seager, Morin took his first loss.
Mitchell was proud of the Desert Dogs' fortitude in rallying for the win.
"We were battling at the end of the game. We got in some situations with runners on and needed a clutch hit. I guess everyone battling put a little spark in some guys. It's good to see it happen."