The beginning of Sandy Alcantara's night on the mound was indicative of the final score but stood in heavy contrast to his own final line.
The ninth-ranked Cardinals prospect surrendered a double to Blue Jays outfielder Jonathan Davis before settling in and facing the minimum over the next four innings as Surprise rolled to an 11-5 Arizona Fall League victory over Peoria. Alcantara struck out four without issuing a walk, although he plunked Davis with two outs in the third.
Gameday box score
Alcantara, a 22-year-old native of the Dominican Republic, went 7-5 with a 4.31 ERA and 106 strikeouts over 125 1/3 innings in 25 games -- including 22 starts -- for Double-A Springfield this season. He earned his first Major League promotion when rosters expanded in September and compiled a 4.32 ERA in eight relief appearances with St. Louis.
The Surprise lineup broke out against fifth-ranked Blue Jays prospect T.J. Zeuch, who brought an 0.64 ERA into Friday night's game. He was tagged for six runs -- five of which came in a seven-run fifth -- on seven hits with four strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings. Royals No. 11 prospect Nicky Lopez contributed a run-scoring single ahead of an RBI knock from 18th-ranked Cardinals prospect Oscar Mercado.
The Saguaros tacked on three runs against reliever Darin Gillies as Rays No. 28 prospect Kevin Padlo singled in a run, 11th-ranked Rangers prospect Yanio Perez plated another with a double and Cardinals No. 27 prospect Andrew Knizner delivered another RBI hit. Perez also singled, scored three runs and drove in two, while Twins first baseman Chris Paul smacked a solo homer and crossed the plate twice for Surprise.
Braves No. 10 prospect Austin Riley cracked his league-leading sixth homer, a solo shot in the sixth, and added a single for Peoria. Davis doubled again in the seventh, this time driving in a pair of runs, and tacked on a single in the ninth.
In other AFL action:
Mesa 3, Salt River 3 (11 innings)
Marlins right-hander Ben Meyer entered Friday with an 0-3 record and 4.76 ERA in eight appearances for Salt River. In his ninth game, he set down all nine Solar Sox he faced, striking out six. Top Nationals prospect Victor Robles led off the eighth with his third AFL homer to tie the game, 1-1. Heading into extra innings, the clubs played under experimental rules by starting with a runner on second. Neither side scored in the 10th, but both tallied twice in the 11th before the game was called.
Glendale 3, Scottsdale 1
Top Pirates pitching prospect Mitch Keller breezed through four scoreless innings to improve to 3-0 and lower his AFL ERA to 1.37 as the Desert Dogs won for the second straight day. Dodgers No. 5 prospect Yusniel Diaz went 2-for-4 with a triple for Glendale, while Giants outfielder Steven Duggar slugged a solo homer for the losers. Gameday box score
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.