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Amarillo Earns 50th Win of Season In Comeback Fashion

(John Moore)
August 13, 2022

Amarillo, Texas - Trailing by four after the third inning, the Sod Poodles mounted a comeback in the later stages of the game on Friday night. The 10-7 win evened the series with the St. Louis Cardinals Double-A affiliate, the Springfield Cardinals in downtown Amarillo. It was a weird beginning

Amarillo, Texas - Trailing by four after the third inning, the Sod Poodles mounted a comeback in the later stages of the game on Friday night. The 10-7 win evened the series with the St. Louis Cardinals Double-A affiliate, the Springfield Cardinals in downtown Amarillo.

It was a weird beginning of the game for Soddies starter Ross Carver. The right-hander gave up a single to the first batter of the night. A caught stealing provided the first out of the night as a walk followed. However, Carver and the Soddies got out of the inning after facing the minimum with the help of a leaping line-out double play turned by Drew Stankiewicz playing second base.

The bottom of the first was kept alive thanks to an error by the Cardinals' third baseman. Eduardo Diaz doubled Leandro Cedeño over to third base as both were in scoring position for Blaze Alexander. Blaze singled to score Cedeño easily while Eduardo Diaz was thrown out at home attempting to make it a 2-0 game.

Springfield's Jordan Walker led off the second inning with a single and was forced off the basepath on a ground out. The second hit of the inning, a double off the left-field wall evened the score after Amarillo's first error of the night allowed the runner from first to come all the way around on an errant throw into the infield by Diaz. Amarillo went down in order in the bottom half, sending the baby Red Birds back to the plate in the third.

A leadoff home run gave Springfield their first lead of the evening. Three consecutive two-out hits including a three-run home run extended the Cardinals' lead to 4-1. A Drew Stankiewicz leadoff single in the third was for naught with the next three batters hitting into outs. The game would remain a three-run deficit into the fifth inning even after a Sod Poodles pitching change. Kenny Hernandez took over on the bump and proceeded to strike out two in the 5th as part of a 1-2-3 inning.

The home half of the fifth inning began with a Ti'Quan Forbes double as he later advanced to third on a balk. With two on, Jorge Barrosa doubled in Forbes and sent Andy Yerzy from first to third. The third Sod Poodles hit of the inning scored the third Amarillo run of the night with Roby Enriquez smacking a ball to the opposite field for a single. A Cedeño sac fly made it a 5-4 game.

Three Sod Poodles' errors in the 6th helped extend the Cardinals' lead, making it a three-run game into the seventh. Jake Rice tossed a one-hit top of the seventh inning for Amarillo to keep the Cardinals at bay heading into the stretch.

Following a pitching change and two quick outs, an 11-pitch at-bat for Barrosa ended up with a walk to keep the Soddies at the plate. Back-to-back singles from Enriquez and Cedeño helped score Barrosa and sparked some life into the crowd of more than 6,000. Diaz was the fourth-straight to reach base when he too drew a two-out walk. A two-RBI single delivered by Alexander tied things for the first time since Springfield plated one in the second inning. Nick Dalesandro kept the train moving, hitting a single up the middle to score Diaz and give the Soddies their second lead of the game.

Left-hander Andrew Saalfrank took over for Rice in the 8th and spun a perfect inning with a pair of strikeouts. A pair of long balls off the bat of Yerzy and Barrosa added some cushion for Amarillo and got Blake Rogers up from the Amarillo bullpen to warm up.

The closer notched his 10th save of the season with one hit allowed in a scoreless ninth inning of work in just 12 pitches.

The Sod Poodles have now evened their series with the Cardinals at two games apiece after earning consecutive wins. The series continues on Saturday for World of Wizards night at the ballpark. RHP Deyni Olivero (1-8, 6.29) is slated to duel with fellow righty Gordon Graceffo (5-3, 4.26). First pitch from HODGEwartz is set for 7:05 PM with gates opening at 6.


Back, Blonde, and a Blaze: SS Blaze Alexander clutched up in the big moments for Amarillo at the plate. The D-backs' No. 21 rated prospect ended the game 3-for-4 with 3 RBI and was the Sod Poodles Player of the Game. His RBI single in the top of the first put the first run of the night on the board. His two-out, two-RBI single in the 7th tied the game for Amarillo who had erased a four-run deficit from the third inning. With his 17th multi-hit game, Blaze has upped his AVG to .299 on the year with 10 home runs, 10 doubles, a triple, and now 29 RBI. In three games since returning from the IL, Alexander is 4-for-12 (.333). Friday was his fourth 3-hit game of 2022 so far.

Rogers That: Right-hander Blake Rogers notched his 10th save of the year after a scoreless ninth inning. The Lewisville, TX native and University of Oklahoma product has converted on 10-of-11 save opportunities this season and carries a 3.61 ERA in 36 appearances for Double-A Amarillo. Rogers was signed by the Diamondbacks last season, and since his signing has more saves than anyone in the Diamondbacks organization.

Must Be Rice: Jake Rice earned the first Double-A win of his career after a scoreless seventh inning with the Sod Poodles trailing by three runs at the time. Last year's ninth-round pick by the Diamondbacks became the first 2021 D-backs' draft pick to make it to Double-A after his promotion from Hillsboro back at the end of May. Since joining Amarillo, Rice is now 1-0 with a 12.12 ERA in 15 relief appearances.

The Turning Point: In the bottom of the 7th inning and down by three runs, Jorge Barrosa had the best at-bat of the night. The Soddies center fielder was facing 3-2 count and fouled off four straight pitches before finally drawing a walk after an 11th pitch of the at-bat. The walk kept the inning alive and sparked the offense. Barrosa was the first of six-straight baserunners to reach as Amarillo used a four-run inning to take the lead for good. Barrosa would later put a bow on the Sod Poodles win, homering for the 11th time this year in the eighth inning. His solo home run put an end to the night's scoring.

You Totally Redeem YERZelf: After a tough top of the sixth inning that included two errors and two Springfield runs, Andy Yerzy made up for it in the 8th. The Canadian crusher launched his 10th home run of the season, providing some breathing room for Amarillo who then led by two runs. After launching a home run in last night's game, Friday's early fireworks blast made it the third time Yerzy had a homer in consecutive games this season. Yerzy was tied for third in the org last year with 21 home runs. He has mashed 59 homers in his minor league career that dates back to 2016.