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Lin Dazzles, Vukovich Powers in 8-2 Win

Lin Tosses Quality Start, Vukovich Sets New Career-High
(John Moore)
July 23, 2023

Amarillo, Texas (July 22, 2023) – The Amarillo Sod Poodles earned an 8-2 victory over the Wichita Wind Surge on Saturday night to secure the series win. Stellar pitching and a five-RBI night helped move Amarillo to 14-6 in the Texas League second half. For the fourth time in five

Amarillo, Texas (July 22, 2023) – The Amarillo Sod Poodles earned an 8-2 victory over the Wichita Wind Surge on Saturday night to secure the series win. Stellar pitching and a five-RBI night helped move Amarillo to 14-6 in the Texas League second half.

For the fourth time in five games, Wichita put themselves on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning. After not allowing a run in his Double-A debut last Sunday, Yu-Min Lin allowed the first run(s) in a Sod Poodles uniform. A two-out, two-run home run is how Saturday night's scoring got started at HODGETOWN.

Jordan Lawlar picked up his third double of the series and was immediately brought home as A.J. Vukovich switched spots on the diamond with a double of his own. Seth Beer knotted things up with a RBI single to erase the early deficit and send the game to the second inning at 2-2. Lin worked a clean top of the second inning to send the Amarillo offense right back to the plate. Facing 8-9-1 in the Amarillo batting order, Wichita's Travis Adams matched Lin with a clean inning. He ended the frame with a comebacker that he took the first-base bag himself.

A leadoff single and stolen base was no problem for Lin in the top of the third. The lefty retired each of the next three he faced to keep the game tied. Vukovich then pushed Amarillo in front with his second extra-base hit of the night, this time leaving the yard for the 18th time this year to give Amarillo a 3-2 advantage.

Following a 1-2-3 top of the fourth, Lin stranded two more Wichita base runners in the fifth. A single and hit by pitch were left by Lin after the lefty picked up his fifth and sixth strikeouts of the game.

Lawlar added his second double of the night in the bottom of the fifth but did so with two outs and was unable to be pushed across to extend the Amarillo lead. Lin retired the side in order for the third time as he exited the sixth inning with just three hits allowed. Deyvison De Los Santos gave himself another multi-hit game with a double in the sixth with two outs. A balk advanced him to third with Tim Tawa at the plate. Tawa sent a charge into a ball but was hauled in along the right-field wall to send the game to the seventh inning with Amarillo still clinging to a 3-2 lead.

The third Wichita leadoff single of the game once again failed to result in any damage done. Lin induced a double play and a lazy flyout to get through seven innings with just two runs against him.

Juan Centeno singled and was followed on base by Caleb Roberts who drew the one-out walk to send Lawlar back to the plate for the fourth time. A drawn-out plate appearance ended with a full count walk for Lawlar to load the bases and send Vukovich to the dish. The D-backs' no. 11 prospect cleared the bases with another double to extend Amarillo's lead to 6-2. The Wisconsin native was thrown out at third trying to stretch for a triple on the play.

After barley missing a home run in his previous at bat, Tawa capped the night's scoring with a two-run home run over the left-center field wall to provide Amarillo their seventh and eighth runs of the game.

Right-hander Michel Otanez relieved Lin after yet another fantastic start for the 20-year-old that ended after seven innings of two-run ball, It was his second straight quality start to begin his Double-A career. Otanez struck out one in his first inning of work and then added another two in the top of the ninth to close out the game.

With the win, Amarillo secured a series victory over the Wind Surge and will try to take five-of-six as the series concludes on Sunday evening. First pitch of the series finale is scheduled for 6:05 p.m at HODGETOWN.


DOUBLE-DIGIT DE LOS: Deyvison De Los Santos's hit streak is now at 10 games after a single in the bottom of the first inning. He added a double in the bottom of the sixth and then another single for a three-hit game. He now has seven multi-hit efforts during the stretch and Saturday marked his fourth three-hit game of the campaign. The D-backs' no. 4-rated prospect is hitting .439 (18-for-41) with five XBH, 10 runs scored, and nine RBI since June 29th when his streak started.

LAWVING EXTRA BASES: With two more doubles in the game, Jordan Lawlar notched his third and fourth two-baggers of the series. It was the second time this week Lawlar notched multiple doubles in the same game without doing so in any of his first 69 games this year. MLB's no. 5-rated prospect is hitting 9-for-19 with four doubles and four runs scored so far this series. Over his last 41 games since May 23rd, Lawlar is hitting .325 (55-for-169) with now 14 doubles, two triples, and eight home runs.

X-GAMES AMARILLO: For the fourth time this year, A.J. Vukovich has homered in consecutive games after hitting a solo shot in the bottom of the third inning. This time giving him a new single-season career-high for home runs. The D-backs' no. 11-rated prospect set the mark during the 2022 season when he hit 17 in 117 games between High-A Hillsboro and Amarillo. His solo swat on Saturday gave him 18 through 74 games played this year. The last time Vukovich homered in back-to-back games came on June 17-18th here at HODGETOWN against San Antonio. Vukovich also added a bases-clearing double -his second double of the night - in the bottom of the seventh to give him a five-RBI game. He now has 66 RBI on the year which ranks second in the Arizona farm system in 2023. The only man ahead of him is Dominic Canzone (71) who is now in the big leagues and not adding to his Minor League RBI total any time soon.

SUPER YU-MIN: Yu-Min Lin has now turned in back-to-back quality starts to begin his Double-A tenure. The 20-year-old lefty allowed two runs over seven innings and just four hits while fanning six in his start on Saturday night. Lin now moves to 2-0 since joining Amarillo with a 1.38 ERA. His seven innings tied his career-high that he set earlier this month with High-A Hillsboro on July 1st.

TIMMY TANKS: Tim Tawa launched his 15th home run of the year to cap the night's scoring in the bottom of the eighth inning. For Tawa, it broke an 0-for-12 start to the series at the plate. The home run already extends what is a single-season career-high for home runs for the former Stanford standout.

BEER HITS DIFFERENT: Seth Beer collected his first multi-hit game since the first game of the doubleheader on July 3rd against Tulsa where he went 2-for-3. On Saturday, he went 2-for-4 with a RBI single that knotted the game in the bottom of the first and Amarillo never looked back. Entering Saturday night's game, Beer was 1-for-11 in the series with two RBI and two runs scored. Through his first 22 games at HODGETOWN since being added to the roster, Beer is hitting .321 (25-for-78) with six doubles, three home runs, and 17 RBI.

OTANEZ, EMPHASIS ON THE OH: Michel Otanez hurled his ninth scoreless appearance in 15 games for the Sod Poodles. The flame-throwing right-hander matched his season-high with 2.0 IP, something he has now done three times in Amarillo threads. After adding three strikeouts to his season total, he boasts a 14.3 K/9 rate with 29 strikeouts over 18.2 IP.