Amarillo, TX – The Sod Poodles picked up their second straight series win with a 9-3 win over the Frisco RoughRiders on Sunday night at HODGETOWN. The Soddies ended the 12-week homestand with eight wins and sit three games back of first place in the Texas League South Division race
Amarillo, TX – The Sod Poodles picked up their second straight series win with a 9-3 win over the Frisco RoughRiders on Sunday night at HODGETOWN. The Soddies ended the 12-week homestand with eight wins and sit three games back of first place in the Texas League South Division race for the first-half championship. A pair of D-backs' top prospects showed out in the series finale, one on the mound and one at the plate.
Frisco looked poised to plate the first run of the evening following a one-out triple in the top of the first inning. Instead, Sod Poodles' starter Blake Walston locked in and proceeded to strike out the next two batters he faced, stranding the runner on third. The D-backs' No. 4 rated prospect and top-ranked pitching prospect picked up right where he left off from his dominant start on Tuesday to open this six-game set. In the opening game of the series, Walston spun six scoreless, picking up his first Double-A win and quality start in the process.
Tonight, the former No. 26 overall pick cruised through the first three innings with four strikeouts, matching his output from the series opener.
The offense provided the first bit of run support with an Eduardo Diaz long single off the left-field wall, easily scoring Corbin Carroll who drew a one-out walk to get aboard. Carroll was advanced into scoring position on a Jorge Barrosa single.
Walston went another 4.2 scoreless innings tonight before finally seeing the RoughRiders score a run with him on the mound. A Jax Biggers solo home run ended Walston's scoreless streak in the series to 10.2 IP.
Amarillo answered right back offensively, immediately retaking the lead in the bottom of the fifth. A walk and Carroll's second single of the game put two aboard. Another walk loaded the bases for Diaz. His second big knock of the game scored the first two runs of the inning and continued Diaz's tear of batting with runners in scoring position. Jancarlos Cintron was inserted into the lineup after rejoining the Amarillo team from Triple-A Reno and drove in a run from the clean-up spot Sunday. The bases loaded again following the third walk of the half-inning. A wild pitch and passed ball allowed the final two of five runs to score in the inning as Amarillo was back in front 6-1.
The RoughRiders used a two-run top of the sixth to get as close as three runs but were shut down by Walston from that point forward. The southpaw struck out RoughRider Trey Hair to end the sixth. Hair had entered the game having hit a home run in every game so far this series but saw that run come to an end Sunday.
As they did in the 5th, Amarillo one-upped Frisco by scoring three runs in the bottom half of the sixth. Carroll picked up his third hit of the night, a leadoff triple. His fifth three-bagger of the year not only leads the team, but is tied for the lead in the D-backs' organization. He also leads the Texas League in triples in 2022, showing off his plus-rated speed. Barrosa notched his second hit, also an extra-base and picked up his lone RBI of the game. Nick Dalesandro added RBIs number 16 and 17 on the year to put a lid on the scoring for the series.
Walston pitched a one-hit seventh before turning the ball over to right-hander Jeff Bain to close out the game. Walston finished the night after seven innings and racked up a season-high eight strikeouts while allowing just three runs on eight hits. For the series, Walston went 13.0 IP and added 12 strikeouts and just three earned runs on 13 hits. He added two quality starts in the two games and picked up back-to-back wins, his first two in Double-A. Bain pitched two shutouts and shutdown innings in relief while allowing two hits to help secure the win.
The Sod Poodles ended the two-week home stand with back-to-back series wins taking eight of 12 and propelling themselves into the mix for the Texas League South Division lead with two series remaining in the first half of the 2022 Double-A schedule. The Sod Poodles' focus now turns to San Antonio and then to Corpus Christi for their first two-week road trip this year. San Antonio finished their week with three straight wins and still sit three games in front of the Sod Poodles ahead of the pivotal six-game set awaiting the two sides in San Antonio.
The Blake Show: What a week for the D-backs' No. 4 rated prospect and top-rated pitcher in the org. The left-hander spun back-to-back quality starts this week and picked up the first two Double-A wins of his career. The former No. 26 overall pick should be at the top of the list for Texas League Pitcher of the Week after what he did to one of the best offenses in the league. Over two starts, Walston allowed just three earned runs and picked up 12 strikeouts including a Double-A high eight punchouts on Sunday night. The left-hander also went the most innings he had gone since being promoted from High-A Hillsboro with seven strong, topping the 6.0 IP he had on Tuesday and the previous high of 4.2 IP he had entering the week. The 20-year-old and No. 88 rated prospect in baseball is starting to gain confidence at this level which might prove troublesome to the rest of the league.
Juiced Bases: Eduardo Diaz continues to be a nightmare for opposing pitchers with the bases loaded in 2022. For the year, Diaz is 4-for-6 with a grand slam, two triples, a double, and 12 RBI. The Venezuela native hit his third career grand slam earlier this year against Midland on May 7 - his second Amarillo grand slam.
Corbin Barrels: OF Corbin Carroll added another three hits on Sunday night including his team-leading fifth triple of the year. He also recorded two singles, a walk, and scored three of the team's nine runs. His five triples are tied for the most in the D-backs' organization with Dominic Fletcher and are the most in the Texas League following Sunday's action. He's also solo second in all of Double-A with his five three-baggers. Through 49 games played, the D-backs' No. 1 rated prospect is slashing .323/.443/.646 with a team-leading 14 home runs, 10 doubles, 34 RBI, 36 walks, and 19 stolen bases.
*Our Two Weeks Notice: *The Soddies ended their first 12-game homestand of the year by taking eight of twelve games from Midland and Frisco. The team scored 87 runs over the 12 games, improving on their Texas League lead in runs scored in 2022. In fact, the Sod Poodles are third in all minor league baseball with 384 runs scored this year. The team only trails Triple-A El Paso (396) and Triple-A Oklahoma City (389) who have each played three more games than Amarillo.
*Hip Hip...: *Jorge Barrosa also went 3-for-4 on Sunday, scoring twice to go along with his two doubles. The switch hitter is now hitting .248 on the year with 11 doubles, five homers, 22 RBI, and 21 walks.
Front Loaded: The Amarillo 1-through-4 hitters combined to go 10-for-17 with eight runs scored, three doubles, a triple, and five RBI to do most of the heavy lifting for the offense.
*El Jefe: *Jeff Bain has cemented himself as one of, if not the best bullpen pitcher on the Sod Poodles roster. Dating back to April 28 against Northwest Arkansas, Bain has allowed just two earned runs over 15.2 IP and 14 appearances. In that span, he has gone 2-0 while striking out 14 and issuing just four walks. He carries a 1.15 ERA over the same time and leads the team with four wins on the year. His dominant stretch comes after a three-game period where the California native had allowed at least three runs in three straight games, ballooning his season-ERA to 8.38 before getting it down to 4.07 where it currently sits.
All Good Things: INF Drew Stankiewicz's season-long hit streak of seven games came to an end on Sunday night after an 0-4 night at the plate. Stank tallied a season-high four hits a night ago.
RISP It To Get The Biscuit: The Sod Poodles continue to do great things with runners in scoring position. The team leads minor league baseball with a team batting average of .323 with runners in scoring position after going 6-for-13 on Sunday. The team has racked up 72 XBH with RISP this year and has driven in 277 runs. The team average is 16 points better than the next closest Double-A team, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals who are hitting .307.
New RBI King: Eduardo Diaz has taken the clubhouse lead for RBI this year after driving in another three on Sunday. For the season, Diaz has 40 RBI including his three-RBI night on Sunday. Diaz is hitting .275 in 2022 and now sits in 5th in the organization tailing Stone Garrett (Reno), Deyvison De Los Santos (VIS), Dominic Fletcher, and Dominic Canzone who are both in Reno.