AFL: Joely Rodriguez Throws Four Shutout Innings, Elias Diaz Reaches Base Three Times

Joely Rodriguez got the start on Monday night for Scottsdale, coming off three shutout innings his last time out. He did even better this time out, throwing four shutout innings. Three Pirates were in the starting lineup as Scottsdale won 7-3 to move to 6-6 on the season.

Rodriguez gave up a single to the first batter, then immediately erased him on a pick-off. He struck out the next hitter, then got a fly ball to center field on the first pitch to the third batter, ending the inning. Rodriguez needed just ten pitches.

In the second inning, he started off with his second and third strikeout, with all three batters going down swinging. Rodriguez walked the third hitter on seven pitches, missing badly on three of those pitches. That walk was followed by a single to center field. He got out the inning with no damage, getting a fly ball to center field. Rodriguez worked hard in the second, throwing 22 pitches in the inning.

Rodriguez hit the lead-off batter in the third inning. The rest of the inning went quickly as he picked up his fourth strikeout, then got out of the inning on the next pitch, inducing a 4-6-3 double play. He needed just six pitches in the inning. Rodriguez came out for the fourth inning, the first Pirates pitcher to pitch into the fourth. He got the first batter to fly out to center field. The next batter popped out to Dan Gamache. With two out, Rodriguez gave up an infield single. He then had an eight pitch battle that ended with his fifth strikeout.

Rodriguez threw a total of 56 pitches, 36 going for strikes. In four innings, he allowed five base runners, but kept Glendale off the board. He has thrown 9.1 innings this year in the AFL, giving up just one run.

Josh Bell batted fifth and was at first base. He flew out to left field in his first at-bat. Bell grounded out to shortstop to end the third inning. In the fifth, he hit a ground-rule double to left field. It was his fifth double of the season. In the seventh inning, Bell struck out swinging, though he did reach on a wild pitch and came around to score. He finished 1-for-4 with a double. In the field, Bell committed his fourth error. He did field two ground balls in the last two innings after his error in the seventh and handled seven of his eight chances cleanly.

Dan Gamache was in the sixth spot and playing third base. He struck out swinging in the second inning. Leading off the fourth, he grounded out to second base. Gamache followed Josh Bell’s double in the fifth with a walk. In the seventh, he doubled, which scored Bell from first base.

Elias Diaz hit eighth and walked on four pitches in his first plate appearance. He tripled in the fourth inning, bringing home Scottsdale’s fourth run. Diaz reached for a third time in the sixth inning with his second walk. In his last at-bat, he grounded out to shortstop.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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Lee Foo Young

Maybe he can be a good lefty out of the pen? I hope he can do well at AAA this year.

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