AFL Recap: Contreras Starts, Gonzales Stars in Peoria Triumph

With eight games left in the Arizona Fall League season, Peoria came into Tuesday afternoon’s home game versus Mesa with an 11-10 record, trailing first place Surprise by 2.5 games and second place Glendale by 1.5 games. Roansy Contreras was on the mound today. Earlier today, he was named as the AFL Pitcher of the Week for his three perfect innings last week. Nick Gonzales returned to the lineup for the first time since leaving Friday’s game early after a hit-by-pitch. Michael Burrows appeared in relief of Contreras. Here’s the recap from today.

Gonzales doubled in his first at-bat, then reached on an infield single in the fourth inning. He drew a seven-pitch walk in the sixth inning. In the seventh, he hit an RBI single to give Peoria a 5-4 lead. He flew out to right field in the eighth inning to finish 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Peoria won 6-5.

Here’s his first inning double:

Contreras struck out the first two batters he faced, getting both of them to go down swinging. He recorded the final out of the first inning on a ground out to Nick Gonzales at second base. Contreras threw 12 pitches in the inning, eight going for strikes. In the second, he allowed a lead-off homer, the eighth of the fall for Nelson Velazquez. After a ground out and a strikeout, Cameron Misner hit his sixth homer. Contreras retired the next batter on a ground out. He threw 17 pitches that inning, 13 for strikes. The third inning started with a line drive single to left field in a six-pitch at-bat. He still got out of the inning somewhat quickly by getting a fly ball and a double play grounder for three quick outs. The fourth started with two fly ball outs to center field. The third batter popped out to third base for a 1-2-3 inning. He still needed 15 pitches, as the last two batters saw six pitches each. He threw 57 pitches, 38 going for strikes. He went four innings, with two runs on three hits, no walks and three strikeouts.

Michael Burrows followed Contreras and faced the minimum in his first inning with a little help. He struck out the first batter, then walked the second man. After a line out to right field for the second out, the runner at first was thrown out trying to steal. He threw 16 pitches in the inning, ten for strikes. Burrows’ second inning started with two strikeouts on a total of seven pitches. The next batter reached on an infield single. The next batter doubled and a run scored on a throwing error by Nick Gonzales, with the batter moving up to third on the play. Burrows walked the next batter, then got a pop out to second base to end the inning. He threw 23 pitches, 13 for strikes. The run was earned. He got a strikeout to start his third inning, then Cameron Misner touched him up for his seventh homer. The next batter flew out to center field. That ended his night with 54 pitches/35 strikes. He went 2.2 innings, with two runs on three hits, two walks and four strikeouts.

Here’s the boxscore

Peoria is off tomorrow.

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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