AFL Recap: Pirates Pitchers Get Roughed Up in One-Sided Loss

The Surprise Saguaros came into Friday’s game with a two game lead in the standings and nine games left in the schedule. They went heavy with the Pittsburgh Pirates in this game, putting Quinn Priester on the mound and Henry Davis, Blake Sabol and Jacob Gonzalez in the lineup. All four Pirates pitchers ended up coming into the game. Here’s the recap of the game, which was scheduled for seven innings.

Priester allowed a lead-off infield single on his first pitch of the game. The next batter struck out on five pitches, then Priester allowed a double to put two in scoring position. One pitch later, a single brought in two runs. He got the second out on a fly ball, then walked a batter/threw a wild pitch, which put runners on the corners. A ground out to shortstop ended the inning with 20 pitches, 12 strikes. His second inning wasn’t efficient, but it went much smoother with two strikeouts and a ground out to retire the side in order. He threw 16 pitches, nine for strikes. The third inning was even better, with a strikeout and two ground outs on 12 pitches, seven for strikes.

Priester allowed a first pitch double in the fourth, breaking a string of seven straight retired. He got a ground out for the first out, then gave up a double to make it 3-0. Another ground out and another double followed, making it 4-0. The inning ended on a fly ball. He came out for the fifth inning, but was removed after a walk and a double. Both runs scored after he left, leaving him with six earned runs over four innings on seven hits, two walks and four strikeouts. He threw 44 of 75 pitches for strikes.

Omar Cruz took over for Priester in the fifth, with two men on and no outs. He came into the game with a 1.86 ERA in 9.2 innings, which was tied for the tenth best ERA in the league. That changed a lot in a short time. The first batter tripled, bringing in both inherited runs. Cruz walked the next batter, then allowed an RBI single. A strikeout was followed by a single, and that ended the day for Cruz. He gave up four earned runs on three hits and a walk, throwing just 13 of 28 pitches for strikes.

Tahnaj Thomas was the third Pirates pitcher in the fifth inning and he gave up a walk, hit a batter and walked another, making it a 10-0 game. He allowed a sacrifice fly, then mercifully ended the fifth with a line out. He threw 24 pitches, with nine strikes. The three Pirates threw 61 pitches in the fifth.

Colin Selby took the sixth and served up a single to the first batter. The next two batters grounded into a force out, with the out coming at second base. He walked the next batter, then got a strikeout for a scoreless frame. He threw 20 pitches, with 12 strikes.

Henry Davis batted fourth and caught. He singled on a line drive to left field to start the second inning, but he was thrown out attempting to steal to finish the inning. He was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning, which was necessary because he somehow didn’t get hit yesterday. He flew out to center in the seventh, leaving him 1-for-2 with the HBP.  He’s hitting .268 with an .892 OPS

Blake Sabol was in left field and he batted fifth. He struck out in the second inning and then again in the fourth inning. He walked in the seventh, leaving him 0-for-2 with a walk. He’s hitting .222 with a .697 OPS

Jacob Gonzalez was at first base and batting seventh. He popped out to second base to lead-off the third inning, then lined out to third base in the fifth. He struck out to end the game, leaving him 0-for-3. He’s hitting .136 with a .403 OPS.

Surprise lost 11-1

Here’s the boxscore

Surprise plays Saturday night at 9:35 PM ET. Our site will be down on Saturday for updating, so check back on Sunday for the recap.


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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Not the best AFL for our guys

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