The Surprise Saguaros came into Friday’s action with a chance to clinch one of three playoff spots in the Arizona Fall League. The first place team gets a bye, while the second and third place clubs play a semifinal game to see who makes the championship game, which will be played next Sunday. There was actually a chance for the Saguaros to clinch first place today as well. Henry Davis and Blake Sabol were in the starting lineup, while Quinn Priester got the start. Today’s recap can be found below.
If you missed it from earlier today, Davis, Priester and Nick Gonzales were named to the roster of the Fall-Stars game on Sunday. With his start today, it seems highly unlikely that Priester will pitch, even though pitchers throw bullpens between starts that wouldn’t be much different than pitching one inning in a game. It rarely happens, so don’t expect to see it.
Priester started off rough. He allowed a lead-off double, then followed a strikeout with a four-pitch walk. He got out of the inning with an infield pop up and a strikeout. He threw 17 pitches in the frame. Priester got a quick ground out in the second, then gave up a solo homer and a double. He record a strikeout and a ground out to get the last two outs. He threw 17 pitches for the second straight inning.
In the third inning, Priester got a ground out for the first out. He then allowed a single, followed by a walk. A fly ball moved both runners up, which was critical because he committed a balk that brought in a run. A grounder ended up frame. He threw 19 pitches. Priester got a strikeout and a ground out to begin the fourth, then served up a triple. He got the next out, stranding the runner. It was another 19-pitch inning, which ended his day. In four frames, he allowed two runs on five hits, two walks and four strikeouts. He threw 45 of 72 pitches for strikes. He now has a 6.26 ERA in 23 innings.
Davis batted sixth and caught. He got his hit-by-pitch out of the way in the first inning, which may have been a bad idea. Davis was hit again in the third inning and then stole his fourth base of the fall. He flew out to left field in the fifth, then struck out swinging in the seventh. He went 0-for-2, 2 HBP, SB. He’s hitting .260 with an .875 OPS. He leads the league with seven HBP.
Sabol batted seventh and played left field. He ended the first inning with a fly out to left field. He flew out to center field in the third, then had an RBI single in the fifth. Sabol struck out in the seventh. He went 1-for-4, RBI. He’s hitting .209 with a .635 OPS.
Surprise won 5-3. They clinched a playoff spot, but still have to wait until tonight’s game to end to see if they clinched first place. There are three games left in the season.
The next game is Sunday’s Fall-Stars game. It will be streamed on MLB.com. If the World Series ends Saturday, then the Fall-Stars game will be shown on MLB Network as well.
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.