Ryder Jones' Ninth Inning Double Lifts Soddies to Win
Friday, July 16, 2021 at Midland RockHounds [OAK] Amarillo Sod Poodles (28-35) | Midland RockHounds (32-31) Midland, Texas — After a quick moving eight innings, the Sod Poodles rallied with three runs in the top of the ninth to topple the RockHounds on Friday night. Amarillo improved to 28-35 in
Friday, July 16, 2021 at Midland RockHounds [OAK]
Amarillo Sod Poodles (28-35) | Midland RockHounds (32-31)
Midland, Texas — After a quick moving eight innings, the Sod Poodles rallied with three runs in the top of the ninth to topple the RockHounds on Friday night. Amarillo improved to 28-35 in the season and evened the season long chase for the Oil Pan Cup at eight games a piece in the process.
Amarillo looked poised to strike first for the fourth time this series after a one-out double off the bat of Jancarlos Cintron in the first. A wild pitch moved him to third, giving the Sod Poodles runners on the corners after a Stone Garrett walk. Garrett moved himself up a base after swiping second but both were left stranded following a pair of strikeouts.
Left-hander Kenny Hernandez made his Double-A debut on the mound for the Sod Poodles after being promoted from High-A Hillsboro on July 14th. He cruised through his first two frames, striking out three of the six batters he faced, issuing just one walk without a hit allowed. Hernandez found himself in a jam after three straight singles loaded the bases in the bottom of the third. A fourth consecutive single plated the first run of the game and the RockHounds lead increased with a ground out that scored another. Hernandez struck out the next batter and got himself out of the inning with just the two runs allowed.
The Sod Poodles managed a hit in the fourth and fifth innings but each were followed by a double play to halt any momentum gained.
Hernandez issued a walk in the fourth and a leadoff single in the fifth but neither even got to second base after a force out and double play respectively took both runners off the base paths. The lefty racked up his eighth strikeout of the night after getting back-to-back to end the bottom of the sixth.
Stone Garrett led off the top of the seventh inning with a single and was pushed to second base on Luis Basabe's two-out single into right field. A wild pitch moved both a base closer to scoring but were kept off the scoreboard as the threat ended with a fly out.
Levi Kelly came on to replace Hernandez and fired two hitless innings with a strikeout and walk to face the minimum, sending the game to the top of the ninth.
Cintron and Garrett singled, setting the stage for Ryder Jones to tie the ballgame with his fifth double of the year. Jones sent the second pitch of the at bat into deep left-center field, allowing Garrett to hustle home all the way from first base. Jones was moved to third base on a Renae Martinez ground out. With two outs, the RockHounds third wild pitch of the game sent Jones home, giving Amarillo a 3-2 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.
Right-hander Mitchell Stumpo came on for his fifth appearance with Amarillo since being promoted from Hillsboro on June 21st. Stumpo got the leadoff man to fly out to center. A hit by pitch to the second batter on a full count put the potential tying run aboard for the RockHounds. A fly out to shortstop on the first pitch of the next at bat had the Sod Poodles one out away from completing the comeback. Stumpo battled back from a 2-0 count by rattling off three straight strikes, striking out the pinch hitter, preserving the win and his first save of the year.
After evening the series at 2-2, game five of this series will take place tomorrow night in Midland before the series concludes with an afternoon game on Sunday. D-backs' No. 22 rated prospect Matt Tabor (2-3, 4.09 ERA) will take the mound for the first time since his seven inning no-hitter in his last outing against San Antonio.
Have A Debut, Hernandez: In his Double-A Debut, Kenny Hernandez tossed a quality start for the Soddies. His night ended after six innings where he fanned eight batters while allowing five hits and two runs. Four of his five hits came as the RockHounds strung together four straight singles in the bottom of the third. It was his second quality start in 2021, he set a career-high with seven innings back on July 4th, his second to last start with Hillsboro. He allowed three runs on three hits and tied his career-high with nine strikeouts.
Late Turn: Amarillo entered the game with just four wins when trailing after the seventh inning so far this year. The team is now 2-29 when trailing after the 8th inning specifically. After managing just five hits through their first eight innings, Amarillo strung together three straight hits in the top of the ninth.
Double-A Firsts: Pitchers Levi Kelly and Mitchell Stumpo picked up a pair of decisions in the win, their first so far in Double-A. Kelly, the D-backs' No. 10 rated prospect picked up his first Double-A win after spinning two hitless innings in relief. Stumpo picked up his first Double-A save and sixth overall in his professional career.
Better In Pairs: Amarillo had four batters record multi-hit games including their 2-3-4 hitters.Cintron picked up his eighth multi-hit game of the season with Amarillo. Garrett tied Alek Thomas for the team lead with 17 multi-hit games this year. Jones picked up his fourth of the season while also getting his third multi-RBI game as a Sod Poodle. Luis Basabe added two hits, his seventh of the year.
RISP-Y Business: Amarillo finished the game 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. The Sod Poodles left two runners in scoring position stranded in the top of the first inning. The one hit was the one that mattered most with Jones' ninth inning double that tied the game. This comes after the Soddies went 0-for-7 with RISP in last night's loss, making the team 7-for-37 so far in this series.
In Order: Amarillo and Midland combined to go down in order eight times through the first eight innings.
Race For The Oil Pan Cup: Amarillo tied the season-long series for the Oil Pan Cup at 8 games a side after tonight's comeback win. No team has won more than three straight games in this series in 2021. The team's have traded wins so far in this current six-game series.