In the second full week of the Arizona Fall League (or Week 3 overall), the Surprise Saguaros ended the week on a sour note.
After winning the first two games of the week, the Saguaros lost their final four games. However, they are still tied for first place with Glendale at 9-7.
As the reigning AFL Pitcher of the Week, right-hander Brooks Pounders looks like he may hold onto that award for a second straight week. On Tuesday, Pounders fired five scoreless innings. He allowed just one hit while striking out four. After allowing a first inning hit, he retired 11 in a row before a wild pitch on a strikeout allowed a base runner to reach.
Pounders threw 58 pitches, 40 for strikes. He induced seven ground outs compared to two fly outs.
Meanwhile, it was a rough week for the other two KC Royals minor league pitchers with Surprise.
Andrew Edwards got the blown save on Wednesday (his second in the AFL), as he entered the game in the sixth with two on and one out and allowed both to score (an RBI single and double after getting the second out).
Edwards did rebound to face the minimum in the seventh, after an error started the inning. He induced a double play and a pop up to end the inning.
Kevin McCarthy followed Edwards in the eighth and left with two runners on base (both scored). Over 2/3 of an inning, he allowed five runs on three hits (including a double), a walk, and a hit batter. He threw 25 pitches, 15 for strikes.
Outfielder Bubba Starling played in five of the six games this past week for Surprise. He went 4-for-16 with seven strikeouts. Starling hit his third home run of the AFL season, a solo shot on Thursday, and doubled for the first time on Saturday. He also collected an outfield assist on Friday from centerfield (he played all three outfield positions this past week).
Infielder Ramon Torres played in three games last week. He went 3-for-13 with four strikeouts. He did score a run and drive in a run. Torres committed his second error of the AFL season on Thursday (at shortstop). He also played second base twice during the week.
Zane Evans played twice last week for the Saguaros, catching Thursday’s game, while playing first base on Saturday. He went 0-for-6 at the plate with four strikeouts.
For the second week in a row, Bryan Brickhouse did not pitch for Surprise.
*Former Royal Sean Manaea made the start for Mesa on Tuesday. He allowed five runs on six hits (including four doubles) and two walks while striking out five. Manaea faced three batters in the fifth and all three scored after he was pulled from the game.
Stay tuned next Sunday for another AFL recap! Don’t forget the Fall Stars Game will be held Saturday night.