Week 4 in the Arizona Fall League was a short one, with the week of games ending on Friday. Surprise ended their five-game losing streak with a win on Tuesday. The Saguaros went 4-1 last week ending the week on a four-game winning streak heading into the new week.
Saturday night was the annual Fall Stars Game, with the West defeating the East, 8-3. The West showcased its power, highlighted by three two-run home runs: one by NY Yankees catching prospect Gary Sanchez, another from Pittsburgh outfielder Austin Meadows (who pinch-hit in the sixth), and the final coming from the Cincinnati Reds Alex Blandino. Sanchez was named the game’s MVP (he also threw a runner out trying to steal second base).
There also was an inside-the-park home run, but that came from the East and Austin Dean in the second.
The KC Royals contingent represented the West Division, as members of the Surprise Saguaros. The Royals lone representative was infielder Ramon Torres, who started at second base and batted second. He went 0-for-2 with an RBI. He drove in the game’s go ahead run in the sixth on a sac fly.
During the week, Torres played in just two games. He went 1-for-5 with a double (his fourth) and a walk.
Former Royal Sean Manaea got the start for the East in the Fall Stars Game and dominated over his two scoreless innings of work. He walked one while striking out four. Of the 31 pitches he threw, 20 were strikes. Manaea touched 97 mph with his fastball and his slider (which he has been working on), looked nasty.
Click HERE to read a good article on the lefty’s performance.
Earlier in the week (Monday to be exact), Manaea took the loss for Mesa, allowing a run on four hits and a walk over four innings. He struck out four. The lone run he allowed came on a steal of home in the 1st inning.
Bubba Starling played the first two games of the week for Surprise, but has not played since. He went 1-for-4 with a solo home run (his fourth). He struck out twice. On Monday, Starling threw a runner out at the plate to end the 4th inning (from left field).
It looks like the Royals may be transitioning Zane Evans from behind the plate. In two games last week for the Saguaros, he played first base in both. He went 1-for-7 with two RBIs, a walk, and a strikeout.
Right-hander Andrew Edwards pitched just once last week and that was on Monday. He entered with the bases loaded and one out in the fourth and all three scored. The first batter he faced hit a two-run single and after a strikeout, he allowed an RBI double. Edwards then pitched a perfect fifth. He threw 29 pitches, 20 for strikes.
Edwards’ ERA is just 1.23, but he has been giving up everyone else’s runs
Kevin McCarthy pitched twice last week, throwing 2.1 scoreless innings. On Monday, he threw a perfect ninth with a strikeout (14 pitches, ten strikes). On Wednesday, McCarthy earned the victory, as Surprise scored six runs in the bottom of the ninth. He entered with one on and one out in the eighth and left the runner stranded. Over 1.1 innings, McCarthy allowed one hit and induced two ground outs (18 pitches, 14 strikes).
*Bryan Brickhouse once again did not pitch and hasn’t since Week 1. In case you missed it, Brooks Pounders has left the AFL for Team USA. He is currently in Taiwan to participate in the Premier 12 Tournament which began today. Pounders made the start for the US in an exhibition game versus Canada before leaving for Taiwan. He started again in an exhibition game against Chinese Taipei on Saturday, throwing two perfect innings while striking out two. In both exhibition games in Taiwan leading up to Tuesday’s opener, the US had won in comeback fashion (much like the Royals).
Stay tuned next week for another AFL recap!