AMARILLO, Texas – The Amarillo Sod Poodles (18-19) were shut out for the second time this season in a 3-0 defeat to the Tulsa Drillers (22-14) on Friday night. Slade Cecconi struck out a season-high seven batters in his first quality start of the year, but the Sod Poodles were
AMARILLO, Texas – The Amarillo Sod Poodles (18-19) were shut out for the second time this season in a 3-0 defeat to the Tulsa Drillers (22-14) on Friday night. Slade Cecconi struck out a season-high seven batters in his first quality start of the year, but the Sod Poodles were held to just one hit over the final six innings.
Cecconi (2-2) entered the game as the victor in each of his last two appearances and put forth another strong effort despite receiving the loss. The first two Drillers of the game reached on singles, but Cecconi settled in by striking out two and escaping the inning scoreless. The Sod Poodles matched them with two singles in the bottom of the 1st but went scoreless as well.
Jeison Guzman hit his first double as a Sod Poodle in the 2nd but was left stranded. That hit proved to be the last one for Amarillo until the bottom of the 9th. Landon Knack, the Dodgers’ No. 7 prospect, carved through the Sod Poodles lineup en route to nine strikeouts, no walks, and three hits.
Tulsa scored first with a run in the 3rd, their third time scoring first in the series. A one-out double set up a two-out RBI single to give the Drillers a 1-0 lead, and Cecconi responded with two strikeouts in the inning.
Slade kept dealing into the 4th and struck out two more Drillers in the frame. He ended his night with seven strikeouts, setting a new season-high. Despite his strong night, Tulsa added to their lead with one run apiece off of him in the 5th and 6th. They scored one in the 5th off a solo home run, but Amarillo got out of the inning off of back-to-back highlight grabs in the outfield by Nick Dalesandro and Eduardo Diaz.
Cecconi issued his only walk of the game with one out in the 6th and the runner came in to score on an RBI triple. His first quality start of the season ended at 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, BB, and 7 K on 88 pitches.
Justin Lewis and Keegan Curtis combined for three strong innings in relief, teaming up to strike out four while allowing just three baserunners.
Down but never out, Amarillo threatened in the 9th and brought the tying run to the plate. Leandro Cedeno and Ti’Quan Forbes both reached with one out on a single and a walk, and both advanced into scoring position on a walk. The final two Sod Poodles struck out to end the game.
The Soddies were out-hit 9-4, and Cedeno was responsible for half of the knocks with a 2-for-4 effort. Amarillo went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left six runners on base.
Tulsa leads the series 3-1 with two to play and game five is set for tomorrow, Saturday, May 21 with first pitch at 7:05. Bryce Jarvis (2-1, 5.58 ERA), the Diamondbacks’ No. 7 prospect, will be on the mound to face Dodgers’ No. 2 prospect Bobby Miller (1-1, 4.22 ERA).
Sladerade: Despite the loss, Slade Cecconi turned in a great performance in his first quality start of the season. He finished with a final line of 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, and 7 K. His six innings and seven strikeouts were both season-highs for him in his first Double-A season. This was the sixth time this year that a Soddie starter has pitched a team-high six innings. Cecconi has now allowed three or fewer earned runs in five of his eight starts this season.
Half Of The Hits: 1B Leandro Cedeno turned in a quality performance at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two singles. On the season, the former St. Louis Cardinals prospect currently leads the Sod Poodles and leads the Texas League with a .363 AVG. That mark also ranks third in the Arizona farm system and sixth in all of minor league baseball. The multi-hit game was his 14th of the season.
Rare Scoring Drought: The Sod Poodles were shut out for just the second time tonight, with both shutouts happening at home. The other goose egg was put up against the Midland RockHounds on May 5 and was also a 3-0 final score. The lack of offense was a rarity for Amarillo, who still leads Double-A with 276 runs, 47 more than the next closest team (Midland, 229). The Sod Poodles actually lead all of MiLB in runs scored, four more than the next closest team (OKC Dodgers, 272), and have scored 69 more runs than any MLB team (Los Angeles Dodgers, 207).
Reliable Relievers: Keegan Curtis and Justin Lewis were excellent in relief tonight, combining for three scoreless innings and four strikeouts. The late-inning shutout was the fifth time in the last 10 games that the bullpen has not allowed a run, dating back to May 10 against Springfield.
We <3 Our Fans: HODGETOWN saw 6,413 fans tonight, the eighth sellout of the season. The Sod Poodles have now had over 100,000 fans cheer on the team at HODGETOWN this season, the most of any Texas League team.
Friday No-Fun Day: With the loss, the Sod Poodles are now 1-6 in games played on Friday this season. The six losses are the most of any day of the week, and the one win is tied with Sunday for the fewest. Amarillo’s best day of the week this season has been Thursday, where they are 5-1.
Put Me In, Coach: Drew Stankiewicz has played 440 career minor league regular-season games and has played left field in six of those games. Half (three) of his career games in LF have come this season against the Tulsa Drillers. In eight games against Tulsa this year, Stankiewicz is batting .238 (5-for-21) with 7 RBI, a double, a home run, and five walks.