Tulsa Drillers 6, Missions 5
Key Stats: RHP Emmanuel Ramirez 4.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K; SS Owen Miller 3-5, 2B, R, RBI; LF Josh Naylor 3-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB;
Tulsa leads the best of 5 series 2-0
Recap: Missions took a 5-2 lead in the fourth after a two-run double by Josh Naylor and an RBI double from Owen Miller. Both players had three-hit games on the day. The duo came up again in the ninth with a 5-4 Mission lead. Miller singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. This time, the Drillers decided not to pitch to Naylor with a runner in scoring position. He was intentionally walked, and Kyle Overstreet grounded out to end the inning.
The Missions seemed to be in good shape heading into the bottom of the ninth with flame-throwing teenager Andres Muñoz coming on. The 19-year-old hadn’t given up a run in his previous 11 outings and, after struggling with walks when he first reached Double-A, he had made strides on that front too. Like so many other times, Muñoz hit triple digits on the radar gun, but he couldn’t find the plate. He walked three in 0.2 innings of work, allowing the tying run to score and leaving with the bases loaded. San Antonio turned to six-foot-eight Dauris Valdez who also throws in the upper 90’s. While the big man was dominant down the stretch for Lake Elsinore and in his one appearance against Corpus Christi, he has also had his struggles with command. The first pitch he threw sent Austin Allen diving outside. The next one went to the backstop to allow the winning run to come home on a walk-off wild pitch.
Other notes: Righty Emmanuel Ramirez allowed multiple runners in every inning but the first, when top Dodgers prospect Keibert Ruiz homered off of him. The 24-year-old, who signed way back in 2012, appeared at all four full-season clubs this season. While he struck out 147 in 126 total innings, he also posted a 4.50 ERA. He will be eligible for minor league free agency this winter. … Lake Bachar tossed 2.2 scoreless frames in relief.
Miller had his first three-hit game in Double-A. The Padres’ third-round pick in June is the only Mission to reach base safely in all seven playoff games. Playoff stats do not show up on official stats, so technically Miller ended the year playing with only Tri-City and Fort Wayne, but it should be a pleasant surprise how well he is playing in Double-A considering he was an Illinois State Redbird a few months ago.
Naylor had a pair of singles in the series win over Corpus Christi on Sunday and two more on Tuesday before knocking a pair of doubles and a single on Wednesday. He’s struck out only four times in 32 post-season plate appearances.
After we noted Austin Allen’s struggles with runners in scoring position yesterday, he left two more runners in scoring position in this game.
Speaking of slumping, Michael Gettys went 0-for-4 at the plate and is hitting just 2-for-25 with two walks and 11 strikeouts in the playoffs. Gettys has hit just .203/.249/.335 over the last two months.