FRISCO, Texas – In the much anticipated Double-A debut for top prospect MacKenzie Gore, Amarillo combined to shut out the Frisco RoughRiders 9-0.

Gore looked sharp, retiring the first eight batters he faced, allowing just a pair of singles and a walk. In the first few innings, he was hitting 94 MPH with his fastball pretty regularly, but tailed off into the 89-91 MPH range after the fourth. He did allow a bit of hard contact, but most everything was hit right at a fielder, and he was able to pick off the first player to get a hit off of him.

As shown above, Gore got into 2-strike counts with 80% of the batters he faced, but only fanned four. His swinging strike rate coming into the game was 17%, but was just under 10% on the night facing more patient hitters (his called strike rate was also 17% in Lake Elsinore, but was at 22% last night). He’ll look to improve that two-strike approach moving forward, but was still very solid despite the lack of strikeouts.

“Pretty impressive.” commented Sod Poodles manager Phillip Wellman. “From what our pitching coordinator said, he dealt with his C-game – he didn’t throw as good as he’s capable of throwing. But if you can come to Double-A and win with your C-game, that’s pretty damn impressive.”

Gore was pulled with an out in the sixth and runners on first and second, but Michel Báez came out of the bullpen and needed just four pitches to induce a double play to escape the jam. Báez and Dauris Valdez would be able to maintain the shutout, allowing two walks and a hit between them, while throwing easy 96 MPH heat.

Amarillo got on the board early after Luis Torrens knocked a three run homer down the right field line in the first inning. The Soddies used a four singles and a pair of walks to scrape together four runs in the fourth, and from the result wasn’t ever in doubt.

Owen Miller and Peter Van Gansen had three-hit games, raising their batting averages to above .300 on the season. Edward Olivares singled in the first and promptly stole second base, his 23rd robbery of the season, against rehabbing Texas Ranger catcher Isiah Kiner-Falefa, before coming around on the Torrens homer. The other hit he recorded on Saturday night was a home run in the ninth (his 13th on the year) off of RoughRiders outfielder Preston Beck. It was beautiful. In the march towards a 20-20 season (20 homers, 20 stolen bases), you’re going to need to get lucky now and then.

Posted by Marcus Pond

San Diego -> small town Texas. Writer for MadFriars. Archi Cianfrocco supporter.

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