The Surprise Saguaros lost to Scottsdale, 4-3 in the Arizona Fall League’s Military Appreciation Game live on MLB Network. They were down 4-1 heading into the 8th inning before making the comeback.
The KC Royals minor leaguers had their chance to make an impact in the game, but couldn’t come up with the clutch hit.
Whit Merrifield started in left field and batted second. He reached on an error in the first inning (though I would have given it an infield single). He then stole second base and scored the Saguaros’ lone run until the eighth.
Merrifield came to the plate in the 8th inning with a runner on first base and nobody out. He got a good swing against NYY reliever Mark Montgomery on the first pitch fastball, but fouled it down the left field line. However he struck out on the nasty slider he could not lay off of.
With two outs, the score 4-3, and runners at second and third base, Orlando Calixte pinch-hit. He flied out to right field to end the inning with a chance to at least tie the game.
Overall, Merrifield went 0-for-4. He only had one chance in left field.
Reliever Edwin Carl impressed MLB Network analyst Tom Verducci in his two inning outing. He struck out two in his scoreless outing (the fifth and sixth innings). He threw 36 of his 23 pitches for strikes. Carl was the only Surprise pitcher to get NYY prospect Slade Heathcott out (he went 2-for-2 with two walks and two stolen bases). He got him to ground out to end his outing.
He was followed by fellow Royal Jon Keck, who threw a scoreless inning. He allowed a hit while also striking out two. Keck threw ten of his 19 pitches for strikes.
If you were with me in the Wilmington Blue Rocks press box this season, then you know that every game that I attended, Keck pitched (before his promotion). After Keck was promoted, it seemed like Carl pitched all the time. The two wore the same number. So when there was a pitching change, I usually called out “It’s number 30″. I was right most of the time.
Surprise has Sunday off (as does all the other teams in the AFL), before getting back into action on Monday against Scottsdale again.