Hinze, Wheeler help Rafters rip Saguaros
Salt River slugs three home runs among its season-high 21 hits
The Surprise Saguaros entered the week's action with the best record (4-0), hottest offense (.338 team average) and top pitching staff (3.25 club ERA) in the Arizona Fall League. All those numbers took a hit Monday afternoon when the visiting Salt River Rafters pounded out 21 hits in a 13-6 win.
Astros prospect Kody Hinze went 3-for-5 with his second homer in as many games and outfielder Tim Wheeler, a first-round pick by the Rockies in 2009, delivered a sixth-inning grand slam that put the Rafters in front for good.
Third baseman Ryan Wheeler (no relation to Tim) singled twice and drove in a run. The Diamondbacks prospect, who shared the first AFL Player of the Week award with Phoenix's Michael Choice, leads the league with 12 hits (in 23 at-bats) over five games.
First baseman Ben Paulsen (Rockies) went 4-for-6, while leadoff man David Nick (D-backs) and catcher Rob Brantly (Tigers) contributed three hits apiece. All nine Salt River hitters scored and eight different Rafters collected at least one RBI. The team went 10-for-22 with runners in scoring position and still left 14 men on base.
The Saguaros went deep four times -- Mike Olt (Rangers) hit his third and fourth homers of the campaign, Wil Myers (Royals) his second and Kyle Skipworth (Marlins) his first -- but each longball came with the bases empty.
Neither starting pitcher was effective, with Salt River's Charles Brewer (D-backs) yielding three runs -- two earned -- on five hits over three frames. He walked one and gave up a pair of homers. Surprise right-hander Shane Dyer (Rays) allowed a pair of runs on four hits and five walks in three innings.
The two pitching staffs combined to issue 15 free passes, nine by the Saguaros hurlers, who were saved from further damage by three double plays turned by the Surprise defense. Each of the six Surprise pitchers was touched up for at least one run.
John Parker is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.