It was not the typical joyous ballpark as the game began between the Salt River Rafters and Peoria Javelinas as the day began with a moment of silence for Tommy Hanson. Once the game began, however, it was right back to baseball.
Salt River jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on an Oscar Hernandez RBI single in the top of the second to bring in Emilio Guerrero. Fernando Perez tied the game in the bottom of the fifth on a solo home run to right field, and that is when the game really got interesting.
In the top of the sixth inning, Toronto Blue Jay first base prospect Rowdy Tellez took exception to a called third strike and slammed his bat down in frustration. Several pieces of his bat broke off and were left scattered around home plate and was tossed from the game. Typically an ejection isn’t huge news, but with Dominic Smith still banged up, the only other first baseman on the roster is Jordan Patterson. Patterson, anticipating getting the day off, didn’t bring his jersey to the game so he had to take the field wearing the jersey of his fellow Colorado Rockies farm hand, pitcher Matt Carasiti.
Then in the top of the 8th inning, after a L.J. Mazzilli double to left, Daniel Palka came through with an RBI double of his own. Palka came into the game tied with Tellez as the Rafters leader in RBIs, and tied for third best in the Arizona Fall League. He has really opened eyes throughout the season, and was traded after the game to the Minnesota Twins for catcher Chris Herrmann.
On the mound for the Rafters, John Simms pitched four very good innings, but struggled in the fifth, as that is the inning he gave up the home run, along with a single and a walk, accounting for three of the five base runners he allowed on the day.
Chad Girodo came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth for the Rafters and extended his AFL scoreless inning streak to eight innings to earn his first save of the season.
With the win, the Rafters improve to 13-9 while the loss drops the Javelinas to 8-12-1. In the other day game, Surprise knocked off Mesa 10-3, giving the Saguaros a 3 game lead over Glendale, who face Scottsdale Tuesday night, and Mesa has officially been eliminated from championship contention and are on pace to have, by far, the worst record in Arizona Fall League history.