No messing around: Blake Rutherford walloped his first homer in the Arizona Fall League to help propel the Desert Dogs to victory. (Sean Williams/South Side Hit Pen)
Blake Rutherford (CF) 1-for-3, R, HR (1), RBI (3), BB, K (.207 BA, .826 OPS)
Gavin Sheets (1B) 1-for-3, 2B (3), BB (.200 BA, .529 OPS)
The White Sox prospects didn’t mess around in this game. With one out and nobody on base in the top of the first, Blake Rutherford pulled a bomb to right field — igniting the Desert Dogs with a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Saguaro starter Glenn Otto, fearful of anything White Sox, subsequently walked Gavin Sheets with two outs and nobody on.
Reds prospect Jonathan India clubbed a solo homer in the top of the third, which gave the Dogs a 2-0 lead. The score would remain that way for the remainder of the game.
The two White Sox prospects tried to add an insurance run in the top half of the eighth frame, as Rutherford led off the inning with a base-on-balls. Alas, he was thrown out trying to steal second base on a call that could easily have gone the other way. After India popped out to second, Sheets walloped a near-homer to right, ultimately settling for a double. Unfortunately, he was left stranded thanks to a Stuart Fairchild strikeout.
Aside from the White Sox prospects and India, there wasn’t much to write about either team offensively. The Dogs’ dominant pitching was spearheaded by Victor Castaneda, Mitchell White and three other pitchers. Glendale had just six hits on the day, but that works when you can hold your opponents to four.
Glendale is now on the rise, creeping to a 5-9 record and now within four games of the prickly AFL West-leading Saguaros. The Desert Dogs next play at home Sunday afternoon, as they hope to sting the 7-6 Scottsdale Scorpions in their quest for a three-game winning streak.