Rienzo, Rafters take care of Desert Dogs
White Sox prospect strikes out four, pitches five strong innings
The Salt River Rafters will conclude the penultimate week of the Arizona Fall League season atop the East Division standings, with a strong chance of playing in the Championship Game.
That's thanks to Andre Rienzo and how he acquitted himself Saturday against Phoenix.
The White Sox's No. 18 prospect struck out four over an AFL season-high five strong innings and received plenty of support in the Rafters' 11-5 victory over the Desert Dogs.
Salt River (14-12) appears on a collision course with West Division-leading Peoria Javelinas (17-10), who own the Fall League's top record.
Rienzo (1-1) gave up two runs on three hits, including an RBI single by catcher Cory Brownsten (Braves) in the second. The 24-year-old right-hander, a native of Brazil, pitched around three walks, throwing 47 of 73 pitches for strikes.
Rienzo, who finished the Minor League season at Triple-A Charlotte, lowered his ERA to 4.74 through six AFL outings. He could make a seventh before the season is over.
His counterpart, Braves prospect Zeke Spruill, was charged with three runs -- two earned -- on three hits, including a two-run double by designated hitter Jason Martinson (Nationals), over four innings. Spruill (1-2) and five relievers were undone by poor defense. The Dogs committed six errors, including one by each member of the infield.
The miscues led to four runs, two of which scored on an errant throw by Brownsten as Brian Goodwin (Nationals) and Tyler Bortnick (D-backs) attempted a double-steal.
Blue Jays prospect and Midwest League MVP Kevin Pillar went 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs and two runs scored for the Rafters, who got two hits from Rockies No. 19 prospect Corey Dickerson.
Marlins top prospect Christian Yelich delivered a two-run double for Phoenix.