Pedro Ciriaco, Cole Gillespie, and Brandon Allen occupied the first, second, and cleanup spots for the Scottsdale Scorpions in Thursday's Arizona Fall League action. Ciriaco and Gillespie hit back-to-back line drive singles to left field off Andrew Cashner to start the game. Even though Cashner would pick off Ciriaco during Gillespie's at-bat and erase Gillespie on an inning-ending double play, those singles set the tone for what would be a fun game for the Scottsdale offense.
The Scorpions were actually held scoreless by Cashner until the fourth inning. The Cubs farmhand even retired Ciriaco and Gillespie in order to begin that frame. A single by Domonic Brown prompted Cashner's exit, however, and Brandon Allen cleaned up with a two-run homer off Marco Albano.
The Scorpions plated four runs that inning, and would score at least one run in the next four frames as well. Gillespie doubled, stole third, and scored on a sacrifice fly in the fifth. After three runs had already scored in the sixth, Ciriaco doubled a runner to third and Gillespie followed with a walk to load the bases. No more runs were tallied in the inning, however, as Brown struck out swinging and Allen lined to his first base counterpart to end the threat.
In the eighth, Brown doubled in Gillespie, who had led the inning off with another single to left. Allen then in turn pulled a double to right, plating Brown. To punctuate a terrific day for Diamondbacks prospects, Tom Layne came in to pitch a scoreless bottom of the eighth for Scottsdale. The sinkerballing southpaw now has a 2.70 AFL ERA through three games, with four strikeouts and just one walk to his name.
Gillespie's 3-for-5 effort put his AFL batting average at an even .400. His .520 on-base percentage leads the Scorpions. Ciriaco, meanwhile, leads the team with a .429 average in 21 at-bats after going 3-for-6 Thursday. Allen, who had been struggling until his outburst in Mesa, raised his batting average from .172 to .206 with his 2-for-5 game. His seven RBI are tied for the team lead, however, and his nine walks easily pace the ballclub.
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