On a homer-happy Saturday at Scottsdale Stadium, the Salt River Rafters used a seven-run rally without the benefit of a home run to beat the Peoria Javelinas 14-7 to win the Arizona Fall League championship game.
The two teams combined for seven home runs — five by Peoria in a losing effort — but with a 7-7 tie in the bottom of the seventh inning Salt River doubled its tally by keeping the ball in the park. The Rafters used two doubles, two singles and five walks to score seven runs during the frame, with a two-run single by Marlins shortstop Justin Bohn and a three-run double by Rockies second baseman Taylor Featherston.
Peoria needed four pitchers to get three outs in that fateful seventh, including Braves right-hander Nate Hyatt, who got hung with the loss after allowing three of the four batters he faced to score. Marlins right-hander Reid Redman got the final out of the seventh inning and then recorded two more outs in the eighth to earn the win for Salt River.
All nine starters for Salt River scored at least one run and reached base at least once, with leadoff man Evan Marzilli (1-for-5) the only one to reach base just once.
Rosario cleans up
Twins outfield prospect Eddie Rosario went 4-for-5 with a home run, a double, two runs scored and two RBI, finishing a triple shy of the cycle for Salt River. The speedster hit .330/.345/.410 during the AFL with 10 stolen bases, though on Saturday he was picked off trying to steal by Royals pitcher Miguel Almonte.
The other six home runs on Saturday included Rockies first baseman Ryan Casteel, who drove in three runs for Salt River, plus five long balls by Peoria — two by Rays catcher Justin O`Conner, one each by Royals third baseman Hunter Dozier, Rays left fielder Kes Carter and Royals center fielder Bubba Starling.
Bird named MVP
Yankees first base prospect Gregory Bird was named 2014 Arizona Fall League MVP before the championship game on Saturday after hitting .313/.391/.556 with six home runs and 21 RBI in 26 games. Bird, who also won MVP honors in the Fall Stars Game showcase on Nov. 1, led the AFL in home runs and runs scored (21), and finished second in RBI, hits (31) and total bases (55).