AFL: Benedict and Thornton Shine In Relief

On Monday afternoon in the Arizona Fall League, the Scottsdale Scorpions lost their fourth straight game, going down 4-0 to Peoria. They have been a streaky team this year, losing five in a row after winning on Opening Day, then winning five in a row prior to this current losing streak. arizona_fall_league_logo

Alen Hanson was the only Pittsburgh Pirates player in the starting lineup. He was at shortstop and batting second. Hanson lined out to right field in his first AB. In his second time up, Hanson grounded out to first base. His rough day at the plate continued in the sixth. With no outs and a man on first, Hanson grounded into a double play. In his final AB, he grounded out to first base. Hanson is hitting .250 now through 48 AB’s. After making five errors in the first week, he has now played seven straight games without a miscue.

Matt Benedict made an early appearance in the game. With Scottsdale already down 3-0 in the third, he was called on with runners on the corners and one out. Benedict needed just eight pitches to get out of the jam with no damage. He got two straight fly balls for outs, though he did throw a wild pitch in the middle that allowed the trail runner to go to second base.

In the fourth inning, Benedict gave up a lead-off single on the first pitch he threw. He then struck out the next two hitters swinging, before getting a ground ball to second base to end the inning. Benedict threw 22 pitches, 15 for strikes in 1.2 innings, retiring five of the six batters he faced. He has an 0.93 ERA in seven appearances, allowing one run in 9.2 innings.

Zack Thornton came in for the sixth and had a very impressive inning. He threw nine pitches, eight for strikes and got three straight ground ball outs. Two of those grounders were handled by Alen Hanson.

In the seventh inning, Thornton started off with another ground out. He then struck out the second batter, before finishing the inning with his fifth ground ball out. Thornton threw a total of 22 pitches in his two innings, with 17 going for strikes.

Author: John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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