(Photo Credit: milb.com)
If you’re a close follower of the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ minor league affiliates, you probably had a very busy evening Tuesday night. You were likely watching righty Zach Lee throw seven-plus innings of solid ball for Triple-A OKC, but if you happened to check on the High-A Quakes game to see Yaisel Sierra pitch or Alex Guerrero bat cleanup, the final at-bat in the eighth inning for shortstop Tim Locastro certainly provided the most excitement of all.
Locastro destroyed JetHawks‘ pitching all evening and hit for the cycle, saving the most difficult leg — the triple — for his final at-bat of the game. In doing so, he also extended his hitting streak to a team-high 13 straight games. For the season, he’s now hitting .357/.403/.536 with eight doubles, three triples, two home runs, 25 RBI and 26 runs scored through 29 games played.
The 23-year-old infielder hit his double during a small Quakes rally in the first inning, then followed up with a solo homer in the third frame. He singled as part of a four-run seventh and eventually completed the cycle in the eighth inning with the triple. In the process, Rancho Cucamonga defeated Lancaster, 12-1.
Sierra picked up his first win of the season, throwing six shutout innings, while allowing only two hits and two walks. He struck out three JetHawks batters.
Guerrero, making his first rehab assignment after recovery from a knee strain, played all nine innings at third base. He went 1-for-5 with a single, an RBI and one run scored, while striking out twice.
For those not familiar with Locastro, the Dodgers acquired the infielder along with pitching prospect Chase De Jong from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for three international slots in July of 2015. Locastro is primarily a second baseman, however, he’s played all over the infield for the Quakes so far this season, including four games at shortstop and three games at first base.
Here’s a short clip featuring his fine glove work from September of last season:
A 2010 graduate of Auburn High in New York, Locastro was originally selected in the 13th round of the 2013 draft by the Blue Jays. The Ithaca College product spent the 2013 summer with the Bluefield Blue Jays of the Appalachian League and was an Organizational All-Star and a Mid-Season All-Star in 2014 for the Vancouver Canadians of the Northwest League.
Before his trade to the Dodgers, he began the 2015 season with the Lansing Lugnuts, and registered a .310 batting average with 10 doubles, five home runs, 25 RBIs and 48 runs in 70 games in the Class A Midwest League.
Lugnuts’ broadcaster, Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, had this to say about Locastro late last spring:
“Tim Locastro’s mission on a baseball field is simple: He is willing to do whatever it takes to beat you. On defense, he will lay out for grounders and leap for humpback liners, robbing hits with aplomb. On the basepaths, he perpetually looks for the opening that will allow him to take the base in front of him, particularly by outright thievery. At the plate, he is hit by a remarkable amount of pitches, refuses to strike out, and enjoys yanking liners to left and jabbing base hits to right.”
Locastro and the Quakes will host the JetHawks again on Wednesday evening in the middle game of a three-game set. Righty Tommy Bergjans gets the start for Rancho, opposing Joshua James of Lancaster. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. local time.