With a 3-2 win over the Glendale Desert Dogs this afternoon in Mesa, Arizona's HoHoKam Park, the Mesa Solar Sox improved to 18-11 in Arizona Fall League action. It was a big win for the AFL East's first-place team:
Mesa defeats Glendale 3-2 and now controls their own destiny, as a win tomorrow makes the Solar Sox the champs of the East. #AFL13— Arizona Fall League (@MLBazFallLeague) November 13, 2013
If the Solar Sox win tomorrow, they move on to face the Surprise Saguaros in the AFL Championship game on Saturday afternoon. That would be good news for Nationals fans, because if Mesa makes the championship game, there might be an opportunity for anyone who hasn't yet seen 23-year-old lefty Matt Purke on the mound to watch him pitch on the MLB Network which is broadcasting the final game of the fall.
MLB.com's Mike Feigen wrote on Tuesday that 2010 Nats' 2nd Round pick Sammy Solis is scheduled to pitch the AFL's regular season finale on Thursday which could line Purke up for the championship game.
Through six starts in Arizona, Purke, a one-time first-round pick taken in the 3rd Round by the Nats in 2011, is (3-1) with a 3.91 ERA, seven walks (2.65 BB/9) and 25 Ks (9.38 K/9) in 24 IP.
This afternoon, it was two Nats' prospects leading the way in the Solar Sox' one-run win. Steve Souza, Jr., 24, hit a two-run home run off former Nationals' 1st Round pick Alex Meyer in the second inning. MLB.com's Jim Callis was in attendance and he was impressed with Souza:
Wow. #Nationals OF Steven Souza just turned on a 96-mph Alex Meyer fastball and easily cleared the LF wall ...— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) November 13, 2013
Souza apparently came through in the outfield too:
#Nationals OF Steven Souza lays out in RF to make a great catch and rob Jared Mitchell of a double.— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) November 13, 2013
With the score 2-0 Solar Sox after three and a half innings, Souza's fellow Nats' prospect Matt Skole added to the lead when he tripled off Glendale right-hander Yimi Garcia and scored on a throwing error to give the Solar Sox a three-run lead:
#Nationals 3B Matt Skole turns on another FB, taking a 92 from Yimi Garcia down RF line for triple. Scores on errant throw.— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) November 13, 2013
Souza ended the game 1 for 4 with the HR. In part-time work as part of the Solar Sox' taxi squad, the Nats' outfielder prospect is 15 for 42 (.357/.426/.476) with two doubles, a home run and 10 stolen bases in 11 games.
Skole was 2 for 3 with a walk, K and a run scored today. The Nats' 2012 Minor League Player of the Year is now 9 for 49 (.184/.375/.429) with a double, triple, three home runs, 15 walks and 18 Ks in 15 games.
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