Kyle Crick and Adalberto Mejia, two of the Giants' top pitching prospects, have been teammates all season. They began the year together in Class A Advanced San Jose and are finishing it in the Arizona Fall League with the Scorpions.
The pair of 20-year olds showed Tuesday why they are both ranked among the Giants' Top 20 prospects -- Crick No. 1 and Mejia No. 19. They combined to allow one run in five innings and helped Scottsdale defeat Glendale, 5-1, at Camelback Ranch-Glendale. The victory was the Scorpions' second against the Desert Dogs in as many days and extended their winning streak to four games.
"We've got a great group of guys here," Crick said. "We're really starting to come together as a team."
Crick struck out three batters and allowed just one hit -- a solo home run by Brian Cavazos-Galvez -- in 1 2/3 innings. But he also walked three batters, which helped lead to his early exit.
Walks have been a problem for Crick in all three of his starts this fall. In 6 2/3 innings, he has walked eight and struck out 12 batters. Crick said he isn't too worried about his shaky command.
"I feel like I just need to get in a groove," Crick said. "Get a good start in and cruise from there."
Mejia took over for Crick with the bases loaded and two outs in the second inning. He struck out Marcus Semien to end the threat. The left-hander threw three more scoreless innings and finished his outing with five strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings.
Crick said Mejia's fastball command was the key to his success Tuesday.
"He's got great stuff," Crick said. "He's a young guy like me, still learning how to pitch. He pounded the zone."
The Desert Dogs managed just two hits Tuesday. After Cavazos-Galvez's home run and a two-out single by Jared Mitchell in the fourth inning, they were held hitless by four Scorpions relievers.
Crick came out on the winning end of his matchup against Desert Dogs left-hander Andrew Heaney, who is ranked No. 48 on MLB.com's Top 100 prospect list. It was the second straight game Crick, ranked No. 42 on the same list, started against a fellow Top 100 prospect.
Heaney, the Marlins' No. 2 prospect, pitched well, allowing one run on three hits in four innings. The left-hander struck out three batters and lowered his ERA to 2.53 in three starts in the AFL.
But with Heaney out of the game, the Scorpions scored two runs in the sixth inning and two more in the ninth to seal the victory. Kyle Kubitza, the Braves' No. 12 prospect, went 2-for-3 with a triple and a run. Gift Ngoepe, the Pirates' No. 20 prospect, added a run and two stolen bases.
Though Glendale's lineup didn't have as much success Tuesday as the Scottsdale hitters, Crick said their experience made them challenging. He is one of the youngest players in the AFL and hasn't played above Class A Advanced. But he is taking advantage of his time in Arizona to learn how to attack more advanced hitters.
"A lot of these hitters have great approaches, a lot better than High A hitters," Crick said. "I'm learning a lot just being out here. On the four days I'm off, I get to watch these hitters and see what they're doing day to day."