SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Marlins prospects Braxton Lee and Ben Meyer put together a pair of strong performances as Salt River erased a late deficit and fought to a 3-3 tie after 11 innings against Mesa on Friday.Lee, who finished 2-for-5 with a run scored, came up big both offensively and
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Marlins prospects Braxton Lee and Ben Meyer put together a pair of strong performances as Salt River erased a late deficit and fought to a 3-3 tie after 11 innings against Mesa on Friday.
Lee, who finished 2-for-5 with a run scored, came up big both offensively and defensively, while Meyer turned in three stellar innings on the mound.
Lee's standout performance got underway in the second as he kept a run off the board with an outfield assist, throwing out Ian Rice (Cubs) at the plate from 261 feet away, according to Statcast™, in right field.
"I thought, 'OK this is going to be perfect,'" Lee said. "I caught it and I threw it, and it started cutting a little bit, where [D-backs catching prospect] Michael [Perez] had to catch it and then [make] a swipe tag. So right when he caught it, I thought he was safe, and when they called him out, I was like, 'Oh, thank God.'"
Riding the momentum of his strong defensive play, Lee, who is hitting .356 through 16 games, jump-started the Rafters offense with a triple to lead off the third.
"It was a good day," Lee said. "I can't complain about it. Triple, single, everything went right."
The next batter, D-backs No. 19 prospect Victor Reyes, came through with an RBI single, and the Rafters were on the board.
Salt River's lead held until the eighth when Victor Robles (Nationals' No. 1, MLB No. 2) tied the game with his third homer in just 10 AFL contests. Robles' home run, which left the bat at 106 mph, traveled 393 feet and had an impressive hang time of 5.8 seconds.
However, prior to Robles' homer, the Salt River pitching staff -- led by Colorado's Zach Jemiola and Meyer -- was in total control.
Jemiola, who has now held his opponent scoreless in three of his five AFL starts, gave up four hits across four scoreless frames before handing the ball off to Meyer, who was even more impressive.
Meyer, a 29th-round Draft pick in 2015, fired 25 of his 34 pitches for strikes in three perfect innings.
"From the outfield and watching him throw, it looked like he was throwing harder than I've seen him throw, and his curveball was obviously tight," Lee said. "Nobody could touch it. He looked really good."
Not only did Meyer, who was working in the low 90's and topped out at 94.8 mph, retire every batter he faced, but he struck out the side in the sixth and fanned five of the final six batters he faced, finishing with six total strikeouts.
Despite the strong efforts from the Miami prospects, the game remained tied into the 11th as neither team found a way to bring home its placement runner in the 10th.
In the final frame, Mesa scratched across a pair of unearned runs when Reyes was unable to come up with a fly ball in left field with two outs. However, the Rafters, who are playing well and have won three of their past four games, managed to escape with a tie via a sacrifice fly from Jake Gatewood (Brewers' No. 18) and a two-out RBI single from Perez.
"Everything is coming together, pitching, hitting and defense," Lee said. "We can't ask for anything else."
William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.