With the Arizona Fall League now in full swing, Cam Gibson is starting to settle in at the plate.Gibson, a Tigers farmhand, delivered a bases-clearing triple in the bottom of the eighth inning to complete a seven-run comeback and propel Mesa past Glendale, 9-6, on Saturday at Sloan Park. He
With the Arizona Fall League now in full swing, Cam Gibson is starting to settle in at the plate.
Gibson, a Tigers farmhand, delivered a bases-clearing triple in the bottom of the eighth inning to complete a seven-run comeback and propel Mesa past Glendale, 9-6, on Saturday at Sloan Park. He finished 2-for-4, also tallying a double, two runs scored and a walk to go along with his game-winning triple.
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"Today I really settled in and found that thing to make me feel more comfortable -- whether it was starting at DH or hitting in the leadoff spot, you never really know what will do it," said Gibson, the son of former big leaguer, manager and Dodgers World Series hero Kirk Gibson.
Starting pitcher Alec Mills (Cubs' No. 20) struck out a pair in the top of first inning for the Mesa Solar Sox, who then jumped out to an early lead in the bottom half of the frame when shortstop A.J. Simcox plated Kyle Tucker (Astros' No. 1) and Gibson with a two-out triple to right field.
But Glendale wasted little time before tying the game in the top of the second, as Danny Mendick (White Sox) delivered a two-run infield single after Matt Beaty and Cornelius Randolph (Phillies No. 12) had reached via a hit-by-pitch and a walk, respectively, against Mills.
The scored remained tied until the top of the fifth inning, when Beaty, the Dodgers' No. 30 prospect, connected on a two-run homer to the opposite field. He extended Glendale's lead with his second homer of the game two innings later, delivering a two-out solo shot that cleared the wall in right-center field.
The home runs were Beaty's first in the Fall League and snapped a 1-for-22 skid at the plate for the 2017 Texas League Player of the Year.
Charlie Tilson (White Sox No. 19) would tack another run onto Glendale's lead in the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly, ultimately setting the stage for Mesa's seven-run comeback in the bottom of the frame.
After Gibson had reached via a leadoff walk, Chancer Burks (Cubs' No. 22) and Simcox quickly halved Mesa's deficit with RBI singles. Early AFL standout David Bote (Cubs) then put the Solar Sox within a run on a bases-loaded walk ahead of Sean Murphy (A's No. 12), who promptly tied the game with a single.
Glendale reliever Luke Eubank (Indians) rebounded to strike out the next batter, bringing Gibson to the plate for the second time in the inning. This time, however, with the game on the line.
"I remember sitting in the on-deck circle thinking, 'If you get up here, don't try to do too much, don't be too energized and let the pitcher come to you,'" said Gibson. "I just tried to be calm up there and really settled in until I got my pitch to hit, and luckily that was the second pitch he threw, a fastball, and I put the barrel on the ball."
Gibson's performance on Saturday was his best so far in the Fall League, where, thanks to four hits in his last three contests, he's now hitting .200 with three extra-base hits and eight RBIs in 13 games with the Solar Sox.
"This is definitely the best competition I've seen, by far. These guys are the closest to big league players you're going to get until you actually get up there," said Gibson, who batted .262/.336/.460 with 44 extra-base hits, including 13 home runs and 19 stolen bases over 109 games with Class A West Michigan and Class A Advanced Lakeland.
Simcox, also a Tigers farmhand, nearly matched Gibson's big game by going 2-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs. Burks also finished with multiple hits for the Solar Sox.
Right-hander J.D. Hammer once again dominated out of Glendale's bullpen. The Phillies' No. 30 prospect struck out two in two perfect frames to extend his Fall League scoreless innings streak to 7 1/3 (six appearances), during which he's allowed just two hits.
Beaty, meanwhile, finished his breakout game 2-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored, while Desert Dogs catcher Edgar Cabral (Phillies) went 3-for-4 with a double to improve his Fall League average to .385.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.