After being shut out for seven innings Wednesday, Glendale's offense awoke in the eighth inning against Mesa. The Desert Dogs scored six runs in the game's final two innings for a comeback victory.
Shortstop Corey Seager hit a grand slam in the eighth inning to tie the game and center fielder Jared Mitchell hit a two-run home run an inning later to give Glendale its first lead of the day. The Desert Dogs held on in the bottom of the ninth and defeated the Solar Sox, 6-4, at HoHoKam Stadium.
Mitchell, the White Sox No. 10 prospect, said the Desert Dogs did a good job of continuing to take good at-bats late in the game despite the deficit.
"We were battling at the end of the game," Mitchell said. "We got in some situations with runners on and needed a clutch hit. I guess everyone battling put a little spark in some guys."
Mitchell's home run came against right-hander Mike Morin with two outs and fellow White Sox prospect Marcus Semien on first base. Mitchell said he knew Morin likes to throw his offspeed pitches. Having just watched Semien draw a five-pitch walk, Mitchell wanted to make Morin come to him.
Morin missed with his first three offerings, so Mitchell took a strike before driving the next pitch over the wall in right field.
"I told myself if I got something over the plate again, I wouldn't miss it," Mitchell said. "I actually got good wood on it."
Mitchell was only in a position to play hero because of the Desert Dogs' eighth-inning rally. They were trailing, 4-0, and the Solar Sox had just brought on Corey Knebel, the Tigers' No. 15 prospect. In six previous appearances in the Arizona Fall League, Knebel had given up just one run.
But, thanks to two singles and an error on shortstop Addison Russell, the Desert Dogs loaded the bases with just one out, bringing up Seager. Instead of shrinking in the situation, Seager, the youngest player in the league, hit a grand slam.
"Off the bat, I knew it had a chance," Mitchell said. "I'm rooting for everybody on our team and when he got good wood on it, I was hoping it would keep carrying."
Mitchell finished the game 2-for-5. Seager, the Dodgers No. 2 prospect, went 1-for-4. He is hitting .155 with two home runs this fall.
For much of the game, it appeared as though Mesa's early lead would be enough Wednesday. Third baseman Kris Bryant scored the game's first run in the second inning. The Cubs' No. 4 prospect led off the inning with a single, stole second base and came home on right fielder Steven Souza's two-out double. The Solar Sox added two more runs in the third inning and second baseman Taylor Lindsey hit a solo home run in the fifth.
Bryant and Souza both had two hits for the Solar Sox. Bryant went 2-for-3 with a run and a walk.
But four Glendale relievers combined to allow one hit in four scoreless innings, opening the door for the comeback.
Mitchell said the resiliency the Desert Dogs showed Wednesday has been one of the biggest lessons he has learned in the AFL.
"How to be able to get up there and have a consistent approach," Mitchell said. "Keeping a good work ethic and being able to do things the right way. It becomes second nature. The biggest key is to stick with it and not get complacent."