Reds farmhands thrive for Peoria in tie

Vincej homers and drive in three runs in his Fall League debut

Reds farmhands thrive for Peoria in tie

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Zach Vincej delivered the big blast, but was far from the only Reds Minor Leaguer to have a big game for the Peoria Javelinas.

Barrett Astin allowed one hit in two scoreless frames and a trio of Reds farmhands combined to go 5-for-16 with six RBIs as Peoria and Salt River played to a 7-7 tie in 11 innings on Tuesday night at Salt River Fields.

"It felt great," Vincej said. "Just to get the legs under me again and be able to put together some good at-bats is a good thing. I'm just trying to go in there and see if I can see the ball first because sometimes it takes a little bit to get your eyes accumulated to the speed and everything. I felt good up there."

Gameday

Astin, Vincej, Chad Wallach and Brandon Dixon were all teammates with Double-A Pensacola this season and the chemistry was evident Tuesday.

"It makes it a lot easier having some guys that you know here," Vincej said. "We're all pretty good friends because we had a pretty good year in Pensacola. We're all friends with each other, it makes it easy because we all live together as well. It's nice, it's comfortable."

Vincej highlighted the evening with a 388-foot two-run homer to left that also had an exit velocity of 105.66, according to Statcast™ in the 6th. The shortstop, who finished 2-for-5 with three RBIs, is coming off a bit of a breakout season in which he hit .281, up 40 points from his mark in 2015.

The 25-year-old hit .297 in the second half after posting a .258 average prior to the All-Star break.

"I made a couple of adjustments at the plate, baseball is a game of adjustments," Vincej said. "Sometimes when things aren't going really well, you need to make adjustments -- whether it's mentality or mechanical -- and I was able to do that."

Dixon, who hit .260 in 118 games this season, also finished the season on a tear at the plate. The third baseman hit .332 over his final 30 games and continued to swing a hot bat as the Fall League opened play.

Dixon put Peoria on the board with an RBI single to right in the top of the first. Brewers' No. 7 prospect Brett Phillips fired a strong one-hopper to the plate, but a sliding Tyler O'Neill (Mariners' No. 2) beat the tag. Wallach continued the hit parade, lining a two-run double into the right-centerfield gap.

"It's nice seeing everybody going out and putting together some quality AB's and that's what we're trying to do," Vincej said. "Trying to put together some good at-bats and barrel some balls up and see how the fall goes. We are all going to compete every day and that's all you can do."

Tigers No. 9 prospect JaCoby Jones, who is making up for lost time after serving a 50-game suspension for a second positive test of a drug of abuse to start the season, put Salt River on the board with an RBI single in the bottom of the first.

Vincej's homer seemingly broke the game open, giving Peoria a 7-2 lead, but Salt River, led by a pair of D-backs, clawed back in the game.

D-backs No. 11 prospect Dawel Lugo gave the Rafters some life with a two-run double in the seventh. Two batters later, Kevin Cron, who hit 26 homers in 127 games with Double-A Mobile this season, tied the game up with a solo homer. Cron launched an 0-1 cutter 400-feet with an exit velocity of 109.27 MPH, according to Statcast™.

The game took a strange turn in the top of the 10th as the stadium lights dimmed, causing a 20-minute delay. It was certainly an unusual occurrence, but not one the players hadn't seen before.

"Two years ago and we actually got the game delayed because of it," Vincej said when asked if he'd ever experienced a similair delay. "Nothing new there, just trying to keep the game moving. What can you do?"

William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.