Dixon's early homer powers Peoria in AFL win

Reds' farmhand caps three-run first with first Fall League homer

Dixon's early homer powers Peoria in AFL win

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Cincinnati Reds farmhand Brandon Dixon hit his first home run of the Arizona Fall League season, providing an early offensive catalyst that carried the Peoria Javelinas to a 5-4 victory over the Scottsdale Scorpions at Peoria Sports Complex.

A third-round Draft pick in 2013 out of the University of Arizona, Dixon is in his second Fall League stint and is hitting .319 after posting a .295 average here last year.


His two-run shot in the bottom of the first inning off of Scottsdale starter James Kaprielian, the New York Yankees' No. 9 prospect, gave the Javelinas a 3-1 lead.

"It was just a good pitch, early in the count," he said of the fastball from Kaprielian. "I just tried to put a good swing on it, and the rest took care of itself."

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Dixon, who was traded from the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Reds last winter, was relieved that his early homer proved to be the difference for the Javelinas. Now, he hopes Peoria can continue its two-game winning streak as the Fall League winds down to the final games of the season.

"It feels good," he said. "Hopefully we'll get a few in a row. The last couple of days we played well, so we'll see what happens."

Dixon spent the entire 2016 season at Double-A Pensacola and is hoping to use the remaining games of the Fall League to continue to improve at the plate while getting comfortable playing different infield positions.

"For me, it's just been trying to put together quality at-bats, and getting comfortable playing the corner positions -- getting comfortable playing first and third. I haven't played too much there," said Dixon, who started at first base Thursday.

The Scorpions took the early 1-0 lead when Yankees No. 2 prospect Gleyber Torres scored on a sacrifice fly from center fielder Hunter Cole, the Giants' No. 21 prospect.

During the Javelinas' turn at the plate, Rays' No. 15 prospect Justin Williams plated Franchy Cordero (Padres) with a double to even the score and set the stage for Dixon's home run.

Scottsdale made a late push, scoring twice in the eighth inning, but Emilio Pagan (Mariners) came on in the ninth to strike out two en route to his first save of the Fall League season.

Jonathan Saxon is a graduate student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a partnership between MLB.com and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.