It would be hard to imagine a more complete performance than the one the Salt River Rafters put together Saturday afternoon against the Peoria Javelinas.
Salt River tallied 17 hits and rolled on to a 20-0 victory. Dustin Garneau hit two homers, the second a grand slam, Rockies prospect Cristhian Adames went 4-for-5 with a homer and Rays prospect Richie Shaffer went 3-for-4 with five runs scored, two doubles, two RBIs and a run-scoring walk.
While Salt River's lineup was piling on the hits and drawing nine walks, the Rafters' pitching staff combined for an absolute gem. Bo Schultz, Henry Garcia, Mike Montgomery, Dean Kiekhefer and Cole White held Peoria to five hits and one walk while striking out 10.
"It was pretty awesome. The whole team was kind of clicking on all cylinders," said Shaffer, the Rays' No. 9 prospect. "The pitching was lights-out. Guys were getting on base. Everyone was having great at-bats. Everyone was kind of feeding off each other. It was pretty awesome."
Adames, the Rockies' No. 15 prospect, finished a triple shy of the cycle, drew a walk and scored four runs. But Garneau, a 26-year-old catcher in the Rockies' farm system, was responsible for Salt River's biggest hits.
Garneau's two-run homer off Jason Adam put the Rafters ahead, 6-0, in the fourth inning. And his seventh-inning grand slam off Carson Smith was the knockout punch, giving Salt River a 13-0 lead.
"Going up there, the guy that was throwing, I faced him all year at Double-A so I had an idea what he had," Garneau said of his first homer. "I was just going up there hacking. I'm trying to hit the fastball every time. It was really high so I didn't know if it was going to go over the fence. I sprinted to first and then I saw the umpire signaling. That's when I knew."
Shaffer had plenty to be pleased about as well. Coming off a year where he hit .254/.308/.399 with 11 homers in 122 games for Class A Advanced Charlotte, the 25th overall pick in the 2012 Draft said he came to the Arizona Fall League to "compete and just continue to polish my game." Having a game like Saturday, when he was seemingly in the middle of every Salt River rally, was exactly what he was hoping for.
Shaffer singled in the second inning, moved to second on a wild pitch that scored Andy Burns and came home on Mike Freeman's RBI double to left. He knocked an RBI double of his own to left in Salt River's three-run fourth inning and hit a ground-rule double to center in the sixth. He came to the plate in the seventh with the bases loaded and drew a walk, setting up Garneau's slam two batters later.
"It was probably the best game individually I've had. I've had to make a couple adjustments here and there and get comfortable," Shaffer said. "I was feeding off the runs we put up early. It was just one of those days where the hitting was contagious and everyone was feeling good and relaxed. It just kept going."
That was especially true for the bottom half of Salt River's lineup. While the Rafters' first three hitters managed just one hit -- Nick Ahmed's solo homer in the third -- their four through nine hitters combined to go 16-for-30 with six walks.
"It was a fun game and something that we'll remember forever," Shaffer said. "Hopefully, this will give us some momentum and we'll keep playing good baseball."