DeSclafani on point for AFL's rolling Rafters

Twins' Rosario stays hot with three RBIs; fifth pitch-clock game timed at 2:19

DeSclafani on point for AFL's rolling Rafters

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Though there's plenty of baseball left to be played, the Salt River Rafters are in a good position when the Arizona Fall League winds down. The Rafters collected their fourth straight win Thursday night, defeating Surprise, 5-3, in the fifth game to use the 20-second pitch clock.

"We have a little bit of everything," Salt River manager Andy Haines said. "We have a chance every night, they come out and set the tone, and offensively everyone contributes up and down the lineup. It's a fun group."

Box score

The pitch clock is among the time-saving measures Major League Baseball's Pace of Game Committee is testing in the Arizona Fall League. Thursday's game lasted two hours, 19 minutes, lowering the average of the five trials to 2 1/2 hours.

"I admire and respect the initiative they took of trying to do it," Haines said. "You certainly don't want to experiment in a Major League stadium, this is the place to do it. So, I respect that effort and the initiative, and I think the players and umpires are handling it great and hopefully Major League Baseball gets out of it what they need out of it."

The win, which pushed the Rafters to 11-3-1 on the season, was a total team effort, with eight of nine starters recording hits.

On the mound, Marlins prospect Anthony DeSclafani did his part as well.

DeSclafani, the No. 3 prospect in the Marlins' organization, allowed three runs on five hits in five innings. All three runs came in the fourth, when Mariners prospect Patrick Kivlehan connected on a two-run homer -- his fourth of the fall. DeSclafani retired 12 of the 14 batters he faced in his other four innings.

"I thought he was really crisp early in the game, stuff was down in the zone," Haines said of the right-hander. "I think once the game got going, that [fourth] inning, balls just got elevated a bit, and give their guys credit, they got some good swings on the ball. I thought it was a solid outing, showed a lot of good things. From being so crisp early, he got a little elevated, but he finished on a positive note, which is big."

While DeSclafani was setting the tone on the mound, Eddie Rosario was doing it at the plate and on the basepaths. Rosario, the No. 10 prospect in the Twins' organization, went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two stolen bases.

In 11 games this season, Rosario is hitting .435 and has eight multihit games and eight stolen bases.

"He's off to a great start," Haines said of the lefty-batting Rosario. "He just has a good at-bat up there, whether he's facing a righty or lefty, he competes. Very competitive at-bats every time he steps in there and likes to play."

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