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Desert Dogs drop opener, 8-7

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Laz Rivera has a killer game from the No. 9 spot

Double Threat: Laz Rivera made a bigger impact with his bat than glove in the Glendale Desert Dogs’s 2018 debut.
Tiffany Wintz

Peoria Javelinas 8, Glendale Desert Dogs 7

The 2018 Arizona Fall League kicked off in Peoria tonight, as the Glendale Desert Dogs dropped their opener to the Peoria Javelinas, 8-7.

Ascending Chicago White Sox prospect Laz Rivera, who would have been considered a longshot at best for Fall League play before his scintillating 2018 season, played a prominent role capping Glendale’s long road back from a 5-2 deficit at mid-game.

Rivera doubled in the seventh, eventually coming around to score on a two-out, Luis Robert single that drew the Desert Dogs to within two runs at 7-5. In the eighth, Rivera had an RBI ground out that drew the DDs to 7-6.

Glendale in fact tied the game in the eighth, but lost when New York Yankees prospect (and Downers Grove native) Matt Wivinis opened the ninth with two walks and two singles.

Rivera finished his night 2-for-3 and was also hit by a pitch, putting him on base three times all told. Luis Robert, batting cleanup and starting in center field, went 1-for-4 with two runs, an RBI, walk and strikeout.

Three White Sox pitchers saw action in the opener.

Zach Thompson took over for Yankees prospect (and game starter) Jordan Foley with one out in the third and gave up one hit and got a punchout. Fellow Chisox prospect Zack Burdi then took over in the fourth and could only earn two outs, surrendering three unearned runs off of two Glendale errors; Burdi allowed a hit and a K.

Winston-Salem Dash hurler Danny Dopico had a delayed case of the nerves in the sixth, when he quickly recorded two outs, but then allowed two Javelinas runs off of a HBP, double, wild pitch and single.

Score it a win for the prospects on the offensive side, a bit of a wait-and-see for the hurlers.