Girard native and Arizona League Brewers pitcher Tanner Poppe tossed three innings, blew his first save and earned his first professional win Wednesday night as the Brewers defeated the AZL Indians 9-8 in 12 innings and 3 hours, 50 minutes at Goodyear Ballpark (116 degrees and clear in the Grand Canyon State at gametime).
Poppe came on in relief in the ninth (following Devin Williams, Clint Terry, Alejandro Lavandero and Chris Matulis) and lasted through the 11th, allowing two runs (both unearned) on four hits and striking out three, walking none.
An error by center fielder Brandon Diaz on a Clint Frazier basehit helped the Indians score two in the ninth to force extras.
In extras, Poppe retired the side in the 10th and the 11th, collecting a strikeout in the former and two in the latter.
After six professional innings, both relief appearances, Poppe owns a 1-0 record and 0.00 ERA, striking out eight and walking none. Opponents are hitting .238 against the 6-foot-6 right-hander.
As of Thursday evening, Poppe was ranked tied for first on the Arizona League leaderboard in ERA, tied with seven other pitchers (Ryan Doran of the AZL Diamondbacks, Pablo Gonzalez of the AZL Dodgers, Kieran Lovegrove of the AZL Indians, Junior Morillo of the AZL Reds, Glen Rizzo of the AZL Brewers, Francisco Santana and Daniel Tillman of the AZL Angels).
His eight strikeouts rank Poppe tied for second on the Brewers, trailing only Clint Terry, who has racked up 11 strikeouts in 6.0 innings of relief. Poppe’s averaging 11.97 Ks per 9 innings.
The Brewers (3-3 entering Thursday) trail the Dodgers by 2.0 games.