10/15/11 7:29 PM ET
Mahoney leads Sox to win with bat, not glove
O's prospect drives in four runs, commits four errors in AFL debut
By Andrew Pentis / Special to MLB.com
Not often, but it happens.
Mahoney overcame four miscues at first base by going 3-for-5 with four RBIs in his Arizona Fall League debut Saturday as the Mesa Solar Sox clobbered the first-place Surprise Saguaros, 14-3.
"First game under my belt," Mahoney said with a sigh. "I feel fortunate that the blunders I had in the field didn't affect the game."
Twins farmhand Cole DeVries (1-0) allowed one hit over four scoreless innings, but Mahoney made three errors in a five-batter span that produced a pair of unearned runs with White Sox right-hander Nevin Griffith on the mound in the fifth.
Mahoney, whose other miscue came in the second, missed Mesa's first 10 games due to a oblique injury. But that had no effect on his defensive struggles.
"It was one of those things. I made one [mistake] over there and got kind of jittery with the yips," he said. "I wasn't seeing the ball into the glove, got a few tough hops."
Mahoney committed 10 errors in 88 games during the regular season -- but never more than one in a game. He coupled that with a .294 batting average, 11 homers and 69 RBIs between Class A Advanced Frederick and Double-A Bowie.
At the plate, the Orioles' No. 3 prospect delivered an RBI single in the first, had another base hit in the third and cleared the bases with a double in the eighth.
"I was just looking for something over the plate to drive into the gap," said Mahoney, who is No. 76 because he was stuck with it during Spring Training. "I tried to forget what happened in the field. I know the plays had to be made, but you got to move on or baseball will eat you alive."
Pirates prospect Robbie Grossman (Pirates) led off the game with his third AFL homer, a shot to center field off Saguaros starter Shane Dyer (Rays).
The Solar Sox extended their lead in the fifth, thanks to a pair of Cubs prospects. Junior Lake doubled with two outs and scored on a single by D.J. LeMahieu.
Mesa pulled away with a five-run sixth, adding three runs in the eighth and three more in the ninth. The heart of the Solar Sox's lineup -- Brian Dozier (Twins), Lake, LeMahieu and Mahoney -- combined 12 hits, 10 RBIs and eight runs scored.
DeVries struck out five, allowed only a first-inning double to Paul Gran (Marlins) while throwing 54 pitches. Dyer (1-1) was charged with two runs on six hits over four frames. He struck out two and walked one.
Todd Cunningham (Braves) had the Saguaros' lone RBI with an eighth-inning single.
Andrew Pentis is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.