Thursday was a pretty quiet night for the Scottsdale Scorpions as they fell again to the first-place Salt River Rafters 3-1 in Arizona Fall League play.
Left fielder Bryce Harper, the Nationals' top prospect, returned to the lineup, going 1-for-4 with a single. He is batting .087 and left a man in scoring position.
Harper singled to center field with one out in the seventh, but was erased when the next batter grounded into an inning-ending double play. Then in the ninth, representing the tying run, Harper grounded to first base against closer Kevin Munson to end the contest.
Scottsdale's hitting woes are team-wide, not just limited to Harper. The Scorpions have been able to get quality pitching for the most part in the first nine games, but the offense has just not been able to score many runs or generate consistent power.Scottsdale went down 1-2-3 in the first three innings Thursday night.
The Scorpions, the defending league champions, have lost three straight to fall to 3-5. Salt River is 7-2 and now leads the AFL East by 3 1/2 games.
Derek Norris and Zach Walters did not play and Nationals relief pitching prospects did not pitch.