Saturday Pebble Report:

Jack Etkin posts a slew of injury updates, including the note that Chaz Roe will start a pair of games at Modesto beginning next week before moving to Tulsa.

Colorado Springs: W 10-4

Seth Smith hit his fifth homerun of the season last night, Jayson Nix had three hits including a double and triple, and Josh Towers added a pair of hits himself to the seven decent innings he threw. Smith finished with two hits and four RBI, and the top three in the Sky Sox lineup, Smith, Nix and Corey Sullivan each scored twice, getting safely aboard in 10 of 16 PA's.

Speaking of getting aboard safely, as I've been arguing, the poorer aspects of Ian Stewart's road numbers that didn't jive with the rest of his line this season really do appear to be a bit flukish. Two walks, a single and an HBP last night added to his two homers on Thursday have raised his road OBP from .294 to .326 and his road batting average from .223 to .238. Neither of those figures are close to acceptable without his home dominance factored in, but the upward road correction still seems to have a ways to go before it's finished. One interesting split for Stewart that may deserve closer scrutiny is how poorly he seems to do when he's pitched to out of the windup versus out of a stretch. He's batting .167/.250/.426 in 54 PA's with nobody on, .337/.423/.742 with men on base. Twelve of his seventeen hits with RISP have gone for extra bases, including six of his HR's.

Tulsa: W 10-9

It took eleven innings to resolve this offensive punch out, with Matt Miller scoring the winning run on a suicide squeeze bunt by Brian Esposito. Casey Weathers stopped Springfield from coming back for a third time in the bottom half to earn his first save of the season.

Jeff Kindel had four hits, including a pair of doubles, and Tony Blanco's first inning grand slam of Adam Ottavino set the early tone. Alan Johnson was staked to a seven to nothing lead heading into the bottom of the second, but he let it all slip away over his next four innings, finishing with seven runs allowed on nine hits, including one homerun. The good news is that he was throwing strikes, with five K's to go along with zero walks, but his location was consistently up in the zone.

Tulsa took a nine to seven lead in the sixth when a two out Dexter Fowler fly to left was dropped by the fielder, scoring Corey Wimberly, and then Dex himself would come around on a Miller single, one of three runs on the night for him.
Johnson pitched a scoreless sixth, but Jon George gave up back to back homers in the seventh and the score held at nine until Miller's run.

Modesto: W 6-1

Aneury Rodriguez has made a strong case for just keeping the Cal League Pitcher of the Week chalice in Modesto for a little while, going seven innings and allowing just seven singles and a walk to follow his nine inning one hitter on Sunday. His line for the week: 16 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 13 K. That's a 0.56 ERA which has helped erase the disastrous outing he had against Bakersfield on May 6th.

Michael McKenry tosses out two more baserunners attempting to steal off him and had a pair of hits against the right handed pitchers. If he could just figure out how to hit southpaws, he'd be a pretty complete player. He's 3 for 41 (.073) against LHP's this year, but putting up a .281/.373/.521 line against right handers.

Cole Garner and Jay Cox added three hits apiece; Garner's now hitting .426 in the month of May.

Asheville: W 3-1

All the headlines this morning are about Dellin Betances no hitting the Tourists through six (the SAL's home page makes it impossible to tell the Tourists won ) but let me just say that similarly to the way Aneury Rodriguez was a better starter than Franklin Morales last Sunday despite the latter not allowing a hit, Jhoulys Chacin was every bit as good a pitcher as Betances last night and possibly better. For starters, with fewer pitches per inning, Chacin was able to last eight innings compared to Betances' six, which is a big plus seeing how more chances against Charleston's bullpen allowed the T's more opportunity to score their winning runs. While Betances' 4/6 baserunners/innings ratio is a little better than Chacin's 7/8, Betances allowed five free advancements via stolen base or WP to zero for Chacin. Finally, Jhoulys' 11/6 GB/FB ratio will serve him better advancing levels than Dellin's 3/7. I'm not saying Betances wasn't good -I'd certainly be happy if he was in the Rockies system- I'm just saying that the guy on our side deserves some exposure too.

As I alluded to, the Tourists were four for four in SB's last night, including two more for Everth Cabrera who is now just three away from the SAL's top spot with 22 on the year. Jeff Cunningham roped a two run double in the eighth to provide the Tourists their final margin of victory.

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