Last night was a wild one for the Colorado Rockies' minor league affiliates, with each team winning one-run affairs. Looks like the minor leaguers took the big club's offense last night.
The Sky Sox (7-9) used a five run third inning to pull ahead 6-1 and held on for their second straight victory. They outhit Tacoma 10 to 5 but committed three errors to keep it interesting. Leading the charge offensively was SS Chris Nelson (PuRP 5), who went 3-4 with a double and recently demoted 3B Ian Stewart (2-4, 2B).
Jim Miller got the win (2-1) in relief of John Maine, who slogged his way through 3.2 IP, giving up only three hits and four runs but walking six men while striking out five. Both Matt Daley and Rex Brothers (PuRP 12) had scoreless innings in relief while striking out two men. Neither pitcher has allowed an earned run in 16.2 IP this year, striking out 25 men between them. Andrew Johnston got his second save with a scoreless ninth inning.
The Drillers (8-7), won their second straight game, this time an extra innings effort, thanks in large part to the long ball. 2B Thomas Field (PuRP 24) got the ball rolling with a second inning grand slam (his third homer of the year). OF Scott Beerer (who went 3-3) kept it going with a solo shot in the fourth (his 2nd) to provide all the scoring Tulsa would get in regulation.
After Springfield pushed across a run in the top of the 10th to make it 6-5, OF Tim Wheeler (PuRP 16) continued his strong start (.288/.386/.610) with a solo homer to tie the game back up (his 5th on the season). The Drillers put an end to the game with an unearned error on a throwing error by Springfield. Keith Weiser (1-0) got the win with a scoreless 11th inning.
Read about two wild games by the lower affiliates after the jump.
Perhaps the most dramatic of the games last night was Modesto's one run victory. The Nuts (7-9) were down 4-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth. After the first two batters struck out, 3B Nolan Arenado (PuRP 4) singled, Mike Zuanich walked, and Joseph Sanders lined a single into right that was misplayed by the right-fielder in such a manner that Arenado and Zuanich both scored to tie the game, with Sanders heading to 2nd. After a wild pitch moved Sanders to third, catcher Dallas Tarleton singled him in for the win.
Modesto pounded out 12 hits in the game, with 11 of them being singles. Arenado was 3-4 in the game to lead the Nuts offensively, while Chad Bettis (PuRP 8) gave the team six innings of three run ball on three hits, striking out seven. Michael Marbry got the win (2-0) with a scoreless top of the 9th.
A relief pitcher that I'm watching pretty closely this year, Leuris Gomez put in two innings of one-run relief (his first run allowed this year), striking out four. On the year Gomez has a 0.87 ERA in 10.1 IP while striking out 16 men and walking only 3. He's a little old for the level (24) and wasn't spectacular in Asheville last year, but he's averaged pretty close to a strikeout per inning over his career while his walk rate has declined sharply. Definitely an arm to keep an eye out for when you're filling out your PuRP lists.
The wildest game of the night definitely was in the South Atlantic league, as the two teams combined for 32 hits (16 each) and 8 errors. In fact, of the 18 half innings only five did not feature a run scoring. Lakewood jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead through 1.5 innings, but the Tourists (9-7) fought back by scoring in each of their next five at-bats. A 9-2 fourth inning deficit turned into a 11-9 lead after the Tourists scored four in the fourth and five in the fifth. Lakewood was down 12-11 entering the ninth but tied it up in the top half. Not to worry, however, as the Tourists won on a bases loaded wild pitch with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Of course.
Rockies 2010 1st rounder, OF Kyle Parker (PuRP 9) lead the Tourists with a 4-6 night, including a double and his first home run as a professional -- a grand slam in the fifth -- and an incredible seven RBIs! The effort pushed his triple slash line to .412/.463/.618 -- it looks like Parker is adjusting to full-time baseball pretty well. 3B Heider Velazquez also had a four hit night, going 4-5 with two doubles.
Let's just say that it wasn't a successful outing for PuRP 21 Joshua Slaats, who gave up 9 runs on 11 hits in 3.1 IP. Bruce Kern (13-0 K/BB so far) was the only Tourist pitcher without an earned run given up in 2.1 IP of relief, striking out six men in the process, while Juan Perez blew the save but got the win (2-0).