An ugly loss that included ten strikeouts on the Sky Sox offense's part. The Sacramento River Cats blew the game open against CSP starter Alan Johnson in the bottom of the third with five runs. Two more would cross in the fifth. In relief, Bruce Billings (2 innings) and Jim Miller (1 inning) each allowed one more run. Johnson suffered his second loss of the season.
The Sky Sox managed only three hits in the game, two of which came from the hot-hitting left fielder Mike Paulk, the third coming from center fielder Willy Taveras. First baseman Mike Jacobs and designated hitter Brad Emaus each worked a walk, but that would be it for the offense. Only second baseman Matt Macri did not strike out once in the game, while Charlie Blackmon and Matt Pagnozzi each struck out twice.
The Drillers scored four runs in the second inning against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, who made three errors during the game. There would be no more runs scored by Tulsa until the very end of the game in extra innings, as the Naturals slowly chipped away at Drillers starter Cory Riordan, who managed only one strikeout during the game. Riordan's outing was further unusual in that he was remarkably efficient (86 pitches, 58 of which were strikes over seven innings), but still allowed four runs to score on just six hits and a walk, though one of the runs was unearned due to a fielding error by left fielder Scott Beerer. Reliever Stephen Dodson pitched the final innings of regulation play. The Drillers finally scored two more runs in the tenth inning, and Adam Jorgenson collected his eighth save of the season. Dodson was credited with the win; he is now 6-0, and even as a reliever, is leading the Rockies organization in wins.
Despite all of those empty innings in the middle of the game, the Drillers were sprinkling hits about all night. 14 total hits were produced by Tulsa, and five players had multihit games, including 3 hit nights for catcher Wilin Rosario and right fielder Mike Daniel. First baseman Ben Paulsen had the ugliest offensive night, with three strikeouts in five at bats and no hits. Center fielder Tim Wheeler continued his spree of productivity with his ninth double and seventh stolen base on the season. The amount of run production he has been able to summon out of the leadoff spot this year is incredible.
Check out Asheville's strange game after the jump.
A+ Modesto: Off Day
While the Tourists did manage some runs, unlike the Sky Sox, they also managed to strike out at an even more absurd rate (and so did their opponents). 15 of the Tourists outs were strikeouts, while the opposing Greenville Drive racked up 13 of their own. Only catcher Dustin Garneau did not strike out once for Asheville. The fact that either team managed to score 5 runs, let alone 10, seems like a miracle until you notice that Greenville benefited greatly from four errors committed in the game by the Tourists, two of which came from third baseman Helder Velazquez. Shortstop Cristhian Adames also produced one of the errors; both Velazquez and Adames also went 0-4. Garneau produced the final error on a throw.
Asheville starter Erik Stavert gathered ten strikeouts over five innings, but still allowed three runs to score during that time, including a home run to the first batter of the game. The Tourists still had the lead at the time, but Asheville's bullpen would not keep it. Relievers Kraig Sitton, Bruce Kern and Rafael Suarez combined to pitch the final four innings of the game. Each of them gave up multiple runs, though Sitton's two runs in the sixth were unearned due to errors. The Drive would score at least one run in every inning from the fifth onward. Kern was credited with his second blown save and first loss of the season. Suarez, who has been struggling mightily in May, allowed two home runs.
From an offensive perspective, the Tourists did almost all of their damage in a four run third inning. Left fielder Chandler Laurent led the team in strikeouts with 3, but still produced an RBI single. Right fielder hit his third home run of the season, a two run shot that also scored center fielder Rafael Ortega, who had a three hit night alongside two strikeouts of his own. Parker, Garneau and first baseman Bryce Massanari all had multiple hit games, and with the earlier mentioned exception of Garneau, they all had multiple strikeouts in between.
What a strange series of games yesterday up and down the organization.