Tuesday Pebble Report: Drillers Pitching Impresses, Ghosts Begin 2011 Season

AAA Colorado Springs: L 9-6

The Sky Sox offense was ineffective against the Tucson Padres until the seventh and eighth innings, where they would score all six of their runs. Third baseman Matt Macri and catcher Jordan Pacheco led the charge with two hits each, including the sixth home run of the season for Macri and two doubles for Pacheco, as well as two RBI. Second baseman Brad Emaus also had a multihit game with two singles. Pinch hitter Ryan Rohlinger doubled in two runs in the seventh.

Starter John Maine continued to show no signs of returning to form, allowing eight earned runs over four and a third innings pitched. He walked six batters while striking out only one, and allowed ten hits, two of which were home runs, leading to his third loss on the season. Andy Graham (one earned run over two and two thirds innings pitched), Sean White and Eric Stults (no runs over one inning each) cooled down the Tucson offense, but it was too little, too late.

 

AA Tulsa: W 2-0

The Drillers pitching staff put together one of the best pitching performances of the year for any of the organizational teams. Starter Christian Friedrich struck out only three batters and allowed three walks, but also allowed only three hits, and no runs of course, for his fifth win of the year. Joe Torres, who has been one of Tulsa's best relievers after returning from the DL last month, pitched both the seventh and eighth innings hitless while allowing two walks. With Adam Jorgenson having lost the Tulsa closer's job, Daniel Turpen got his first save of the season with a relatively smooth one hit ninth inning.

The 3-4-5 spots of the Tulsa batting order were responsible for all of the run production of the game against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. First baseman Ben Paulsen, third baseman Darin Holcomb (who has been doing well in the brief time since that back injury scare last week) and catcher Wilin Rosario combined for five hits, two doubles, both runs scored and both RBI. Center fielder Tim Wheeler did get one hit, but also struck out three times.

 

More games after the jump.

Modesto and Asheville are in their mid-season All Star breaks. No games were played.

A- Tri-City: W 8-1

The Dust Devils pounded sixteen hits against the Everett AquaSox, including five from 2011 draftees Brian Humphries, Timothy Smalling and Jordan Ribera. Left fielder Leonardo Reyes and second baseman David Hernandez each had three hits, while center fielder Humphries, first baseman Ribera and right fielder Jared Simon each had two. There were no home runs hit in the game by either team.

Tyler Gagnon made his first start of the season, lasting four and a third innings, allowing one run on four hits and a walk. He struck out five opponents. Rhett Ballard, who was not announced on the original Tri-City roster earlier in the week but has since joined the team, picked up the win in relief. Craig Bennigson followed Ballard with two clean innings, and another 2011 draftee in Chris Dennis made his professional debut with a clean ninth inning in which he allowed one hit.

 

RK Casper: L 7-6

Play finally began for the Casper Ghosts, the only Rockies affiliate yet to begin their season, in a game against the Orem Owlz (yes, with a Z). The game saw the professional debuts for several players, as well as the American debut for several Latin players including prospect Rosell Herrera, who went 0-4 with a K but did gather a RBI on a ground out. Another notable prospect in catcher Will Swanner struck out three times in four at bats without recording a hit. Left fielder Robert De La Cruz, who is repeating a year at Casper, had the only multihit game with a pair of singles. Third baseman and 2011 draftee Matthew Argyropoulos hit his first professional home run in his second pro at bat. Designated hitter Francisco Sosa also homered.

Starter Alving Mejias, also repeating a year at Casper, went 6 innings and demonstrated control by walking only one opponent, but he was ultimately hittable, giving up nine hits total including a 3 run home run. He allowed six runs total over that time frame, leading to the loss. Matthew Crocker, yet another second year Ghost, was the only reliever in the game. He threw the final two innings and allowed one more run on two hits.

 

DSL Rockies: L 6-1

The Rockies lost to the DSL White Sox while managing just four hits, two of which came from another De La Cruz, Jose in this case. Both hits were doubles, and he hit in the only run in the sixth inning. First baseman Cesar Galvez and center fielder Raimel Tapia, the top two hitters in the lineup, had the other two hits, both singles.

Starter Helmis Rodriguez was stuck with his second loss of the season despite allowing only one earned run (three total) in his six innings pitched. Mediocre relief pitching from Carlos Leon and Alvin Herrera sealed the deal. Herrera did not allow a hit in his inning of work, but walked an opposing batter who came around to score after two wild pitches. Both Tapia and De La Cruz worked to sabotage their own offensive contributions with errors. Shortstop De La Cruz already has seven errors in the young DSL season.

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