Tuesday Pebble Report: Arenado, Swanner Showcase Power, Poor Defense Plagues Low-Level Teams

Colorado Springs Sky Sox: W 9-4

Despite being outhit by the Tacoma Rainiers 12 to 10 and gathering only 2 out of 11 hits with runners in scoring position, the Sky Sox overcame and won the game for Edgar Gonzalez. Staerter Gonzalez was hittable, but gave up only the four runs on ten hits to Tacoma over six innings. Edgmer Escalona, fresh from his one day MLB vacation earlier in the week, threw an inning and two thirds scoreless. Keith Weiser made his AAA level debut by getting the final out in the eighth inning. Jim Miller protected the lead in the ninth.

The Colorado Springs offense began in the first inning when a three run home run from designated hitter Mike Jacobs put the team back into the lead after falling behind 2-0. The recently demoted second baseman Chris Nelson and left fielder Eric Young Jr. had strange days at the plate; both batters walked three times each. Nelson was also a hitting star in the game, going 2 for 3 (including a triple). He scored three runs and knocked in another two more. Shortstop Ryan Rohlinger also tripled, while Jacobs and third baseman Ian Stewart joined Nelson in the multi-hit category.

 

Tulsa Drillers: L 6-5

The Drillers were once again unable to hold down a lead going into the final innings of the game. Tulsa fell behind early as starter Christian Friedrich was hittable early on, but the prospect eventually settled in and ended up going seven innings deep, allowing three earned runs on seven hits. The Drillers had retaken the lead with productive sixth and seventh innings, but setup man Joe Torres, who has been one of the most effective MiLB free agent signings of the past offseason, began the eighth by allowing a leadoff home run, followed by a double. Struggling reliever Adam Jorgenson relieved Torres, and allowed his inherited runner to score. He came back out to pitch the ninth, and the third solo home run by the San Antonio Missions put them back on top for the win. Jorgenson received his fifth blown save of the season, and fourth loss.

Several Drillers hitters had milti-hit affairs, including shortstop Thomas Field (who hit his 11th home run), first baseman Ben Paulsen, third baseman Darin Holcomb (two doubles) and left fielder Scott Beerer. Center fielder Tim Wheeler tripled for his only hit of the game.

The rest after the jump.

Modesto Nuts: W 12-3

The Nuts overtook the San Jose Giants thanks to a couple of incredible offensive performances from third baseman Nolan Arenado and designated hitter David Christensen. Arenado pounded two home runs (his 9th and 10th) in the game while going 3 for 6 on the night and knocking in five of Modesto's runs. Christensen had four hits, knocked in two runs and also scored three times. Not to be left out is center fielder Delta Cleary Jr.; although his two strikeouts in two at bats continues a poor year at the plate for the player, he walked in all four of his other plate appearances and scored twice. Shortstop Josh Rutledge (who hit is first professional home run) and first baseman Jared Clark each had two hits.

Starter Parker Frazier gave up ten hits over eight innings pitched while walking only one batter and striking out five, leading to his sixth win of the season. Will Harris pitched a clean ninth inning with two strikeouts. The Giants used seven pitchers in the game after starter Michael Main lasted only one inning.

 

Asheville Tourists: L 7-3

The lower levels of the organization played some very sloppy baseball yesterday, beginning here with Asheville. Though starter Juan Gonzalez continued to be ineffective after coming to Asheville last month, he wasn't helped by three errors, one of which came from himself. Though he only walked one batter, Gonzalez gave up ten hits over five innings, allowing four runs, three of them earned. He is 0-5 on the year. Josh Hungerman allowed two more earned runs over two innings pitched. Rehabbing reliever Isaiah Froneberger also allowed a run over his final two innings pitched.

First baseman Bryce Massanari was the offensive star of the game, as he often has been this season for Asheville, going 2 for 3 with his 14th home run, a double and two RBI. Center fielder Chandler Laurent was 3 for 4, but didn't score or knock in any runs. Avery Barnes, in a rare leadoff designated hitter role, also got two knocks in the game. Left fielder Corey Dickerson hit his 17th home run of the season for the final Asheville run.

 

Tri-City Dust Devils: L 6-4

The Dust Devils were even worse in the field, as the infield of second baseman Timothy Smalling, shortstop Taylor Featherston (who had back to back errors in the third inning) and third baseman Jeff Squier combined for four errors in the game, nearly all of which led to runs scoring. Ricardo Ferrer allowed five hits, one walk and struck out five over four and a third innings. The Spokane Indians scored five of their six runs under Ferrer's watch, but only one of the five was earned. Ferrer earned his first loss of the season with the Dust Devils, his fourth of the year overall. Another former 2011 Tourist in Rafael Suarez threw the final thee and two thirds of the game, allowing only a solo home run.

The 1-5 spots of the Dust Devils lineup was responsible for all of the run production, with the best offensive performance coming from yet another former 2011 (and 2010 and 2009...) Asheville Tourist, left fielder Tyler Massey, who hit two doubles, scored a run and batted another in. First baseman Jordan RIbera hit his fourth home run of the season, scoring another two runs. Right fielder Jared Simon also had a multi-hit game, and batted in the final Tri-City run.

 

Casper: W 13-12 (15 innings)

What a crazy game in Casper. Yet another game where the Rockies affiliate accumulated three or more errors, but the Ghosts overcame the Owlz in this wild one. Seven Ghosts pitched, beginning with starter Alex Gillingham, who allowed three earned runs over four innings, with seven hits given up, one walk and six strikeouts. Alving Mejias threw the next three innings quite well, allowing four hits but just one solo home run to score. The Owlz took the lead in the eighth inning when Kyle Roliard was unable to get an out, and Russell Brewer was left with a mess to clean up. Five runs crossed in the inning. The Ghosts tied the game in the bottom of the ninth (see details below), and to extras we went.

First up to pitch was Michael Wolford, who struck out the side in his inning of work. Alejandro Barraza came in for long relief, and did well for the first two innings before allowing three runs in his third. Casper tied the game AGAIN, leading to two innings pitched by Jeremiah Sammy, who would become the winning pitcher, his first decision of the season.

As you can imagine, the box score of the game is a bit difficult to sift through, so I recommend just taking a look at it yourself. One obvious highlight was catcher Will Swanner, who hit three home runs in the game, including a solo shot in the 15th inning to win the game for Casper. Swanner has ten hits on the season and seven of them are homers (nearly one third of his hits in 2010 were also homers, 7 out of 23). Other notable performances came from the bottom of the lineup in third baseman Samuel Mende and left fielder Julian Yan, who each had a home run (third for Mende, first for Yan), three RBI and multiple hits (three for Mende, two for Yan).

Also homering in the game was designated hitter Robert De La Cruz (his third), the run that tied the game in the ninth inning. The Ghosts had an excellent chance to win the game there: after De la Cruz' homer with one out, two straight walks and a single loaded the bases for Casper, before Mende popped out to the catcher on a squeeze attempt, and pinch runner Yafistel Roja, committed to home all the way, was doubled off of third base. After that, it sure would have been a yucky game to lose.

So yeah, everyone should read that box score and recap just for the lulz. This is a game I would have loved to have witnessed.

 

DSL Rockies: Postponed

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