AA Tulsa - L 1-3 (19-21, t-2nd, 2.0 GB)
A day before Ubaldo Jimenez was to debut for Cleveland, Alex White (2011, trade) (the highest profile player acquired for Ubaldo that is with the organization) made his Rockies debut. It was also his first rehab start after being out three months with a torn tendon band in his middle finger. White was on a 25-pitch count, and when his night was over, his ERA with the Drillers was a sparkly 27.00, so the Ubaldo trade was a complete failure.
Actually, White pitched well. The right-hander induced two groundouts and struck out a batter in his inning of work, though the Naturals managed two infield groundball singles in the inning as well. His undoing was allowing both runners to score on a two-out 3-run home run to a 25-year-old outfielder who was demoted from AAA a month ago. White tossed 18 pitches, 11 for strikes and had the wormkillers working, so in all, the rehab appearance has to be considered a success.
Cory Riordan (2007, 6th round) relieved White and turned in his best outing of the season, allowing just two hits over six scoreless innings. A Brian Rike (2007, 2nd round) solo home run was the only other dent in the scoreboard for either team after White departed, as the Drillers lost for the third time in four games. Joe Gardner (2011, trade), also from the Ubaldo trade, might just debut tonight.
Game 1: This was a 7-inning game. Really. And Clayton Mortensen (2011, trade) actually held the Nashville Sounds scoreless in the first inning (though the Brewers' AAA team scored in the final six). Mortensen was pulled with two outs in the fourth inning, charged with ten runs (eight earned) on ten hits and three long balls. Blake Johnson (2011, MiLB FA) gave up seven more runs before infielder Warren Schaeffer (2007, 38th round) gave the staff a rest, getting tagged for four runs in one inning of work. Meanwhile, the Sky Sox failed to advance a runner past second base, much less to home, much less nineteen times. Carlos Gonzalez made his first rehab start and went 1-for-4 with a flyout to left, flyout to right, line drive single to right, and groundout to second.
Game 2: Carlos Gonzalez singled and scored in the first inning before being removed from the game by design. Three run home runs from Mike Jacobs (2011, MiLB FA) and Matt Pagnozzi (2011, MiLB FA) gave the Sky Sox the offense they needed, and Keith Weiser (2006, 3rd round) worked two innings of scoreless relief for the win.
High-A Modesto - L 4-5 (22-17, 2nd, 1.0 GB)
The Nuts looked primed to retain first place late in the game, but the bullpen coughed up leads in the eighth and ninth innings as the Quakes put up dual two run frames. Starter #21 PuRP Edwar Cabrera (2008, DR) started the eighth inning, having allowed just one run while striking out six. After giving up a one out walk and single, reliever Coty Woods (2009, 33rd round) came in and gave up a walk, single and double to tie the game. Angelys Nina doubled in the ninth and scored on a wild pitch to give the Nuts the lead again, but Michael Marbry (2007, undrafted) gave up a bases loaded two out single to turn a win into a loss. Scott Robinson (2006, 30th round) doubled twice and drove home two.
Low-A Asheville - W 5-4 (10) (22-18, 3rd, 4.0 GB)
#12 PuRP Rafael Ortega (2009, DR) hit a two-out two-run home run in the eighth inning to give Asheville a two run lead. Juan Perez (2010, 18th round) blew promptly blew that lead by permitting a two-run two-out single in the ninth inning, but he was just setting up better drama for the fans at McCormick Field. In the bottom of the tenth, Ortega hit a two-out double, and the infamous Brett Tanos (2010, 10th round) drove Ortega home with a walkoff hit. Ortega also singled to end up a triple shy of the cycle, and Tanos walked four times to reach base all six times he came to the plate, an effort that puts him top ten in the South Atlantic League in walks. #28 PuRP Josh Slaats (2010, 5th round) continues to pitch very well, striking out six and allowing two runs in a seven inning no decision.
Short Season-A Tri-City - L 0-2 (6-3, 1st)
The Dust Devils entered last night with a 3.12 staff ERA, best in the Northwest League by 11 runs. That dominance continued Thursday with Ricardo Ferrer (2007, VZ) tossing six shutout frames. Unfortunately, offense is a part of the game too, and Tri City had none, with singles by Jared Simon (2010, 6th round), Taylor Featherston (2011, 5th round) and Leonardo Reyes (2006, VZ) being all they could muster against the Emeralds hurlers. Rhett Ballard earned the loss by allowing two runs in relief, one on a solo home run and another on a combination of a walk, two wild pitches, single and infield single.
Rookie Casper - L 3-4 (10) (4-1, 1st)
The Ghosts finally lost in the season's second half, but it took extra innings to do it. The two teams combined for just eight hits in ten innings, but one of them provided the winning margin in the tenth, when Russell Brewer (2010, undrafted) allowed a single to right to score a runner who reached base on a HBP and was bunted over. Julian Yan (2009, DR) homered, Sam Mende (2011, 31st round) drove in a run with a double, and Rosell Herrera (2009, DR) reached base three times, scoring twice. Benjamin Hughes (2011, 10th round) allowed one run in five innings for the no decision.
DSL Rockies - Ppd (33-22, 2nd, 3.5 GB)
For the second day in a row, rain prevented the Rockies from pursuing their baseballing pursuits, this time postponing a game against the Padres.