Thursday Pebble Report: Ben Paulsen, Almost Hero

AA Tulsa, L 0-2 - (13-6, L1, 1st)

It is difficult to win a fifth straight game without scoring. #26 PuRP Ben Paulsen (2009, 3rd round) was robbed of a three-run home run in the first, later doubled off Michael Piazza and walked to give the Drillers the best scoring chances. #2 PuRP Nolan Arenado (2009, 2nd round) and HM PuRP Mike Zuanich (2008, 28th round) both singled and walked. Parker Frazier's (2007, 8th round) strong start was wasted. The right-hander lowered his ERA to 2.52 with a 7.0 inning, 2 earned run effort. He struck out four, walked one, allowed one hit and induced 13 groundballs.

High-A Modesto, W 4-3 (10) - (8-12, W4, 4th, 5.0 GB)

Juan Gonzalez (2006, VZ) allowed three runs in the first, but Gonzalez, Craig Bennigson (2008, 9th round), Nick Schnaitmann (2008, 22nd round), Kurt Yacko (2008, 8th round) and Adam Jorgensen (2008, 26th round) held Visalia scoreless for nine straight innings to follow. That allowed the Nuts to chip away at the Oaks. An RBI double from #19 PuRP Corey Dickerson (2010, 8th round) and solo homers from Helder Velazquez (2006, 5th round) and Jared Clark (2009, 12th round) provided single tallies in the 6th, 7th and 8th innings. Dickerson singled to lead off the 10th and scored the winning run after a bunt and two wild pitches.

Low-A Asheville, W 4-3 (10) - (12-7, W1, 2nd, 3.5 GB)

That isn't a misprint. Both A-ball teams won 4-3 in 10 innings on the road. Both were gifted the final run a bit as well. #12 PuRP Trevor Story (2011, sandwich round) singled with two outs in the tenth, then Lakewood first baseman lost his glove. Or something. Story advanced to second with 1B Harold Martinez dropped a pick-off throw. Story then scored when Jared Simon (2010, 6th round) grounded out to short with two outs and Martinez missed catching the throw from short.

Contrary to Modesto, Asheville led the whole way, losing three separate one-run leads. The last came in the bottom of the ninth when HM PuRP Sam Mende (2011, 31st round) was charged with a missed catch error on a pick off, and Ryan Casteel (2010, 17th round) was charged with a passed ball. Daniel Winkler (2011, 20th round) allowed two runs in five innings on six hits. He struck out seven and walked two.

AAA Colorado Springs, Off Day - (12-8, 2nd, 2.0 GB)

The Sky Sox had an off day to travel from Las Vegas to Fresno. #6 PuRP Alex White (2011, trade)will pitch tonight.

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