It was a night of threes for Alex White, who allowed three of the Sacramento runs on three hits and three walks, enough to get him his third loss of the season. Most of the damage came off of the Sky Sox bullpen. While Jared Wells pitched a clean inning and a third, a continually struggling Zach Simons allowed three runs in his inning on three hits (including a two-run home run) and Adam Ottavino allowed another on three more hits.
Though the Sky Sox pit up an average seeming seven hits, only one run crossed the plate. Brendan Harris tripled, and was driven in on an Andrew Brown sacrifice fly. Hernan Iribarren had the strongest potential contribution with two singles and a walk, but was never in a position to drive in a run, and was ultimately never driven in himself. The Sky Sox also had an ugly defensive game with four errors, including two from Jordan Pacheco at third base. Pacheco's .455 average at AAA since being demoted is obviously impressive, but if the team is truly waiting for a showing of improved infield defense, we may have to wait a little longer before we see Chris Nelson "freed" from the third base job.
Starter Nick Schmidt was excellent through five and two thirds, allowing just three hits with no walks and five strikeouts. Joey Williamson, who has been excellent in his first season in a full-time bullpen role, struck out two of the four batters he faced, but it was ultimately Michael Marbry in the eighth inning who blew the game. Up until this point, Marbry had also fared very well in 2012. He induced easy flyouts from the first two batters, but after hitting Arkansas shortstop Jean Segura with a pitch, he allowed three straight singles, yielding the lead to the opposition. It was his first loss on the year.
The Drillers offense wasn't particularly effective. In the second inning, Mike Zuanich singled in Ben Paulsen, and in the fifth, Angelys Nina reached on a fielding error, allowing Kiel Roling, who had reached on a double, the only extra base hit from the Drillers, to score. The Drillers offense has been lagging lately; the team has four starters flirting with -.200 batting averages, and even Nolan Arenado's batting average has fallen 40 points over the past week and a half.
Asheville had the day off, but Modesto played two. Check them out after the jump.
A first inning home run from Visalia shortstop Chris Owings was the only run scored in the game. Starter Juan Gonzalez pitched the entire length of the seven inning game, putting up a pretty decent line with 5 hits allowed, no walks and three strikeouts. Gonzalez is having a great rebound year statistically so far after a disastrous 2011, but even so, the starter is now 0-3 on the year.
The Nuts offense featured very little in this game, though as you will see, apparently they were saving it all for Game #2. Rafael Ortega singled twice and Corey Dickerson doubled and walked, but there's little more to say. The injury plagued Nuts are still lacking a true lineup up to the task of the A+ level.
Visalia's offense was consistent between the two games, but Modesto's production was a night and day of difference. Reliever Craig Bennigson got the spot start and lasted three effective innings. While he did not produce a strikeout, he allowed just two hits and a walk during his time on the mound. Juan Perez allowed a solo home run in the fourth, thankfully before he walked two batters. Isaiah Froneberger, who picked up his second relief win of the season, and Kraig Sitton were wrapped up the game skillfully, striking out six batters between them.
The star of the offense was Jared Clark, who hit his second home run of the season and batted in four of the Nuts' ten runs. He was also one of five Nuts to put up multiple hits in the game, along with Brett Tanos, Corey Dickerson, Helder Velazquez and Chandler Laurent. Dustin Garneau, the only player in the lineup not to record a hit, still reached twice on walks and scored both times. The Nuts struck out only three times in this second outing, maximizing their balls in play.