AAA Colorado Springs - L 0-1, (25-24, L1, 2nd 1.0 GB)
The recently demoted Charlie Culberson hit an unassuming ground ball in the first inning that usually would mean little. This time, it came with the bases loaded after two singles and a HBP with one out that Hernan Irribarren (2012, MiLB FA) and #20 PuRP Tommy Field (2008, 24th round) could not convert into an inning ending double play. The significance? A run scored, the only run either team would manage last night in Fresno. Rob Scahill (2009, 8th round) paid for the plunking in an otherwise wildly effective outing. He allowed the one run on five hits, walked four and threw 58% of his pitches for strikes. The offense managed just five hits, but three were doubles, including one by Brandon Wood (2012, MiLB FA) in the ninth inning.
AA Tulsa Drillers - W 7-3, (28-20, W2, 1st)
The disappointing season of #18 PuRP Joe Gardner (2011, trade) had its brightest spot last night. The right-hander worked six innings, four of them 1-2-3 frames, while allowing just one hit. That hit was a ground ball single that scored a runner from second who had walked and advanced on a ground out. Offensively, the Drillers got two hits and at least one RBI from #9 PuRP Josh Rutledge (2010, 3rd round), Tim Torres (2012, MiLB FA), Lars Davis (2007, 3rd round), and Michael Mitchell (2007, 25th round). #2 PuRP Nolan Arenado (2009, 2nd round) also had a 2-run single.
High-A Modesto - L 2-3, (13), (24-25, L1, 3rd, 7.5 GB)
Without fail, a high-scoring game at Coors Field engenders jokes of a broken humidor. I'm sure there are such jokes about when High Desert, typically the scariest place a pitcher has ever seen, plays atypically, but I don't know what those jokes are. Imagine me telling that joke now, and smiling because you're on the inside of that joke as well. Anyway, High Desert is like Coors Field shot to the moon, on steroids. Somehow, after giving up 18 runs Friday, the Modesto Nuts managed to allowed exactly one earned run in the last two games. Unfortunately, it came in the bottom of the 13th last night in a loss when Isaiah Froneberger (2007, 4th round) allowed the walkoff win with a two-out single.
Brandon Hynick (2012, MiLB FA) followed up Tyler Matzek's gem Friday with one of his own, going seven strong innings and allowing two unearned runs on three hits. One scored with the help of a passed ball, and the second scored thanks to a fielding error by #19 PurP Corey Dickerson (2010, 8th round), one of two he had on the night to push his season total to a worrisome eight. In fairness to Corey, both errors were reportedly due to excessive wind and could have been ruled hits. Chandler Laurent (2009, 21st round) doubled thrice, with the last one driving in two runs to tie the game in the seventh inning. #7 PuRP Kyle Parker (2010, 1st round) ended a three game hitless streak with a three-hit game, the third time he's reached that total in his last six games.
Here's your mind-boggling statistic for the day: the Nuts went 1-for-20 with RISP in the game, which isn't much better than the 2-for-27 mark they had in the series' first two games.
Low-A Asheville - W 12-2, (33-16, W2, 1st)
I wasn't particularly excited about Asheville's Opening Day roster when it came out, not compared to 2011's, but this group just keeps on clicking. Ben Alsup (2011, 18th round) turned in the best start of his pro career, holding the Rome Braves to two runs on three hits in seven sterling innings. Alsup struck out five and did not walk a batter. He didn't need to be so good, as the Tourists offense ambushed the Braves early.
By the time Rome's 7-hole hitter got to the plate for the first time, the Tourists were already leading 11-0. #11 PurP Rosell Herrera (2009, DR) tripled and doubled and may be making that long-awaited adjustment, as he has 30% of his season hits in the last eight games. #12 PuRP Trevor Story (2011, sandwich pick) drove in three with two knocks, Ryan Casteel (2010, 17th round) had three hits and Asheville got two hits each from Delta Cleary (2008, 37th round), Taylor Featherston (2011, 5th round), and Harold Riggins (2011, 7th round) as well.