The Sky Sox returned home last night but it didn’t help them put the brakes on what is now a four game losing streak as Zach Putnam served up a two out, two run home run in the 9th. For a while things looked promising as #17 PuRP Christian Friedrich settled into a groove. After surrendering a single and a double to start the game, the Sky Sox starter retired 15 of the next 17 batters he faced and entered the 6th inning on his way to a seemingly easy win as his team led 6-1. That’s when the trouble began. The first four Grizzles who came to the plate would reach on two singles, a double and an Andrew Brown error. Friedrich very nearly escaped the jam with only two runs worth of damage when he struck out the next two batters but then allowed a clean single to right by light hitting catcher Jackson Williams (.183 BA) that knocked him from the game. His final line would read 5.2 IP, 5 runs (3 of them earned), 7 H, 6 K’s, and 0 BB. A very glass half empty / glass half full performance.
Offensively almost everybody had a good night as six Sky Sox starters had multi hit games. Brandon Roberts, D.J. LeMahieu, and Matt McBride each had two, #24 PuRP Jordan Pacheco and Andrew Brown had three, and Chad Tracy led the team with four. For Pacheco, those three hits now bring his average up to .433 and his OPS up to 1.106 on the season.
AA Tulsa – W 6-5, (20-8, 1st)
For the first time in a long time, #2 PuRP Nolan Arenado is in a slump. The Drillers pounded out 15 hits last night, but Arenado had just one of them. The highly touted hitting prospect now has just four hits in his last 25 at bats, a .320 OPS in his last seven games, zero extra base hits in his last eight games, and 7 K’s and 0 BB’s in his last nine games. His struggles have now gone far enough to drop his average below .300 and his OPS below .800. This shouldn’t change how we view Arenado as a prospect one iota but it does mean that he’ll have to overcome adversity in AA at least once before getting the call to the majors.
Tulsa’s offense had a weird night. They did have 15 hits including two from #9 PuRP Josh Rutledge, but not a single one of them went for extra bases.
On the mound, Dan Houston got the win going 5.2 innings and giving up just one run despite a suspicious looking 3 BB to 1 K ratio. Will Harris and Josh Sullivan did each give up two runs out of the pen to make the game interesting but the Drillers prevailed in the end.
A three run bomb by Chandler Laurent broke a 1-1 8th inning tie and propelled the Nuts to a 4-2 win. #19 PuRP Cory Dickerson collected yet another hit on Friday and has now hit safely in 28 of the 29 games he’s played in this year. #15 PuRP Rafael Ortega went 0-2 but did have 3 walks, which doubled his total on the season.
#27 PuRP Josh Slaats took a step in the right direction in this game going 5.2 IP and only giving up one run, but he did walk four which has been his bugaboo all season. His BB/9 is now at 5.34.
With the win, Modesto is now 10-3 in their last 13 games and has a chance to get back to .500 tonight after a dreadful 4-12 start out of the gate.
Low-A Asheville – L 8-5, (17-11, 2nd, 3.0 GB)
#12 PuRP Trevor Story had a nice bounce back game collecting two hits and a RBI after back to back hitless contests. Tyler Massey had the only other multi hit game for the tourists and the only hit that went for extra bases; a double to lead off the third. His OPS on the season now stands at an impressive .954.
On the mound, Ashville starter Vianney Mayo was not good. After throwing a complete game shutout the last time he faced West Virginia on April 16th, Mayo only lasted five innings and gave up six earned runs. Not surprisingly, he took the loss, his third of the season.
As linked in the Rockpile, Irv Moss has piece on Matt McBride. He also notes that the Nuts expect #7 PuRP Kyle Parker back in the next couple of weeks and that #14 PuRP Tyler Anderson should make his first start in a real game in about a month.