AAA Colorado Springs – W 4-3 (11 Innings), (46-45, 2nd, 8.0 GB)
Every Sky Sox player had at least one hit but this night belonged to Andrew Brown. Not only did 27 year old outfielder have a team leading three hits, but he also smacked both a game tying home run in the 9th, and a game winning home run in the 11th. Brown now has eight home runs in his last nine games and a 1.403 OPS for the month of July. (He also has a 1.059 OPS since May 1st)
Meanwhile, Alex White was unspectacular again. He did make it through six innings while holding the Tacoma Rangers to three runs but this is not the outing we’ve been looking for as he also surrendered eight hits and three walks while only striking out two. The real pitching story of this game was Edgmer Escalona (3.0 IP), Will Harris (1.0 IP), and Coty Woods (1.0 IP) throwing a combined five perfect frames (as in 15 men up, 15 men down) through the 11th inning to nail down the win. Harris earned the win and Woods picked up the save, both firsts for them at the AAA level.
AA Tulsa – L 3-0, (8-12 (Second Half), 3rd, 5.5 GB)
While #8 PuRP Josh Rutledge (Tulsa’s best offensive player this season) shined in Denver, the rest of the Drillers struggled in Arkansas. Michael Mitchell did go 2-4 in Rutledge’s old leadoff spot and # 14 PuRP Corey Dickerson got on base three times with two walks and a double, but Tulsa was unable to push a single run across the plate against the Travelers pitching staff. As a result, Dan Houston got an undeserved loss as he went six innings without walking anyone and only gave up two runs.
High-A Modesto – L 5-4, (13-9 (Second Half), 2nd, 1.5 GB)
In what was easily the most frustrating game of the night, Modesto dropped to 0-7 in one run games against the San Jose Giants this season. The Giants handed out ten free passes and hit a batter but the Nuts could only manage four runs as they had just one extra base hit (a Kyle Parker double) and went 3-15 with runners in scoring position. The most painful sequence of events unfolded in the bottom of the 8th inning when the Nuts had already pushed across a run to tie the game at four and still had the bases loaded with one out. With victory within Modesto’s grasp, the game turned abruptly when both Delta Cleary Jr. and #10 PuRP Kyle Parker struck out to end the inning. Kurt Yacko then came in to pitch the 9th and immediately gave up the run that would land him with the loss.
Low-A Asheville – W 2-0, (12-10 (Second Half), 4th, 1.0 GB)
Thanks to seven shutout innings from Asheville starter Ben Alsup, the Tourist offense didn’t have to be great – And it’s a good thing too because they squandered numerous opportunities to turn this game into a blowout. Despite double digit hits, the Tourists went 1-14 with runners in scoring position and managed just two runs. Oddly, both came in the 5th inning when Asheville failed to hit a single line drive. Two well placed ground ball singles, a double steal, and two RBI groundouts were responsible for all the scoring in this game.
Several Tourists still had good games at the plate though. Jared Simon had three hits, #3 PuRP Trevor Story was on base twice with a double and a walk, and both #13 PuRP Will Swanner and #21 PuRP Harold Riggins went 2-4.
Tri-City – PPD, (13-14, 2nd, 3.5 GB)
This game was supposed to mark the debut of Seattle’s first round, and 3rd overall pick in this year’s draft in catcher Mike Zunino; but rain washed it out. It’s scheduled to be made up in a double header today beginning at 5:05 p.m. local time.
Grand Junction – W 10-1, (12-13, T-2nd, 3.0 GB)
Grand Junction mounted a full offense attack in the 6th inning as every Rockie hitter except David Dahl and Ben Waldrip (who made two outs in the inning) reached base in a seven run frame. Dahl did collect a hit earlier in the game, but it’s safe to say that he’s now in a mini slump as he’s just 4 for his last 26 at the plate. The best days came from Steven Graeter who had a team leading three hits and three RBIs and Ryan Garvey who went 2-4 with a home run.
# 27 PuRP Jayson Aquino isn’t the only pitcher throwing well for the DSL Rockies. 17 year old Antonio Senzatela now has a 15 inning streak going in which he’s given up just five hits, one walk, and zero earned runs. Unfortunately he did surrender an unearned run yesterday that hung him with the loss as his teammates were shut out of the run column despite outhitting the DSL D’Backs five to one.
Odd Fact of the Day: With the exception of Modesto (who gave up five runs), every club in the organization held their opponent to three runs or less yesterday.
Looking Ahead: #11 PuRP Edwar Cabrera is scheduled to take mound tonight for the Sky Sox at 8:05p.m. MT. It will be his third start in the Springs since being called from AA.