Wednesday Pebble Report: Who Needs Walks?

Salt Lake 6, Colorado Springs 4

Despite an outpouring of hits, the Sky Sox were unable to convert enough of them into runs to keep up with Salt Lake. Guillermo Moscoso (5-5 in the minors with the loss) struggled with both control and nastiness, never a good combination. He allowed seven hits and walked four more on top of them over his five and a third innings, striking out only two. Zach Putnam, who has struggled recently, allowed a run on two hits and a walk. In good news on the pitching front, Will Harris threw another two scoreless innings. The long-time Rockies farmhand is in the final year of his contract, and has not allowed a run since being promoted to the AAA level.

Charlie Blackmon and Wilkin Castillo both had three hit nights, but each was only able to score once. Brandon Roberts and Brandon Wood each had two hits, including a triple for Wood. The big hit never came for the Sky Sox, who has 22 instances of a runner being left on base.

Springfield 0, Tulsa 7

An all around good effort from the Drillers. Kent Matthes continued his Tuesday success with his 13th home run of the season, also scoring twice. Jimmy Cesario hit his third of the year (second at the AA level) as part of a two hit outing, with three runs batted in. Tim Torres doubled twice, and Corey Dickerson also got two hits, out of the leadoff spot no less. The final multi-hit outing was Lars Davis, with two singles. Nolan Arenado walked twice, but his hitting slump at the plate continued with an 0 for 3 night.

Josh Outman put up an excellent start, allowing just two hits and two walks over six innings. He struck out for, and secured his first win at any level in the 2012 season. Zach Simons and Joey Williamson were good in relief, with four strikeouts between them.

Visalia 3, Modesto 4 - (11 Innings)

Starter Leuris Gomez was extraordinarily easy to adjust to for Visalia, but they were not able to capitalize. The starter allowed eleven hits over six innings, striking out three and walking none. During this time, only the three Visalia runs scored. Nick Schnaitmann finished regulation play, throwing three innings of uneventful baseball.

The Nuts spread the offense around. Rafael Ortega, Delta Cleary Jr. and Joey Wong (who had a triple in the game) each had two hits, while Brett Tanos (2), Kyle Parker (3) and Juan Crousset (2) each produced multiple walks. Interestingly enough, none of these seven walks ever came around to score, which sets up a theme for the lower levels of the farm system in yesterday's games: lack of need for walks. In the seventh inning, Tanos doubled in Cleary Jr. to tie the game, which would last until the 11th, when Parker would single in Dustin Garneau. Isaiah Froneberger picked up his fourth win of the season, having thrown the two extra innings.

Asheville 3, Rome 1

Despite being outhit and a lack of control from starter Chris Jensen, the Toyrists pulled out a victory. Jensen got his 10th win of the year, tying him with Ben Alsup for the Ashveille lead, despite walking four batters in five innings, and allowing five hits on top. The starter allowed only the one run during that five innings, with Geoff Parker, Kenneth Roberts, Nelson Gonzalez and Jefri Hernandez (who got his 15th 2012 save) putting up uneventful relief outings.

Jordan Ribera hit his second home run of the year (both with Asheville) to provide two of the Tourists runs, the only extra base hit for Asheville. The third was batted in my Samuel Mende, the only owner of multiple hits by the Tourists. Harold Riggins and Tyler Massey accounted for the other two hits. No Tourists walked in the game.

Tri-City 1, Spokane 4

Speaking of pitchers who were hittable but effective, see the performance of T.J. Oakes in this game. The rookie starter allowed ten hits over six innings, but only one run crossed the plate during those innings thanks to nine strikeouts, and no walks to boot. The game didn't unravel for Tri-City until Michael Wolford, recently demoted from Asheville with Rafael Suarez returning from the DL, went into the game and allowed three runs on three hits and two walks, cementing the game in Spokane's favor. The loss was Wolford's first at the short season level, and the reliever is now 2-2 overall.

The Dust Devils offense was fairly bland. Though Tom Murphy and Derek Jones both had two hits each, they failed to score each time. A triple from Murphy and a double from Miguel De Leon were the only extra base hits in the game for the team. Kyle Von Tungeln walked three times, in addition to a single. Francisco Sosa struck out three times.

Grand Junction 2, Billings 15 - (Game 1 of 2)

In the first game of a double header making up yesterday's weather-related postponement, the GJ Rockies were absolutely annihilated. Both runs scored on a Jose Briceno home run, his second of the year. Bricineo and David Dahl each had two hits in the game, together accounting for all four Grand Junction hits. Ryan Garvey and Julian Yan reached on walks. Max White continued to struggle as he begins his professional career, striking out in all three of his plate appearances. Worst of all, the Rockies committed six errors in the seven inning game, including two more by Matt Wessinger, who already has 15 errors in just 23 games as a pro.

Though starter Johendi Jiminian was not helped by the errors, he was extremely hittable as well, allowing eight hits over just four innings , including a three run home run. Nine of Billings' runs crossed under Jiminian's watch, though only four were earned. The bullpen did not fair much better. Patrick Johnson allowed a solo home run in the fifth. In one of the strangest relief outings I have ever seen, Rayan Gonzalez struck out the side in between allowing five runs on four hits and a walk.

Grand Junction 6, Billings 0 - (Game 2 of 2)

Thankfully, the GJ Rockies looked a lot better for the second affair. Starter Eddie Butler (2-1 with this win) did let five hits fall in five and a third innings, but he made Billings work to put the ball in play, striking out seven over those five and a third innings while walking none. Raul Fernandez and Jesse Meaux finished the game cleanly.

David Dahl got two hits for the second time on the day, but the offense's big star was Julian Yan, who knocked in three runs with two doubles and scored two more of the runs himself. Steven Graeter continued a hot start to his pro career with a double as one of two hits, while Jeff Popick tripled as part of two hits of his own. The final multi-hit player was Jason Stolz, with two singles and a run batted in. Wilfredo Rodriguez also knocked in a run on his only hit, a double. Once again, a Rockies affiliate won a game without a single one of their batters taking a walk.

DSL Twins 9, DSL Rockies 7 - (10 Innings)

In this very offense-driven game, the two teams left regulation play tied at 7 runs apiece. Starter Helmis Rodriguez was uncharacteristically hittable, allowing five runs on nine hits and a walk over just three and two thirds innings. After Javier Palacios and Jhonriz Santana stopped the bleeding, a difficult inning from Angel Reyes got the Twins up to seven runs across. Come the 10th inning, Andres Medrano (1-2 on the year with the loss) allowed two more runs to cross, which were enough for the win when the Rockies offense failed to retaliate in the bottom of the inning.

Henry Garcia hit his second home run of the season, a solo shot, as one of two hits on the day, plus two RBI. Wilkyns Jimenez doubled as one of his two hits, and also knocked in two runs. Raimel Tapia and Yonathan Daza also had two-hit games.

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