We'll start with the Rockies organization's only win on Wednesday, then get to the playoff game recaps afterward.
RK Grand Junction: W 5-4 (42-33, 2nd, 2 GB)
Jorge De La Rosa did what he should do against rookie-ball hitters, as he struck out five batters in three scoreless innings in his first action since June. Johendi Jiminian followed with a scoreless innings, and the next four relievers all allowed one run, but were still able to preserve the win for the Rockies.
Carl Thomore got back on track last night after a setback on Tuesday, as his 3-for-4 effort raised his average to .208. Meanwhile, Jason Stolz went 2-for-2 with a two-run homer, his second of the year.
The Rockies will conclude the Pioneer League regular season tonight against Ogden before opening up a best-of-three playoff series at home on Friday afternoon against, you guessed it, Ogden.
AA Tulsa: L 8-6 (down 0-1 in best-of-five series)
The Drillers lit up Cardinals pitching prospect Carlos Martinez for six runs in four innings and kept super-prospect Oscar Taveras' bat in check, but a blowup in the back end of the bullpen, combined with a monster game from Springfield's Chris Swauger, resulted in a loss for Tulsa in its playoff opener.
Swauger homered three times -- two solo shots off of Parker Frazier, who was otherwise pretty good, and a two-run shot off of Coty Woods in the tenth -- leading his team to victory. Frazier allowed three runs on six hits in 5.2 innings, but Josh Sullivan and Woods combined to allow five runs in three innings. Woods was nearly unhittable at Tulsa this season, while Sullivan had an outstanding season as well. So, it was definitely an unexpected outcome.
Angelys Nina, Lars Davis and Chris Pettit had two hits apiece to lead the Drillers' offense. Davis homered, as did Nolan Arenado. Both were two-run shots off of Martinez. Troy Tulowitzki went 1-for-3 with a single and a strikeout before being replaced by Warren Schaeffer.
Modesto and Asheville recaps after the jump.
A+ Modesto: L 3-1 (down 0-1 in best-of-three series)
Without the services of Kyle Parker, who is out with a strained ligament in his thumb, the Nuts struggled to mount much offense against San Jose in losing the first game of a best-of-three playoff series. It's a shame, too, because Christian Bergman was lights-out on the mound for Modesto. Bergman went seven innings and allowed two earned runs on six hits while walking one and striking out nine.
Modesto's lone run came via a solo homer from Rafael Ortega in the third inning. Ortega had two hits, while the rest of the team combined for just five singles -- and no run production.
A Asheville: L 5-3 (down 0-1 in best-of-three series)
Asheville was done in their playoff opener by an unfortunate second inning, as well as the fact that they only got two hits out of their offense. Alsup allowed four runs in the fourth (five overall), on three groundball hits, a line drive single, and a walk. One of the groundball hits went for a double that plated two runs. Alsup was unable to miss any bats, as he didn't record a strikeout in 5.2 innings of work. That certainly came back to bite him.
Interestingly enough, Rome took a combined no-hitter into the ninth, but Trevor Story broke it up by singling after a Brian Humphries walk. Following another walk, this time to Tyler Massey, Jordan Ribera hit a bases-clearing double to get Asheville to within two. However, that's as far as the Tourists would get in their attempt at a rally, as Samuel Mende and Will Swanner both struck out swinging to end the game.