Salt River Rafters vs Scottsdale: Tue, Oct 8 - L 5-6
The Rockies had three starters in this inaugural game of the 2014 Arizona Fall League season. Kyle Parker started at first base, with Tim Wheeler at designated hitter and Dustin Garneau catching behind the dish.
The Rafters faced talented Pirates prospect Jameson Taillon, ranked as a top 20 prospect by Baseball America over the past three seasons. Taillon kept the Rockies players in check their first time through the order, inducing a groundout from Kyle Parker and a strikeout from Wheeler.
Parker had the big splash of the game, knocking a three-run homer in the third against Giants prospect Adalberto Mejia. The home run would have been a grand slam, except Toronto's Kenny Wilson was thrown out trying to steal. Parker finished the game going 1-for-3 with a walk and three RBI. Garneau and Wheeler went hitless in eight at-bats, although Dustin Garneau had two line drives that were caught.
The Rockies had two pitchers come on in relief during the game. Right hander Dan Houston pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, allowing one hit that was erased by catcher Dustin Garneau on a caught stealing. Tyler Matzek pitched a scoreless seventh, needing 21 pitches to get through four batters. The left hander walked one and struck out one, but earned a hold for his effort.
Salt River Rafters vs Scottsdale: Wed, Oct 9 - W 12-2
Tim Wheeler was the lone starter for the Rockies in this game, roaming left field for the Rafters. Wheeler walked in the second inning before notching his first stolen base of the AFL season. Tim reached again in the third on a pulled single to right field, but was eventually stranded at second. The left fielder finished the game 1-for-4 with two walks and three strikeouts. Cristhian Adames came on in the eighth inning as a defensive replacement and doubled in his lone at-bat in the ninth.
Cardinals prospect Jameson Ramsey hit a three-run home run in the eighth inning. The home run was part of a six-run effort in the inning for the Rafters. There weren't any Rockies pitchers who made an appearance in this game, but a former Rockies third round draft pick (2011) and current Yankees prospect Peter O'Brien homered for the Scottsdale Scorpions.
Hall of Fame - Prior to the game, Phillies first baseman and sandwich artist Ryan Howard was officially inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame. Howard played for Phoenix in the 2004 AFL season, part of an impressive minor league year for Howard as he hit a combined 46 home runs between Double-A and Triple-A prior to playing in Arizona.
Bowman Hitting Challenge - Rockies first baseman Kyle Parker will participate in the first annual Bowman Hitting Challenge on Oct. 12 hosted in Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Top prospects from around the AFL will be taking part including: Byron Buxton and Addison Russell. The event is described by MLB.com as:
Hitters taking part in the event will receive two minutes to hit against live pitching and be rewarded for points between 100-500. Hitters also can earn points by hitting a wide array of targets on the field and their final swing will come off a tee and be worth double points.