Colorado Springs 5, Reno Aces 2
Record: 9-6, 2nd Place
In six innings of work last night, Nick Schmidt struck out seven, walked two, allowed two hits, and gave up one run, a solo shot to Tuffy Gosewisch in the bottom of the third. Manny Corpas allowed another run to the Aces in his second inning of work. Ryan Wheeler drove in Charlie Blackmon with a two out single in the first inning. Ryan Wheeler struck again in the third. His home run to left field brought Charlie Blackmon home again, and proved to be all the offensive production needed for victory.
The Sky Sox bats stayed quiet through the next few innings; Reno's pitching staff only faced the minimum from the 4th through the 7th innings. Tyler Colvin hit a home run, his fourth of the year, to lead off the 9th inning. His 7-game hitting streak now matches the major league club's winning streak. Ben Paulsen followed that up with a double. He advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. Nolan Arenado was brought in as a pinch hitter to replace Manny Corpas. He did not disappoint, hitting a line drive single to center field to drive in Paulsen for the 5th run.
Tulsa 5, NW Arkansas Naturals 4
Record: 7-7, T-1st place
The Tulsa Drillers recap of last night's game basically took the word out of my mouth: between the two of them, Kiel Roling and Kyle Parker(#4 PuRP) have provided most of the power for what has been an otherwise underwhelming offensive team. Including last night's home runs by the pair, they have now hit 8 of the team's 17 home runs. Dustin Garneau also delivered a fine offensive performance, going 3-for-4 including a double and a solo home run.
In 44 plate appearances this year, Kiel Roling has only 9 hits and two walks. His 15 strikeouts means that he is striking out more than a third of the time he is in the batter's box. While his walk rate will hopefully rise and his strikeout rate will hopefully normalize a little towards his career numbers, this could be a concern for him early in the season. It also means that his .798 OPS is almost entirely driven by his power numbers.
Modesto 1, Stockton Ports 9
Record: 8-8, 3rd place
Modesto delivered the only loss in the Friday games. Trevor Story(#3 PuRP) doubled in Jordan Ribera in the 3rd inning to provide the first run of the game, and Stockton answered back in the bottom of the 4th to tie it up. Tyler Anderson (#8 PuRP) was not able to escape the 6th inning. Going into last night's game, Anderson had allowed only 4 earned runs and 1 home run in his 3 games, 17.1 innings of work. He double his earned run total and tripled his home run total, while striking out only two in 5.1 innings of work last night.
Anderson allowed back-to-back homers to Adam Rosales and Maxwell Muncy (his 6th of the year) to lead off the bottom of the 6th. After inducing a pop out and allowing a single, he left the game and William Rankin entered the game. In the 6th and 7th innings, Rankin gave up two home runs and a triple, allowing Stockton to take away a 9-1 win over Modesto.
Asheville 7, Rome Braves 5
Record: 7-9, T-5th
Last night's box score has some pretty interesting numbers. Every single player for Asheville got at least one hit last night. They were able to capitalize on defensive miscues from the opposing team, as only 2 of their 7 runs were earned. Neither team allowed a home run and Asheville's pitching staff gave up three times as many walks as extra base hits.
Eddie Butler (#13 PuRP) delivered a solid pitching performance. He walked three, struck out 4, gave up 4 singles and 2 runs. He induced an impressive 11 ground ball outs to only one fly ball out. Chris O'Dowd (yes, the son of Dan O'Dowd), made his second appearance for Asheville, going 3-for-4 with a double, a stolen base, and 2 RBIs.