Monday Pebble Report: Outman, Winkler Among Few Pitching Success Stories

Doug Pensinger

It was a rough night for the Rockies system, with only the Modesto Nuts achieving victory. Tulsa and Asheville lost close games, with Colorado Springs devastated by a 13-run deficit.

Reno 14, Sky Sox 1

The Sky Sox were annihilated yesterday in the closing game of the series against the Reno Aces. The biggest issue was Sky Sox pitching. Starter Nick Schmidt looked fairly smooth through the first third of the game but fell apart in the fourth, allowing five hits including three doubles, resulting in four Reno runs crossing the plate. Josh Outman, providing the only bright spot on the Sox pitching staff for the game, finished the inning with two strikeouts, and continued to hold the game steady through the next two (most importantly, not allowing any walks along the way). Josh Sullivan was lit up in the seventh, retiring only one batter between four hits and two walks, with five runs charged to the right hander. Coty Woods allowed two home runs in his inning and two thirds of work. Jeff Manship's three runs were all unearned due to an error by Charlie Culberson.

The offense scraped together eight hits, all singles, with Ben Paulsen and Tommy Manzella leading the charge with two each. The Sky Sox' only run came in the bottom of the ninth with a pinch hit RBI single from Corey Dickerson off of former Rockie Will Harris, who recently joined the Diamondbacks organization after being claimed off waivers from Oakland mere days after leaving the Rockies org.

Nolan Arenado sat out the game in favor of Ryan Wheeler, one of the concerns I had about Arenado beginning the year in Colorado Springs. Hopefully this does not become a regular decision.

Tulsa 2, Corpus Cristi 3

The Drillers came up just short in this close nail-biter. Kent Matthes led the Drillers with two hits, including a double, with a run scored. Dustin Garneau and Joey Wong had the two RBI hits in the second inning. Still hitless this season, Henry Wrigley was the only Drillers batter to work a walk.

Starter Tim Gustafson allowed two of the three Corpus Cristi runs in his three and a third innings, including one on an incident with two wild pitches in the first inning that allowed a batter from second base to move to third and then score. Parker Frazier rebounded from his poor outing earlier in the week with a smooth few innings. Michael Solbach would surrender the difference maker in the eighth inning with back to back doubles for the loss. It was Solbach's first run allowed in seventeen innings with the Rockies organization between 2012 and this year.

Modesto 5, Inland Empire 2

Starter Danny Winkler followed Ben Alsup's gem on Saturday with a pretty nice outing of his own, leading to the only Rockies minor league win on the day. He limited Inland Empire to just a single run on four singles and a walk, while striking out six in just under as many innings. Kraig Sitton was the lone Nut reliever to struggle, walking two and allowing the second run, but Nelson Gonzalez limited the damage by ending the inning with a strikeout. Russell Brewer and Scott Oberg pitched cleanly, with Oberg securing his first save of the season.

Triple was the word of the day for the Modesto offense. Three triples were hit, including one by David Kandilas, who led the team with three knocks in the game. First baseman Harold Riggins, off to a great start this year, also tripled and knocked in three of the Nuts runs on two total hits. The final triple belonged to Juan Crousset, who also had two hits. Trevor Story struck out twice, and is still struggling out of the gate.

Asheville 5, West Virginia 6

The Tourists fell for the first time in 2013 in extra innings. This was Jonathan Vargas' first start in the system since 2010, having missed 2011 due to injury and spending 2012 rehabbing as a reliever in Grand Junction. Vargas walked five batters over four innings, but limited the damage to two runs over his four innings. Alving Mejias and Josh Slaats both struggled in relief, allowing three more runs on six hits between them. Jesse Meaux put up the best Tourists pitching numbers in the game, striking out three batters and stranding all three hits against him. Roberto Padilla lost the game in the 11th inning, giving up a solo home run with two outs.

While the Tourists kept themselves in the game, they struck out 11 times, including 3 strikeout affairs for both Tom Murphy and Matt Arygropoulos. In addition, the only extra-base hit was a double by Derek Jones, the outfielder who has replaced David Dahl on the roster for the time being. Francisco Sosa and Jason Stolz each managed two hits, while Kyle Von Tungeln knocked in two runs with his lone single. He also walked twice and was picked off.

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