Sunday Pebble Report: Eddie Butler wobbles, finishes strong in Modesto debut

It was time for Eddie Butler to pitch in High-A Modesto. - by Charlie Drysdale

Starter Eddie Butler struggled in the first inning, only to finish strong in his High-A debut. Recently promoted outfielder Max White has another solid game in Asheville and Modesto's Ryan Casteel homers.

Triple-A Colorado Springs - W 7-5 in 12 innings (29-18)

The Sky Sox defeated Fresno, the Giants' Triple-A affiliate, on Saturday at Security Service Field. Six different pitchers made an appearance for the Sky Sox and reliever Mike McClendon earned the win on a two inning performance to finish the game. Newly acquired starter Roman Colon made his second start and still hasn't allowed an earned run, though he has yielded seven unearned runs through 5.2 innings pitched.

The Grizzlies honored Charlie Culberson before the game by presenting him with a World Series ring for his service with the San Francisco Giants last year. Culberson played six games in a Giants uniform and started five times at second base. Josh Rutledge was scratched before the game due to a mild stomach ailment according to Gazette beat writer Brent Briggeman.

First baseman Ben Paulsen won the game with a walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the 12th. It was Paulsen's second hit of the game and his sixth homer of the season. Right fielder Matt McBride went 3-for-6 with a pair of doubles and is hitting .379 on the year. Third baseman Ryan Wheeler also had three hits, including a double, and is hitting .387. Leftfielder Corey Dickerson (#7 PuRP) had a hit and a walk.

Double-A Tulsa - L 1-3 (22-25)

The Drillers lost to Frisco, the Texas Rangers' Double-A affiliate, at ONEOK Field on Saturday. Starter Tyler Matzek (#10 PuRP) pitched well, throwing five scoreless frames, before serving up a three-run home run in the top of the sixth. Matzek lasted six innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits while adding three strikeouts and a walk. Since the addition of Roy Oswalt, Dan Houston has been moved to the pen and made his first relief appearance, pitching three scoreless innings with one strikeout and two walks.

Designated hitter Kyle Parker (#4 PuRP) went 1-for-2 with two walks and a strikeout in the game. Catcher Dustin Garneau scored the Drillers lone run on a home run in the seventh. Kent Matthes doubled in four at bats.

High-A Modesto

Game 1 - L 0-2 (20-26)

The Nuts may have been suffering from a hangover after experiencing a rough 48 hours where they had a game called due to a bomb scare in the seventh on Thursday and then a 17-inning game on Friday. The Nuts then played two games on Saturday, completing the final two innings of the suspended game from Thursday.

In the totals for the first game, Modesto was held scoreless and was able to produce only four total hits. Designated hitter Will Swanner (#5 PuRP) had one of the hits and walked once, improving his average to .178 on the season. Second baseman Taylor Featherston (#22 PuRP) was injured on the final play of the game and was placed on the disabled list with a hyperextended elbow. Featherston was batting .341 over his last 10 games according to Nuts radio announcer Alex Margulies.

Starter Chris Jensen tossed six solid innings, scattering three hits without allowing any runners to cross home plate. Most impressive was Jensen's eight strikeouts against one walk. Reliever Nick Schnaitmann earned his third loss of the season by giving up two earned runs and three hits in two innings.

Game 2 - W 6-2 (21-26)

The Nuts won game two against the Padres' High-A affiliate in Lake Elsinore on Saturday. The game marked Eddie Butler's (#13 PuRP) debut at the level. Butler struggled out of the gate giving up a pair of runs on two walks and two hits in the first. He gained traction after that, hitting 97 mph on his fastball and pitching 5.1 scoreless innings the rest of the way, His final line was 6.1 innings, two earned runs on five hits, two strikeouts and four walks for a 2.84 ERA.

Designated hitter Ryan Casteel led the Nuts with two hits, including a home run in the fourth. Casteel scored three runs and drove in a pair. Swanner and Trevor Story (#3 PuRP) each tallied a hit, with Story slugging his ninth double of the year.

A Asheville - W 8-7 (26-21)

The Tourists sacked Rome, the Atlanta Braves' A-ball affiliate, at home in McCormick Field on Saturday. Starter Matthew Carasiti earned the win after allowing six earned runs on nine hits through five innings pitched. Matt also struck out six and walked one, he allowed a pair of home runs to Braves hitters.

Rightfielder Dillon Thomas continues to fill the stat sheet, going 2-for-2 with a double and a pair of walks. Thomas is hitting .220/.396/.366 since his promotion earlier this month. Centerfielder Max White (#30 PuRP) was playing in his third game for Asheville since being promoted from extended spring training and went 1-for-3 with a walk. White is hitting .400/.455/.500 in three games.

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