Saturday Pebble Report: The Roy Oswalt comeback tour

Mike Stobe

Last night, the DSL and Northwest (Short A) leagues made their debuts. Roy Oswalt's outing in Tulsa may have been his last before joining the major league team, and he certainly made it count. Also notable in last night's games were performances from Corey Dickerson, Taylor Featherston, and Rosell Herrera.

Colorado Springs 6, Las Vegas 2

The Sky Sox outhit the Las Vegas 51s 13-5 in last night's game. A 3-run rally in the seventh gave them a 5-2 lead, and excellent pitching performances by Drew Carpenter and C.J. Fick ensured victory. Drew Carpenter pitched seven innings of 5-hit, 2-run ball, and Fick finished the game with two perfect innings. Neither pitcher allowed a walk.

The Sky Sox struck first, when Matt McBride hit his 14th home run of the year in the top of the second. This run was answered in the bottom of the second inning. Corey Dickerson hit a sacrifice fly in the 5th to score Drew Carpenter, and the 51s answered in kind in the bottom of the sixth. With two on in the seventh, Tim Wheeler doubled to drive in a run, then Corey Dickerson was intentionally walked to load the bases. A critical throwing error by 51s second baseman Wilmer Flores allowed Charlie Blackmon and Tim Wheeler to score.

Corey Dickerson was 3-for-3 in last night's game with a sac-fly RBI and an intentional walk. In his last 10 games, there was only one game where he was hitless (and even in that game, he reached twice via walk). Otherwise, he has had at least two hits in every game in that stretch, good for a positively insane .526/.546/.842 line and a 1.417 OPS. He has only struck out twice in the last 10 games.

Tulsa 2, Arkansas 0

In what was probably his last start in AA, Roy Oswalt absolutely shined. He pitched into the ninth inning, allowing 5 hits, zero runs, one walk, and striking out seven on 102 pitches. All five of the hits he allowed were singles. Of course, there is a big difference between hitting at the AA level versus the Major league level, but the former All-Star says he is feeling good. It will be really interesting to watch how this pans out in the next few days.

While the offense was far from effective, it was enough in light of Oswalt's performance. The offense scored only two runs, the first off of a Dustin Garneau home run in the second, and the second off of a Delta Cleary RBI single in the fourth. The offense collected seven hits, four walks, and eight strikeouts, and the only extra base hit was Garneau's homer. Rafael Ortega and Christhian Adames had two hits apiece.

Bakersfield 5, Modesto 3

Modesto fell to Bakersfield despite outhitting their opponents. Ryan Casteel was responsible for three out of the seven hits, while Taylor Featherston and Jose Rivera each had two hits. Taylor Featherson's two hits were a double and a triple. It broke up a small slump where he had failed to reach base in the last two games after putting together a 8 game hitting streak. The team recorded a frustrating 9 strikeouts.

Eddie Butler started for Modesto. He pitched five innings, allowing one run on three hits and a walk, while striking out five. Geoff Parker entered the game, but was credited for four earned runs and exited the game without recording an out. He gave up two walks, two singles, and a double before he was replaced by Russell Brewer. Brewer walked Kyle Waldrop to load the bases, then induced a double play which scored another runner.

Asheville 3, Lexington 2

After falling behind 2-0 in the first four and a half innings, the team was able to score late and bounce back for the win. Shane Broyles pitched one of his best starts of the year, but did not factor into the decison. He allowed two runs, including a solo home run, on five hits and two walks in six innings of work. Patrick Johnson, Brook Hart, and Rayan Gonzalez combined to allow one hit and two walks in three innings to hold Lexington back to just the two runs.

Max White drove in two of the team's three runs, and doubled in Asheville's first run of the game in the 5th. Though he drove in a second run in the 7th, he was caught out at second trying to stretch a single into a double. Rosell Herrera scored the go-ahead run on a solo home run to put the Tourists up 3-2. This was Herrera's 13th homer of the season. He has collected 15 hits in his last 10 games, with three of those going yard.

Tri-City 5, Vancouver 9

Peter Tago had an inauspicious start to his season, as he was tagged with 7 runs and did not escape the fifth inning. His troubles were largely due to control issues. He lost control of the game in the fourth. After walking Jordan Leyland and hitting Daniel Klein, he threw two wild pitches to Justin Atkinson, which allowed the runners to advance, and Jordan Leyland to score. Atkinson then singled in Klein. Vancouver was able to steal four bases with Tago on the mound.

While the five runs were not enough to overcome Tago's shaky start, there were some encouraging signs. The team got eight hits and eight walks, and only struck out four times. After going scoreless through the first three innings, the offense was able to put runs on the board in four of the remaining innings. Zach Osborne (SS) and Jose Monzon (RF) had two hits apiece.

DSL Rockies 3, DSL Phillies 1 (14 innings)

Javier Palacios, David Martinez, Raul Hernandez, and Cristian Quintin combined to allow 1 run on nine hits and three walks in 14 innings of play. Palacios pitched five innings of 2 hit shutout baseball. After walking the first batter he faced, he faced the minimum. He allowed only isolated singles in the fourth and fifth. Martinez relieved Palacios, and looked a little more hittable, though no runner made it past second base until the eighth inning, when the DSL Phillies tied up the game and forced extra innings.

Raul Hernandez replaced Martinez with one out in the ninth. He pitched through the 13th, allowing only a hit and a walk and striking out four. After the offense put up two runs in the top of the 14th, Quintin entered the game and allowed only a single and a wild pitch to complete the game.

Meanwhile, the offense countered with only 9 hits and three runs of their own, though they were able to capitalize off of the Phillies' critical error in the 14th inning to garner two runs. Luis Castro (3B) had three hits in his DSL debut and Henry Garcia (1B) had two hits.

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