Monday Pebble Report: Drillers, Dust Devils sneak away with tricky wins

USA TODAY Sports

The Sky Sox and Nuts offenses broke out in big ways, while Tulsa and Tri-City sneaked away with close games.

Salt Lake 5, Colorado Springs 12

Charlie Culberson and Tim Wheeler had excellent games out of the first and second spots in the lineup. Culberson collected four hits, including a pair of doubles, and scored twice. Wheeler went deep as one of three hits and knocked in four runs. Ben Paulsen also collected three hits, while Corey Dickerson also left the yard. The hit parade continued into the bottom of the lineup as Tyler Colvin, Hernan Iribarren and Lars Davis also each had two hits.

Jeff Francis has quietly put together a string of excellent starts, enough to make him the most likely candidate to enter the rotation should the team choose not to recall Drew Pomeranz right away. Francis allowed just one run over six innings on five hits and a walk. He struck out five. Mike McClendon struggled in relief, allowing three runs over two innings. Steven Hensley allowed a solo home run in the ninth.

NW Arkansas 5, Tulsa 6

Dustin Garneau led the Drillers offense with three hits, including two doubles and a home run. He scored three of the six Tulsa runs. Kyle Parker had two hits and knocked in a pair of runs, as did Jayson Langfels. Jaron Shepherd doubled and walked twice, allowing for him to score two runs.

NW Arkansas punished starter Chad Bettis for his mistakes. While walking none, striking out six and allowing just five hits over his six innings, three of those hits were homers, leading to four earned runs. Josh Mueller and Jose Gonzalez kept the game 6-4 through their innings. An unearned run scored in the ninth off of Cole White when Garneau allowed a passed ball, but Garneau, always center of attention in this game, quickly finished off the game, throwing out a runner attempting to advance on the bases.

Modesto 12, Lancaster 3

Another blowout for a Rockies affiliate, this time Harold Riggins was the hero. He had four hits which included a double and two home runs. He scored three times and knocked in five more runs. David Kandilas and Niko Gallego at the top and bottom of the order each had three hits and scored twice. Brian Humphries, Will Swanner and Jose Rivera each had two hits, while Taylor Featherston hit a home run.

Daniel Winkler was not especially efficient, walking three over five innings, but thanks to five strikeouts and just four hits allowed, the damage was limited to three runs. Geoff Parker held down the game with three innings of solid pitching with Scott Oberg tossing a clean ninth.

West Virginia 2, Asheville 2 (Suspended after two innings)

A two-run Francisco Sosa homer and a hittable Matt Flemer are all of note here. The game will resume tomorrow prior to the evening's scheduled game.

Hillsboro 1, Tri-City 4

In this bizarre game, Tri-City managed to win the game despite only accumulating three hits, none of which came from the opposing starter. Hillsboro starter Jose Martinez did not allow a hit, but walked five batters, and Michael Benjamin punished him for it with a bases clearing double off of his replacement as part of a four run sixth inning for the Dust Devils. The other two hits were singles from Patrick Valaika and Wilson Soriano. who knocked in the fourth run with his. Alec Mehrten walked three times.

Konner Wade's start was excellent, allowing one run over five innings on six hits and no walks. He struck out five. Shane Broyles continued to do well in long relief after being demoted from Asheville earlier in the month, hurling three clean frames. Trent Daniel walked three in the ninth, narrowly securing his fifth save.

Great Falls 11, Grand Junction 3

In the lone Rockies system loss, Jordan Patterson had two hits and Ryan Garvey hit his first home run of the season. Other than Raimel Tapia's triple, little else on the offense is of note other than perhaps Terry McClure's eighth stolen base so far in the short time he has been in the organization.

Blake Shouse as the only starter to really struggle yesterday, lasting just four and a third and allowing nine hits over that span, good for six earned runs. Helmis Rodriguez and Jordan Mejia weren't any better in relief, each allowing multiple runs on more hits than innings pitched. Only Scott Firth's pair of innings were clean.

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