Tyler Matzek's string of great outings ended on Monday against the Springfield Cardinals during a game in which the 2009 first-rounder was merely solid. Matzek allowed four runs -- three earned -- on seven hits and three walks in six innings. He struck out five and posted a solid groundout-to-flyout ratio of 6-to-1.
Matzek threw 107 pitches on the evening, 60 for strikes. He hurt himself by allowing a home run, balking once and making a throwing error. Still, the one-time prized prospect is on the upswing; he owns a 3.10 ERA despite having fairly concerning strikeout and walk rates, though those have improved as of late.
Ryan Buch's second outing of the season was worse than his first one, which is considerable since he entered Monday's game with a 54.00 ERA. Buch walked five batters in a third of an inning of work. Three runs crossed the plate, increasing Buch's 2013 ERA to 63.00. That's not something you see often.
Tyler Massey and Jared Simon both hit two-run homers while David Kandilas and Taylor Featherston had three hits apiece. That was enough offense to support starter Chris Jensen, who allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings. He walked two batters and struck out five.
Every hitter in Modesto's lineup had at least one hit with the exception of third baseman Jose Rivera, who went 0-for-2 with a walk. The Nuts' bullpen came up big, as William Rankin and Nelson Gonzalez combined for three scoreless innings of relief to preserve the victory.
Tom Murphy hit his 18th home run of the year, a two-run shot in the bottom of the seventh to put the Tourists ahead for good. Derek Jones and Max White had two hits apiece. Jones, Matt Wessinger and Rosell Herrera drove in Asheville's other runs.
Brook Hart was the Tourists' star performer on the mound. The reliever did not allow an earned run in 2 1/3 innings of work while striking out four batters and earned the victory in the process.
Julian Yan hit a two-run homer in the top of the second inning to get the Dust Devils on the board, but the bats went silent from that point on as Tri-City managed just four hits.
Ryan Warner took the loss after allowing three runs on five hits in six innings. He walked four, struck out three and allowed Salem-Keizer to immediately tie the game in the bottom of the second with a two-run shot of their own.
Just like the big club, the baby Rockies jumped out to a 5-0 lead but couldn't hold it. Jairo Rosario hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Emerson Jimenez added a big fly in the next inning, but the latter made three throwing errors which allowed Ogden to get back into, and eventually win, the game.
Joel Payamps allowed five runs in five innings, though only one was earned. He struck out seven and walked just one, though he gave up a pair of home runs.
Raimel Tapia extended his hitting streak to 26 games with a single. Jimenez and Rosario had two hits apiece, but the club as a whole managed just seven.
Denzel Richardson hit a grand slam with nobody out in the second inning to give his club a 5-0 lead that it amazingly wouldn't relinquish. Richardson had a pair of hits, as did Yonathan Daza and Jonathan Piron. Catcher Hamlet Marte contributed to the offensive assault with three hits and drove in a pair of runs.
Javier Palacios improved to 5-2 by tossing five innings of shutout ball. He allowed three hits and struck out nine against zero walks. Palacios has a 2.02 ERA on the season.