Saturday Pebble Report: Juan Nicasio dominates D-Backs' Triple-A squad

Jim Rogash

Featherston hit a grand slam, though Modesto would go on to lose the game. Nicasio, meanwhile, pitched eight brilliant innings of shutout ball which mirrored what Skaggs was able to accomplish last night against the Rockies. Grand Junction scored 16 runs on 16 hits, capitalizing on seven errors committed by the opposing team.

Colorado Springs 5, Reno 0

In his second career start with the Sky Sox, Nicasio collected his first win at the AAA level. He was nothing short of brilliant on Friday, pitching eight innings of six-hit shutout baseball. He struck out six and didn't walk a single batter. Jeff Manship allowed a double and a walk, but retired the next two batters to complete the shutout.

For their part, the offense scored all the runs required to win by the second inning, when Ryan Wheeler scored on a Ben Paulsen double. The offense had nine hits, including four doubles and multi-hit nights from Ryan Wheeler and Greg Golson.

Tulsa 3, San Antonio 4

After three scoreless innings, Tulsa was able to gain the lead, which they held through the seventh inning before a four-run eighth doomed the team. Christian Bergman was able to limit the damage from the eight hits he allowed to only two runs. He took the mound for the eighth inning, but after giving up a solo home run followed by a single, Bergman exited without retiring a batter in that inning. Dan Houston replaced Bergman and allowed 3 hits, which allowed one inherited runner plus two more to score.

The Tulsa offense countered with a run in the bottom of the eighth, but were not able to answer the fourth run. Tulsa scored their three runs on six hits and three walks, and the Drillers struck out 9 times in the game. Jayson Langfels had the best offensive performance on the night, collecting two doubles and an RBI.

Modesto 7, Stockton 8 (10 innings)

After scoring early and holding a 7-5 lead after the fourth inning, Modesto stayed quiet and Stockton tacked on two more runs to force extra innings after the game was tied 7-7 at the end of the ninth. Stockton centerfielder Myrio Richard hit a walk-off home run to win the game for the opposing team.

The Modesto pitching staff did not have their best stuff in Friday's game, allowing eight runs on 12 hits and seven walks. Three of the five pitchers allowed a home run. Ben Alsup did not escape the fifth inning; for his part, he allowed six runs on six hits -- including a two-run homer -- and five walks.

Taylor Featherston came through with the bases loaded in the first inning, hitting a grand slam to score Brian Humphries, Ryan Casteel, and Jared Simon. It was Featherston's seventh homer of the year. Tim Smalling and Brian Humphries collected two hits apiece and Humphries notched the only other extra-base hit with an RBI double in the second. The strikeout rate was alarming, as the Stockton pitching staff struck out 16 batters. Will Swanner and Harold Riggins each struck out 3 times.

Asheville 1, Rome 3

Ben Hughes delivered a quality start, but nevertheless earned the loss in Friday's game in light of a submissive offense. Hughes allowed two runs on four hits and three walks and struck out seven batters. Alving Mejias allowed another run to score in the seventh, while Trent Blank shut down the Rome Braves.

The offense stayed quiet for the most part; their only run was a Dillon Thomas home run in the top of the third. The Tourists collected six hits, though the home run was the one of the extra-base variety. Matt Wessinger and Thomas collected two hits apiece.

Tri-City 9, Boise 3

The Tri-City Dust Devils collected their eighth win of the year largely due to a strong offensive performance. Jonathan Vargas pitched four innings, and was not able to demonstrate much control as he walked four batters in that span. He allowed three runs and struck out two. Matt Pierpont pitched three innings of one-hit ball to earn the win. He walked only one batter and struck out five.

Wilfredo Rodriguez hit his third career home run and his first of the season for the Dust Devils, scoring Alec Mehrten and Michael Tauchman. Rodriguez collected two hits on the night. The offense scored nine runs on eight hits and was able to capitalize on the Boise pitching staff's own control issues as well as poor defensive play. A crazy six-run third inning gave the Dust Devils an 8-3 lead, which would be all that was needed.

Grand Junction 16, Idaho Falls 7

Grand Junction collected 16 runs on 16 hits and took advantage of seven errors committed by the Idaho Falls Chukars. The Chukars, for their part, collected 14 hits of their own, though Grand Junction was able to limit the damage to seven runs. Zach Jemiola had a shaky start, allowing six runs on eight hits and two walks in three innings of work. Angel Lezama allowed one more run to score but was credited with the win. Devin Burk, Carlos Estevez, and Daniel Palo combined to allow four innings of three-hit, shutout ball.

Only Miguel Dilone was hitless on Friday. He reached once via walk and struck out three times. Left fielder Ryan Garvey, catcher Robbie Perkins, and shortstop Emerson Jimenez collected three hits apiece, with Garvey and Perkins each hitting a double. First baseman Correlle Prime collected his second home run of the year.

DSL Rockies 8, DSL Pirates 2

Carlos Polanco pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits, including a solo homer in the top of the first. After showing some control issues in the sixth, including one hit batter, a single, and a balk, Polanco exited the game and Radhames Valerio, Salvador Justo and Raul Herndandez combined finished the game with only one hit and one walk allowed by Justo.

The offense stayed quiet through the first five innings, but scored three runs in the sixth and seventh, followed by two more in the eighth, to take the win from the Pirates' Dominican affiliate. First baseman Joel Diaz collected three hits, and left fielder Yonathan Daza had the only extra base hit for the DSL Rockies, an RBI double -- his seventh two-bagger of the season -- in the eighth.

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