Triple-A Colorado Springs - L 1-7 (66-75)
Carlos Gonzalez made his rehab debut for the Sky Sox Saturday night; the lefty has been out since early August with a finger injury. Batting third and manning left field for the Springs, Gonzalez went 0-for-3 in his assignment before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning. The Rockies outfielder reached base on a fielding error in the fourth inning, but was quickly picked off. Meanwhile, Josh Rutledge was the lone run to score, going 1-for-2 with a double while raising his average to .371 for the Triple-A season.
Starter Chris Volstad struggled early, giving up four runs in the first inning, before settling down and finishing with just one more run allowed. Volstad's final line was five earned runs on seven hits, with six innings pitched and three strikeouts to three walks. The outing raised Volstad's season ERA to 4.58.
Double-A Tulsa - W 7-6 (66-70)
The Drillers capped a comeback victory on Saturday with two runs scored in the top of the ninth against the Cardinals affiliate. Kyle Parker has been the catalyst for so many come-from-behind victories for the Drillers this season and trailing 6-to-5 with two outs and two strikes he was looking to tie the game. Usually displaying an uncanny knack for power in these situations, this time the right hander chopped an infield single between third and short which would have required a herculean Troy Tulowitzki jump throw to beat out the former Clemson quarterback. Parker went first-to-third on a Dustin Garneau single to right field and came around to score on a fielding error on a ball hit to first by Tyler Kuhn. Pinch hitter Angelys Nina drove in the winning run with a bouncing ball up the middle that scored Garneau from second.
Starter Tyler Matzek lasted just five innings in the game after throwing 96 pitches, 61 for strikes. He allowed five earned runs on nine hits and getting three strikeouts to go along with two walks allowed. One of the runs allowed was a second inning home run to Cardinals first baseman Xavier Scruggs, his 27th of the season.
The Drillers have just two regular season games left before starting the Texas League playoffs against the Arkansas Travelers. The best-of-five game series will kick off with home games in ONEOK Field on Wednesday and Thursday.
High-A Modesto - W 5-3 (74-64)
The Nuts jumped out to a quick lead following a three run blast by Jared Simon in the first inning. The home run came after the ejection of Modesto's hitting coach Jonathan Stone by home plate umpire Luke Engen. The blast drove in Taylor Featherston and Brian Humphries, both players had opened the game with singles. Trevor Story (34), Will Swanner (24) and Harold Riggins (25) each slugged doubles in the game as their lone hits; the three also combined for six total strikeouts with two apiece.
Chris Jensen pitched well in the game, lasting six innings while allowing just two earned runs off of six hits and striking out six with one walk allowed. The effort lowered Jensen's ERA to 4.55 on the season. Patrick Johnson and Bruce Kern worked a scoreless eighth and ninth to secure the win. Kern was credited with his second save of the year and has a season ERA of 2.41 in High-A.
The victory sealed the second half title for the Nuts, who went 42-26 in that time. The Nuts will finish up with two games against Stockton before beginning the California League playoffs on Wednesday in Visalia. Modesto holds home field advantage for the three-game series against the Diamondbacks affiliate.
Low-A Asheville - W 6-5 (63-72)
The Tourists scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to steal a victory from the Giants affiliate on Saturday. Jason Stolz was starting in place of Rosell Herrera at shortstop and delivered big, going 2-for-4 with a double, triple and five RBI. Catcher Jose Briceno scored two runs ahead of Stolz with a two-hit night and a walk.
Starter Ben Hughes lasted six innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits, while striking out five and allowing two walks. Most of his damage came via the long ball as Hughes served up a pair of home runs in the game.
Short-Season Tri-City - L 2-4 (33-41)
Antonio Senzatela took the mound for the Dust Devils on Saturday and pitched well, just not well enough to win. The right hander gave up three earned runs on eight hits with one strikeout and no walks. The 18-year-old Dominican worked the groundball ratio with seven groundouts to three flyouts and saw his ERA rise to 3.83 on the season.
Designated hitter Michael Tauchman went 1-for-2 and reached via an infield hit which forced the Rockies 10th round draft pick to leave the game with an injury. Tauchman is hitting .297 in the pitching friendly Northwest League, with 16 extra base hits on the year.
Rookie Grand Junction - L 7-10 (29-39)
The Rockies fell to the Royals affiliate despite a six run rally in the ninth. Dom Nunez led off the inning with a walk and the bases were later loaded when Cesar Galvez reached via an error and Miguel Dilone walked. Nunez scored on a wild pitch and Raimel Tapia collected a pair of RBI with a bases clearing double. Correlle Prime and Jairo Rosario also doubled in the inning and Dom Nunez became the first and last batter in the inning as he struck out to end the game.
Joel Payamps was the starter of record and had a rough go of it. The right hander lasted just three innings, allowing eight earned runs on ten hits, striking out four and giving up two walks. The outing raised Payamps ERA to 5.98 on the season. After putting up a solid 4.10 ERA in the first half of the year, the 19-year-old Dominican has been battered in the final half with a 9.39 ERA.
It was announced on Saturday that Roy Oswalt will be making a rehab start for the Grand Junction Rockies on Tuesday. In a statement for MiLB.com Roy Oswalt said he was hoping to pitch well enough to return to pitch in Coors Field:
"I'm trying to get back and pitch this year and go from there," Oswalt said. "I'm hoping to come back and start at least four, maybe five games."
The Rockies return home today from Idaho Falls to start a four game series at Suplizio Field against the Ogden Raptors. The four home games will be their final homestand before the playoffs begin.