Rookie Grand Junction - L 8-9 (34-41)
After an hour and twenty-five minute rain delay, the Rockies jumped on starter Jose De Leon scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. An RBI single by catcher Jose Briceno scored Zach Osborne, who had reached base from an error by the left fielder. Briceno went on to steal second base in front of right fielder Miguel Dilone who smashed a triple to right field scoring the catcher.
Tarp being taken off the field in Ogden pic.twitter.com/dkRov11v2U— Adam Spolane (@AdamSpolane) September 8, 2013
Ogden answered with two runs scored in the bottom of the first with back-to-back doubles by Jesmuel Valentin and Kyle Farmer. Starter Alex Balog was able to limit the damage however, as he induced two fly balls and a popup to end the inning.
The Rockies replied in the second with singles from Ryan Garvey and Wesley Jones to open the inning. Shortstop Dom Nunez followed with his 13th double of the year, scoring both runners. Nunez was then able to scoot home on a throwing error by catcher Dimitri Papantonopoulus. The shortstop finished the game with three hits and has six hits in his last two games.
The Dodgers affiliate reclaimed the lead in the third inning with three home runs against the right handed Balog. Balog lasted just one more inning, giving up a total of seven earned runs on seven hits, while striking out four and walking three. Angel Lezama came on in relief and worked three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out three Ogden Raptors.
Grand Junction appeared to gain the upper hand in the fourth inning when singles by Dom Nunez and Zach Osborne set the table for Jose Briceno who doubled in a run with a ground ball into left field. Osborne came around to score on a RBI ground out by pinch hitter Correlle Prime. Ogden's defense gift-wrapped another run when a throwing error by Justin Chigbogu allowed Briceno to waltz home. The right handed Briceno was 2-for-5 in the game with a double to raise his season average to .329 with Grand Junction. The Rockies led 8-7 at this point in the game.
Rockies hitters faced a buzzsaw in relievers Jordan Hershiser and Michael Johnson who combined to strike out 11 batters in the last five innings of the game. Hershiser struck out six in three innings, while Johnson struck out five in just two innings pitched. The son of former baseball-great Orel Hershiser, the six-foot-eight Jordan has struck out 24 batters in 21 innings for the Raptors.
Reliever Jacob Newberry earned the blown save after walking a batter to start the ninth and then hitting the next man up. A sacrifice bunt put both men in scoring position with one out and a Kyle Farmer single gave the Raptors the walkoff win.
The Rockies finish up their regular season with a 4:00 PM game in Ogden on Sunday before travelling to Idaho Falls on Monday to open the Pioneer League playoffs. This is the pitching rotation for the playoffs as listed by the Grand Junction Rockies twitter feed:
Starting rotation for South Division Championship Series Game 1: Devin Burke Game 2: Zach Jemiola Game 3: Blake Shouse— GrandJunctionRockies (@GJRockies) September 7, 2013