Friday Pebble Report: Eddie Butler struggles, Modesto and Asheville stage big comebacks

Rob Tringali

Eddie Butler had his worst start of the season in a loss for Tulsa, but Modesto and Asheville staged huge rallies to earn improbable victories.

AAA - Memphis Redbirds 7, Colorado Springs Sky Sox 5

Despite out-hitting their opponents 14-10, the Sky Sox dropped an afternoon game in Memphis by a score of 7-5. Colorado Springs shortstop Drew Garcia got the scoring started in the top of the first with a solo home run off Memphis starter Tim Cooney to give the Sky Sox a 1-0 lead. The lead would not last, however, as Sky Sox starter Pedro Hernandez allowed three runs on three hits in just two innings of work, leaving the game after two innings trailing 3-1.

Colorado Springs re-took the lead in the fifth, hitting for the cycle in the inning against Cooney, including Garcia's second home run of the game, a triple from Kyle Parker (No. 5 PuRP) and an RBI double from Ben Paulsen. The Sky Sox held a 5-4 lead in the eighth when Yohan Flande gave up a solo home run to Audry Perez and Greg Burke coughed up a two-run single to Joey Butler giving Memphis the 7-5 margin they would take to the win.

AA - Arkansas Travelers 7, Tulsa  Drillers 2

Eddie Butler (No. 2 PuRP) had his worst start of the season, allowing five runs on 11 hits in five innings with a walk and a strikeout as the Drillers lost to Arkansas, 7-2. Butler breezed through the first three innings, with Tulsa holding a 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of doubles by Taylor Featherston (No. 22 PuRP) and Tom Murphy (No. 9 PuRP) and a sacrifice fly by Dustin Garneau in the first.

However, Butler came apart in the fourth after taking a line drive off his left wrist off the bat of Arkansas first baseman Brian Hernandez. Butler stayed in the game, but allowed four runs in the fourth and a run in the fifth, giving the Travelers a 5-2 lead. Arkansas added a pair of runs in the eighth in taking home the 7-2 win.

High-A - Modesto Nuts 10, San Jose Giants 8

Down 8-0 in the middle of the fourth, the Nuts staged an epic comeback, overcoming the San Jose Giants by a score of 10-8. Modesto starter Ryan Gibbard gave up six runs, five earned, in three-plus innings of work thanks in large part to the five walks he issued, and reliever Alving Mejias gave up two more runs in the fourth to stake the Giants to an 8-0 lead.

The Nuts got a pair of runs in the fourth thanks to a double from Dean Espy that drove in Derek Jones, who had reached on an RBI triple. Modesto added two more in the fifth before adding a four-spot in the seventh thanks to a two-run, inside-the-park home run from Juan Ciriaco and an RBI triple from Chris O'Dowd, who then scored on a ground out to tie the game at eight. O'Dowd then capped the rally in the eighth with a two-run double to give Modesto an improbable 10-8 win.

A- Asheville Tourists 8, Rome Braves 7

The Tourists staged an improbable comeback of their own, down 7-2 headed to the bottom of the eighth, they scored six runs in the final two innings  to snatch an 8-7 win from the jaws of defeat. Alex Balog (No. 20 PuRP) allowed four runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings, striking out six. The majority of the damage against Balog came in the third, when Rome rode a home run and a pair of triples to score three runs and take a 4-0 lead. It was 4-2 in the seventh when Asheville reliever Trent Blank allowed three more runs, putting his team down by five.

The comeback began in the eighth, when a two-out, two-run triple from Michael Benjamin cut the Rome lead to 7-4. Correlle Prime then led off the ninth with a solo home run to cut the lead to 7-5. After a Jose Briceno walk, Raimel Tapia (No. 16 PuRP) tied the game at seven with a two-run home run. Benjamin then drove in the game-winner three batters later with a bases loaded sacrifice fly.

Friday Probables:

Colorado Springs: Christian Friedrich

Tulsa: Dan Winkler (No. 12 PuRP)

Modesto: Andrew Brown

Ashevile: Konner Wade

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