Home runs by Tom Murphy and Ben Paulsen highlighted the day as the higher affiliates won, but the lower levels struggled to pitch effectively. Tyler Anderson faced off against veteran Jaime Garcia and knocked him out of the game. Meanwhile, Modesto made a late comeback which fell just short of succeeding.
AAA Colorado Springs - W 8-3 (13-16)
Ben Paulsen and Kyle Parker led the Sky Sox to a 8-3 win over the Cardinals affiliate of Memphis on Sunday. The Triple-A club was down a run early when Kyle Parker notched the first of his two doubles on the night. He later came around to score on a Jackson William's single to center field.
The Sky Sox held a narrow lead in the fifth when TIm Wheeler reached via an error and Jason Pirdie walked ahead of first baseman Ben Paulsen who strode to the mound and launched a deep home run to right-center field. Kyle Parker later notched another double, giving him 10 for the season. The right fielder finished with a 3-for-5 night and is hitting a cool .300 for the season.
Pedro Hernandez and Dan Houston split most of the innings in this afternoon affair. Houston earned the win with three strikeouts in four innings, while allowing just one earned run. Chad Bettis made his Sky Sox debut, pitching a perfect eighth inning.
AA Tulsa - W 7-3 (15-15)
The Drillers faced a tough test on Sunday as Cardinal's pitcher Jaime Garcia worked a rehab start for Double-A Springfield. Garcia breezed through a scoreless first inning before facing Tom Murphy in the second. The catcher worked a walk, setting the stage for Harold Riggins, who launched his third home run of the season. Riggins has missed time at first with the rotation of catchers the Rockies have been working ahead of him.
Tyler Anderson took the hill and allowed Springfield to even the score in the second. when they loaded the bases in the second when Anderson hit Jaime Garcia on the elbow allowing a run to score. The lefthander induced a groundball out of the next batter, but it allowed a second run to score. Garcia was removed from the game and x-rays came back negative. Later reports indicate Garcia will miss his next start due to the bruising on his elbow.
Murphy put the Drillers up for good with a two-run blast in the sixth inning. The catcher had been struggling since returning from a shoulder injury, batting a mere .145 in his last 28 days, the home run was his first since April 8. The left-handed Anderson finished with a strong line of five inning pitched, four hits allowed, two runs, two walks and three strikeouts for 2.40 ERA on the season.
High-A Modesto - L 10-9 (9-22)
The Nuts were down early after starter Ben Alsup gave up five runs in the first inning. Modesto's hitters came on strong later in the game however, scoring five runs in the eighth to tie it up at 9-9. The Reds affiliate of Bakersfield was too tough and pulled ahead in the ninth with a sacrifice fly against reliever Bruce Kern.
David Kandilas and catcher Chris O'Dowd were strong at the top of the order, going a combined 5-for-10 with two RBI and two runs scored. Third baseman Dean Espy hit his first home run of the season in the fourth inning. Second baseman Matt Wessinger is batting .304 after a 1-for-3 night.
The loss drops the Nuts to last place in the California League, but they travel to San Jose where they'll take on the Giants for a four game series. Not only are the Giants the second worst team in the league, but they also have MiLB.tv, so we can finally watch video of the Nuts in action.
Low-A Asheville -L 14-11 (16-13)
The wind was blowing out of already hitter friendly McCormick field in Asheville on Sunday. The prime hitting conditions caused the Tourists to squeak out a 14-11 loss to the Phillies affiliate of Lakewood on Sunday. Lakewood chased Zach Jemiola from the game early while building a 10 run lead. Jemiola left after three innings, allowing seven earned runs off of four home runs and 10 hits.
Correlle Prime and Jordan Patterson both homered for the Tourists, but most of the damage was done with singles as five different Asheville hitters had multi-hit games. David Dahl was in the middle of a five-run sixth, when he plated Raimel Tapia and Alec Mehrten. Dahl stole his ninth base of the season in the sixth as well. Patterson had a 3-for-4 night with two RBI and two runs scored, raising his average to .239 on the season. Ryan McMahon was the designated hitter for the game and reached base three times, with two walks and a RBI double.
Today's scheduled starters
AAA: Tyler Matzek (1-1, 3.04)
AA: Richard Castillo (1-2, 3.54)
A+: Devin Burke (1-1, 3.04)
A-: Antonio Senzatela (1-1, 6.38)