Rockies Prospects: Featherston, Balog lead affiliates to victory

Charlie Drysdale

Taylor Featherston and Alex Balog, two PuRPs you don't hear a lot about, starred in victories yesterday.

AAA: Reno 6, Colorado Springs 5 (F-12)

This game turned from a slugging convention into a pitcher's duel after six innings. After Reno scored in the bottom half of the sixth, both teams were held scoreless until the bottom of the 12th inning when Reno pushed across the winning run on two walks and a two out single allowed by Leuris Gomez. Pedro Hernandez started and allowed five runs on nine hits in his 5 1/3 innings of work. After that, Mike McClendon, Greg Burke, and Chad Bettis (PuRP 8) combined for 5 2/3 scoreless innings of relief before Gomez allowed that winning run.

On offense, the Sky Sox got homers by Angelys Nina (3) and Ben Paulsen (13) among their 12 hits on the night. Nina, Evan Frey, Paul Janish, and Drew Garcia each had two hits for Colorado Springs in the losing effort.

AA: Tulsa 4, NW Arkansas 3

The Drillers were carried by the longball in this game, as Tulsa hit three of them in this one - including two solo homers by PuRP 22 Taylor Featherston (8). The 24 year-old Featherston has quietly provided another quality offensive season (.274/.338/.433) for Tulsa while playing up the middle defense - traits that will likely get him a AAA call-up sooner rather than later.

David Kandilas, hitting ninth, provided the go-ahead run with his solo shot (1) in the eighth inning, while Ryan Casteel (PuRP 11) added two hits for the Drillers. On the mound for Tulsa, Carlos Hernandez threw 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on four hits. Nate Stritz, Kraig Sitton, and Cole White had scoreless relief outings to preserve the victory.

High A: High Desert 7, Modesto 2

The Nuts took a 1-0 lead in this one, but were undone by a four run fifth inning, the only runs allowed in starter Ben Alsup's seven innings of work. Alsup allowed four hits and two walks while striking out four. Modesto had four errors in the game, all of them by PuRPs (two by Trevor Story at 3B, one by Pat Valaika at 2B, and one by Rosell Herrera at SS). The Nuts also had seven hits by seven players in the game, with Will Swanner (PuRP 24) and Derek Jones smacking doubles.

Low A: Asheville 4, Augusta 0

The Tourists were buoyed by a masterful pitching performance by Alex Balog (PuRP 20) and company in this one, holding their opponents to just five hits on the day. Balog went five innings and allowed three hits and two walks while striking out five to get the victory. Jefri Hernandez, Matt Carasiti, Dylan Stamey, and Trent Daniel all combined with Balog for the shutout. The 21 year-old lefty Balog now has a 3.72 ERA in Asheville this year.

On offense, David Dahl (PuRP 3), Raimel Tapia (PuRP 16), and Emerson Jimenez all had two hit nights for the Tourists. Tapia, who also stole two bases in the game, now has a .312/.359/.444 season line despite an awful start to 2014, while Dahl's line now sits at .280/.323/.491.

Short Season A: Eugene 6, Tri-City 1

Michael Tauchman and Josh Fuentes each had two hits for the Dust Devils, but otherwise Tri-City went down without a fight to fall to 3-6 on the year. Tauchman is curiously still at Tri-City despite tearing up the pitcher friendly NW League last year (.297/.388/.377) - he could see a promotion soon if he keeps raking. Tyler Gagnon threw 4 1/3 innings of five run ball on nine hits as the starter.

Rookie: Idaho Falls 12, Grand Junction 4

I'm sure that our Grand Junction correspondent Drew Creasman will have more on this game sometime soon, but this game was actually 2-1 entering the sixth inning before Idaho Falls poured it on against starter Javier Palacios and the GJ bullpen. Palacios went six innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits, then the bullpen threw gas on the whole thing and lit it on fire. The Rockies had ten hits on the day, including three by 1B Henry Garcia and a homer by DH Troy Stein.

Dominican Summer League: DSL Rockies 14, DSL Mariners 6

It was an offensive explosion in the normally offense deficient DSL for the Rockies, who scored 14 runs on 16 hits in this one. Ramon Marcelino lead the way with four hits, while Anderson Jimenez had three hits and four RBI. Manuel Melendez and Jonathan Piron each added a pair of hits. Luis Guzman threw four scoreless, one hit innings of relief to get the win.

Today's Probables

AAA: Brett Tomko

AA: TBD

High A: Matt Flemer

Low A: Konner Wade

Short Season A: Ryan Warner

Rookie: Logan Norris

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