Saturday Pebble Report: Tyler Matzek rebounds, Will Swanner walks off

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

All the games on the farm last night were decided by three runs or less.

Triple-A: Iowa 2, Colorado Springs 1

Tyler Matzek rebounded nicely from his rough start last Sunday when he gave up eight runs. This time, he was able to scatter the hits and hold the Iowa Cubs to just two runs on seven hits while striking out nine and walking two in six innings of work. This is an encouraging sign from Matzek who is now making a bit of a habit of following up a bad start with a good one. Obviously it would be better if he could cut out the poor outings entirely, but preventing them from developing into a streak is a good first step.

Unfortunately for Matzek, his offense didn't help him out very much as the Sky Sox managed just a single run. Ben Paulsen and Jason Pridie each had a pair of hits and Drew Garcia had a double for the only extra base hit of the game for the road team, but there was never any sort of sustained rally.

Double-A: Northwest Arkansas 5, Tulsa 4

The Drillers saw their six game winning streak snapped yesterday when their late rally fell a run short. Carlos Hernandez struck out eight in just 4.2 innings of work but he also allowed four runs which put his team in a hole.

Down 4-1 in the eighth, Tulsa began to rally. Jose Rivera led off the inning wit a single and Tyler Massey followed with one of his three hits on the day.Christian Adames then hit a sac fly to score Rivera before Ryan Casteel walked and Brian Humphries recorded an RBI single for his second hit of the day. The rally would stall there however as the Naturals retired the next two hitters in order to put down the threat. Tyler Massey would add an RBI single in the ninth, but thanks to a Northwest Arkansas run in the bottom of the eighth the Drillers came up a dollar short.

High-A: Modesto 4, San Jose 3 (10 Innings)

The Nuts played what was easily the most exciting game of the evening.  First, Ben Alsup put together his best start since April going 6.1 innings while allowing two runs on six strikeouts and just one walk. He would not be involved in the decision, but his work helped keep the score tied at two going into extra innings.

Another piece of good news from this game came from the bat of Rosell Herrera. After recently spending a month on the DL, Herrera came up with a three hit game on Thursday and followed it up with a four hit game on Friday. Still just 21-years-old, Herrera can really vault himself into the conversation of top PuRPs with strong few months with the Nuts.

The most exciting moment of the game however came in the tenth. After Rayan Gonzalez allowed a run in the top of the tenth, Will Swanner stepped to the plate with a man on the the bottom of the inning. Swanner is a guy whose stock has fallen the last two seasons after lighting up pitchers in Casper and Asheville in 2011 and 2012. He hasn't been terrible in High-A, but he's fallen off enough to signal that it's becoming unlikely he's ever going to have a major impact at the major league level. That didn't matter on Friday, because when the ball he hit to right center field cleared the outfield wall, the Nuts' catcher had a walk off home run to cap an outstanding night of baseball for Modesto.

Low-A: Asheville 6, Kannapolis 4

The Tourists continued their assault on SAL pitching Friday with a near lineup wide attack. David Dahl had another hit, Max White went 2-3 with a walk, and Ryan McMahon had his second straight multi-hit game after going three straight games without a hit. In fact, every member of the Tourist lineup with the exception of Wilfredo Rodriguez recorded at least one hit. The team also went 6-15 with runners in scoring position.

On the mound Antonio Senzatela wasn't great but good enough to get the win as he gave up four runs in six innings of work. The really impressive thing here is how he rebounded. Senzatela allowed three runs in the opening frame and then just one more for the rest of the day. That's a good job of settling down.

DSL: Rockies 5, Mets 2

This game was not as close as it appeared. The DSL Rockies racked up 15 hits including three from Manuel Melendez, two from Jonathan Piron, and three from Joel Diaz. They also benefited from three Mets' errors. Several innings could have resulted in significantly more damage.

The DSL Mets didn't get their two runs until the ninth inning as Hector Villarroel started and threw five scoreless innings for the Rockies.

Saturday Probables...

Colorado Springs: Flande (1-8, 5.40)

Tulsa: T. Anderson (3-2, 2.93)

Modesto: Burke (4-2, 3.86)

Asheville: Balog (3-3, 3.53)

DSL: No starter listed

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