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Wednesday Morning Pebble Report:

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Colorado Springs: The Sky Sox teed off of Clay Hensley, hiting four homeruns in the first three innings. Joe Koshansky had two of the dingers, with Ian Stewart and Alexis Gomez providing the others. Stewart had struggled against Las Vegas, as pitchers weren't giving him anything decent, so it's nice to see him break out against Portland with three extra base hits and five overall the last two days. Koshansky, meanwhile, continues to heat up, and I think the day that he'd be more productive than Todd Helton in the Rockies lineup is fast approaching, if not already here. I don't want to pile on Todd in the middle of a slump, and that statement doesn't reflect leadership/chemistry issues that would be harder to make the claim with, but Koshansky has turned another corner and seems ready for the show.

Tulsa: Several Drillers were instrumental in the South's win in the Texas League All-Star Game yesterday. Of course, it's too bad that Tulsa's in the North division. Jonathan Herrera and Matt Miller combined to go zero for seven, and Ryan Mattheus didn't retire a batter in allowing the tying and winning runs to score in the tenth inning. Jarrett Grube, Steven Register, and Juan Morillo all had scoreless relief appearances in the loss.

Modesto: The Nuts hammered Rancho Cucamonga 11-4 as Chaz Roe picked up just his second win of the season. Eric Young had two hits, a walk, stole his 35th base of the season, and scored twice. Following him Chris Nelson tripled and homered and walked twice, but only scored on the HR in an indication of how lopsided the game could have been.

Asheville: Esmil Rogers pitched seven stellar innings before flagging two outs into the eighth, and the Tourists won nine to four. All four runs were charged to Rogers, but they were all unearned and three came in that eighth inning. Rogers struck out six and walked one and allowed just five hits. Bret Berglund was the offensive star, with a three for three day plus a walk. He hit two doubles and drove in four of the Asheville runs. Daniel Mayora homered, doubled and singled, and Jay Cox and Matt Repec both also had multi-hit games. After walking twice and singling, Mike McKenry's on pace to have his second straight month with an OBP over .400, even though his isolated power has fallen off a bit here in June. Like most Tourists, he hits well at home, but struggles away. There's still a lot to like about him though. He's built like a brick wall, with a lot of muscle in his thick legs but not a lot of speed, so his 7/2 SB/CS figure tells me that he's a pretty smart baserunner among other things. I came away impressed watching him at Lexington despite the road splits.

Tri-City: The Dust-Devils took a three to one lead into the ninth inning, but watched it slip away as Andrew Groves allowed four runs on one hit, two walks and three HBP's in just two-thirds of an inning. That's not going to win many games. Marco Duarte got the start and went seven innings with a 13/3 GB/FB ratio and five K's. He allowed just two hits, two walks and one HBP in a performance that should win games. Helder Velazquez went three for four with two doubles to lead the offense.

Casper: It's heartbreaking how close Casper is to winning sometimes, yesterday they lost two to one as they just couldn't capitalize on opportunities. Carlos Martinez and Shane Robinson, who have been hitting well otherwise this season, went zero for eight while the other three members of Casper's front five (Zack Murry, David Christensen and Austin Rauch) combined to go seven for nine with three walks. That's frustrating. Jose Campos pitched okay, but he's a bit old for the league and the wildness (3 WP, 2 HBP) in six innings is a troubling sign.