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Thursday Morning Pebble Report:

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Colorado Springs: In a game that resembled an old Western movie stand-off, what started as a pitcher's duel and a one to one tie through seven innings, erupted in several scores in the last two, with Salt Lake winning four to three on a two out, ninth inning walk-off homerun from Matthew Brown. For the Sky Sox, Mike Esposito had a nice sinker working to keep the Bees at bay for most of the game, and Seth Smith climbed above .300 on the season after a three for four night with a double and homerun included. Smith's been having an absolutely monstrous July thus far, getting seven hits and two walks in fourteen plate appearances. Five of those hits have gone for extra bases.

There's a family interest piece about Ian Stewart's appearance in the Futures Game out of the Asheville Citizen-Times, as his in-laws are anticipating the event.

Tulsa: The Drillers outhit the San Antonio Missions eight to four, but that's not the column that counts, unfortunately, and San Antonio outscored Tulsa three to one in the column that does. Sam Deduno pitched eight stingy innings, but the six walks (including one intentional) that he allowed are a break from the Deduno we had been seeing of late. Corey Wimberly and Matt Macri both had two of the Driller hits.

Modesto: The Nuts continue to be undefeated in July, beating San Jose nine to five. Unlike all of the blasts over the weekend at the homer haven of Stockton, the three HR's by Modesto yesterday are harder to explain away by park effects. Eric Young started the fireworks very early with a lead-off shot in the first followed a couple of batters later by one from Justin Nelson, and then Daniel Carte added one more later. Young also had a triple, a walk, a stolen base scored three runs and committed an error on what seems a fairly busy night for him. Brandon Durden was fighting severe allergy symptoms but pitched effectively nonetheless for the victory.

Asheville: Aneury Rodriguez also had a nifty start, rebounding from an ugly one against Hickory his last time out. Rodriguez pitched eight innings and allowed just one run and four hits while striking out eight and walking two. Mike McKenry hit a three run homerun and also walked three times, and Daniel Mayora also homered among his two hits to pace the otherwise balanced offensive attack in the ten to four win.

Tri-City: Sheng An Kuo started off with a shaky first, settled down to what's been his typical dominance for the next four innings and then imploded by allowing a three run homerun in the sixth and the Dust-Devils lost four to one. Looking through the log, I'm still excited by what Kuo's doing in Washington. The offense, in case you were wondering, was almost entirely absent the whole time.

Casper: The Rockies actually won a close game last night, five to four, getting a solid start from Jhoulys Chacin, enough hitting to support it, particularly from Jeff Cunningham (who singled, doubled and homered) and at least some quality  relief work when it counted.