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Thursday Pebble Report: Three quite close games, two walk-off wins, and a Morales start to excite all of thee

AAA Colorado Springs, L 2-5 - (4-2) 

Exactly one week after pitching his first start of the season in the majors, Franklin Morales made his 2009 minor league debut against the Reno Aces, Arizona's new AAA affiliate.  The Tucson Sidewinders moved to Reno this season.  Despite walking five, Morales' performance lent itself well to optimism.  He allowed just two hits and no runs in six innings while striking out four.  Reno scratched out a single and two walks in the first inning, but Morales showed some oft-absent composure and escaped without allowing a run.

Randy Flores and Steven Register combined to give up 5 runs on 5 hits and two walks to blow the shutout, lead and game in the eighth inning.  Carlos Gonzalez has started to de-ice his bat, as he reached in 3-of-4 plate appearances, and Matt Murton went 2-for-3 with a walk to raise his average to .364.  Eric Young Jr was caught stealing for the first time this season.  Every starter managed at least one hit in a well-balanced, ten hit attack.  Box Score


AA Tulsa, Off Day - (3-3) 

At 6:05MDT today, Samuel Deduno will try to prove lightning strikes twice as he faces the Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros) in a rematch of his stellar season debut.


High-A Modesto, W 3-2 - (6-1)

With the help of Connor Graham, Sean Jarrett, and Randall Taylor, the Nuts swept the Stockton Ports by holding the Athletics' affiliate to just two runs for the third consecutive day.  Like Morales, Graham allowed just two hits but five walks; however the Nut gave up two runs and failed to finish the fifth inning.  Jarrett and Taylor permitted just one baserunner the rest of the way, though he was thrown out at second trying to stretch a single.

Brian Rike and Lars Davis, the two players the Rockies selected in succession after Casey Weathers in the 2007 draft, each notched two hits while Radames Nazario recorded three hits and a walk.  Nazario scored the walk-off run from first after a single by Davis and an outfield error.  Modesto outhit Stockton 10-3. Box Score. 

Modesto opens a 4-game series at the former Rockie affiliate and undefeated Visalia Rawhide (Arizona) tonight at 8:05MDT.


Low-A Asheville, L 0-2 and W 6-5 - (2-5)

The Tourists played a doubleheader to make-up for Monday's postponed game and split the dual duel against the Greensboro Grasshoppers (Marlins).  In the matinee, Asheville failed to produce any offense to back a solid starting performance by Ethan Hollingsworth.  James Cesario stayed hot by poking two singles, and David Christensen once again went hitless.  Box Score

The Tourists unleashed their penned up offense with a five run first in the night-cap.  Every starter recorded at least one hit, but Christensen did not play.  Kurt Yacko blew a save opportunity by permitting a walk and double in the seventh, but he became the winning pitcher after Carlos Martinez singled in Cesario for a walk-off win.  Box Score

Robinson Fabian will close out the series vs. Greensboro at 5:05MDT tonight.