Alan Johnson put in a solid effort for seven innings. He allowed a pair of runs with an 11-4 groundout ratio, six hits, a walk and five strikeouts. The Sky Sox kept even with Portland until Matt Murton scored the winning run in the bottom of the tenth on a Christian Colonel single.
Greg Smith had a much better outing this time around, lasting four and two thirds innings and giving up just two runs on four hits and a walk. He's being kept to a 75 pitch limit, so he got pulled before closing out the fifth, but this was an encouraging start against a Springfield offense that's typically pretty dangerous for AA. Mike Paulk, Michael McKenry and Darin Holcomb all had multiple hit games for Tulsa in the win, Ryan Harvey hit his 11th homerun. I've got to do a bigger update on McKenry, he's having a pretty nifty season after starting slow and has a .284/.379/.473 slash line for the month of June, but also is showing a huge home (.994 OPS)/road (.656) split. Drillers Stadium doesn't usually have that effect, especially not to that degree.
Brandon Durden got outpitched by Clayton Tanner, or maybe the pitchers were even and the Modesto lineup got outhit by the San Jose lineup, but however it worked out, the Giants came up with two more runs in this one. Jason Van Kooten had three hits, Matt Repec and Charlie Blackmon two each in the loss.
Scott Robinson had three hits and scored three of the Tourists five runs, including the game winner on Jordan Pacheco's walk-off two run double in the bottom of the ninth. Robinson's .321/.380/.548 June is also impressive, but as with McKenry there are home/road split issues, and in this case McCormick Field does have a tendency to inflate players value every now and then. I still like him, I'm just aware that there should be mitigating factors tempering my enthusiasm a bit. Delta Cleary had a hit, two walks and stole his 18th base in the win.
While we know that Tyler Matzek would become the system's best prospect once he signs, we haven't really discussed the placement of our other first round selection, Tim Wheeler. A breakout performance (four hits, two doubles, a homerun, a walk, 4 RBI) in yesterday's victory over Spokane shows what he's capable of, and he seems to be showing early power with the Dust Devils that we didn't see from other recent high OF picks such as Charlie Blackmon in 2008. If he keeps this up, he's got to be a top ten prospect in the system for certain, and could even have somewhat of a claim to top five status given the down years/injury issues we've had with guys like Hector Gomez and Chris Nelson.
Kent Matthes, who had three hits and two doubles himself yesterday, probably isn't too far behind on that list, either. The Dust Devils turned a close game into a romp with a five run top to the tenth inning, highlighted by a Mike Zuanich three run shot. Joey Wong had three hits and three runs in the game.
Dustin Garneau doubled and homered and drove in four of the Ghosts five runs. Avery Barnes had a four for four day and scored twice. Sixth round draft choice Chris Balcolm-Miller allowed just one hit in three innings, one walk and struck out three. The other five outs were recorded on the ground for a fine Ghosts debut. Clint Tilford and Clinton McKinney were nearly as impressive in their three innings each.