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Thursday Pebble Report: Sky Sox know how to get a RISP hit, Cole Garner still raking

AAA Colorado Springs, W 13-3 - (66-58, 1st)

Contrary to their parents last night, the Sky Sox had no trouble taking advantage of run-scoring opportunities, and they faced a pitcher with a far better MLB track record than the MLB club.  The Springs was 7-for-17 with RISP against the Oklahoma City RedHawks (Rangers), pounding out 9 runs in the first three innings in devouring Kris Benson.  And yes, THAT Kris Benson.  Every hitter except Daniel Ortmeier got a hit and an RBI, highlighted by Matt Murton's 4-for-4 night and Kenny Perez' two-hit, 3 RBI effort.  Mike McCoy and Eric Young Jr each doubled and singled.

Brandon Hynick (10-7, 3.59) got his tenth win despite failing to throw a quality start for the first time in his last seven tries.  He allowed three runs on eight hits and three walks in five innings.  Damian Moss, Scott Munter and Ryan Speier allowed just one baserunner in the last four innings.

The RedHawks and SkySox square off again tonight at 6:05MDT in OKC.

AA Tulsa, L 6-7 - (27-23, 1.5 GB)

Shane Lindsay and Matt Reynolds combined to give the game away agaisnt the Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers) in the last two innings.  Lindsay allowed two runs on no hits by walking a batter, hitter another, throwing a wild pitch and giving up a sac fly.  Reynolds then came on and allowed an RBI single.  After an RBI single by Jeff Kindel to tie the game in the ninth, Frisco earned a walkoff win off of Reynolds with a walk, sac bunt and single.

Cole Garner was once again the offensive hero.  By extended his hitting streak to 19 games, he's back up to hitting .300.  He ripped his 16th HR, laced two doubles and walked.  The 24-year-old was compared to Matt Holliday by Irv Moss before the season, and he's having a much better season than Holliday did in Tulsa at 23.  Of course, that means nothing, as Holliday's season was uninspiring (.395 SLG) there..  But after two injury-plagued seasons, he has cut his K rate significantly, has a little speed and has a stout .206 IsoD.  He's worth a solid look in your PuRPs list.  He has fairly large home/road splits, though I honestly don't know how much to make of that.  Rex Rundgren was 3-for-3, and Daniel Carte and Jeff Kindel each had two hits.

The two teams face off again tonight at 6:05MDT.

High-A Modesto, W 5-0 - (27-25, 10.0 GB)

Ethan Hollingsworth (2-2, 4.19) backed up his first Modesto win with another strong start, going 6.2 scoreless innings, striking out eight.  He has now allowed just one run in his past 14.0 IP.   Joey Williamson and Xavier Cedeno shut the door convincingly on the Stockton Ports (A's) for the shutout.

Three Nuts homered.  Charlie Blackmon was a triple shy of the cycle, hitting his 7th HR and 24th double in the process.  Brian Rike (11) drove in two with a dinger and Jeffrey Cunningham had a solo job (7).  Lars Davis drove in the other run in the first with a single.  

Tonight's rubber game is at 8:05 MDT in Stockton.

Low-A Asheville, W 9-2 -  (31-19, 1st)

Behind Dan Houston (7-8, 3.88), the Tourists snapped a four game losing streak to wallop the West Virginia Power (Pirates) in a game featuring nine errors, four by Asheville, two belonging to SS Carlos Martinez).  Houston allowed one run in six innings, striking out six.  Kiel Roling hit his 17th home run, going Barmes/Gonzalez in homering in his third straight game.  Jimmy Cesario and Tyler Massey tripled, Jordan Pacheco and Scott Robinson doubled, and David Christensen walked three times and stole two bases.

Both teams retangle tonight at 5:05MDT. 

SS A Tri-City, Off Day - (34-24, 1st)

The Dust Devils had an off day to travel home from Vancouver.  They open a series tonight at 8:15MDT vs the Spokane Indians (Rangers).

Rookie Casper, L 2-3  (6-8, 7.5 GB)

Th Ghosts failed to complete the sweep against the Great Falls Voyagers (White Sox) in Montana.  Catcher Brandon Whitby had two singles but also two errors and two strikeouts.  Nolan Arenado and Jared Clark, two new draftees and potential PuRPS, each had two singles and an RBI.  Arenado, who is "duck-footed and lumbers" according to this, had the Ghosts only successful stolen base in four team tries.  Ricardo Ferrer (2-6, 6.80) allowed 3 runs, 2 earned in five innings, walking five.

The Ghosts will play double headers the next two days to make up for three rainouts against Billings in Casper Aug. 15 and 16.  Because these rules bend in the minors, the make-up games will be in Billings instead of Casper.  The first game is set to start at 5:35MDT.