AAA - Colorado Springs Sky Sox: W 12-8 (19-17)
I know that we here at Purple Row use Alan Johnson as the punchline in a lot of trade jokes. However, all comedy aside, Johnson has put together a pretty good month and a half for the Rockies' AAA affiliate. He continued his season-long effectiveness yesterday with a quality start, going six innings and allowing just two runs on six hits while striking out four, against only one walk. He was given plenty of run support as the Sky Sox jumped out to leads of 5-0 and, eventually, 12-2.
The offensive attack was led by Brad Eldred, Michael McKenry, and Travis Metcalf - each of whom had two hits apiece. Also, Alan Johnson helped himself with a two-run single in the bottom of the second inning which put the Sky Sox up 3-0. Chris Nelson doubled a walked to raise his early-season OBP to .400. In addition to his two hits, McKenry also walked twice.
The bullpen was solid with the exception of Andrew Johnston. Taylor Buchholz tossed two scoreless innings, but allowed his first baserunner in five appearances (spanning six innings) with Modesto and Colorado Springs via a single off the bat of Brian Esposito. Johnston came on in the ninth and proceeded the give up six runs on six hits (including a homer) while only getting one out. Juan Rincon relieved him and mostly put out the fire, getting the final two outs despite allowing a run scoring double.
AA - Tulsa Drillers: L 4-3 (15-20)
Kiel Roling showed some signs of life, going 2-for-4 with a double and a home run on what was otherwise another tough day for the Drillers' offense. Bronson Sardinha was the only other Driller with more than one hit, as he smacked two doubles and drove in a run in addition to drawing a walk.
Keith Weiser had a solid start, going seven innigns and allowing two runs on seven hits. He recorded 15 outs via groundball as opposed to three in the air. However, the defense failed him (and the bullpen), committing four errors. Scott Rice was charged with a blown save despite striking out three batters in two innings and not allowing an earned run. Stuart Pomeranz picked up the loss after Anthony Jackson's throwing error allowed the winning run to score. Pomeranz can't fend off all of the blame though, as he walked three batters and only recorded one out.
A-ball rundowns after the jump...
High-A - Modesto Nuts: L 7-6 (20-15)
The Nuts got off to an early 4-0 lead, but were unable to hold it. With possibly the exception of Stephen Dodson (no runs and no hits, but two walks in two innings), the Modesto pitchers were pretty ineffective. Kenneth Durst was roughed up in his start, allowing five runs on nine hits (two of which were home runs) in five innings. Rex Brothers, who came on in the eighth inning, surrendered two walks in his two-thirds of an inning. Adam Jorgenson blew the save after allowing a run on three hits and a walk in the eighth and ninth innings. The final blow came on a walk-off single by Visalia catcher Rossmel Perez.
Offensively, the Nuts were led by Tim Wheeler, who seems to be heating up as his 4-for-4 game would attest. Meanwhile, Erik Wetzel added three hits, while David Christensen and Brian Rike each had two in the losing effort.
Low-A - Asheville Tourists: W 5-2 (14-21)
The Tourists' offense struggled mightily until the eighth inning, when they put up five runs on four hits (three of the extra base variety) and a couple of walks. Joey Wong, who is hitting .417 in limited playing time, led off the inning with a solo home run. Then after a walk and a single, Jared Clark hit his eighth homer of the season - a three-run shot with two outs to give Asheville a 4-2 lead. Orlando Sandoval then drove in Tyler Massey (who walked) to extend the lead. Sandoval and Clark, along with Joseph Sanders, each had two hits for the Tourists.
Juan Gonzalez started the game for Asheville and had a good outing, going five scoreless innings while striking out four. He allowed just four singles and a walk. Paul Bargas picked up the win as a result of the big eighth inning, despite allowing two runs on three hits in two innings. He did, however, strike out four batters. Rhett Ballard closed out Hagerstown with two scoreless innings, including two Ks.