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Thursday Pebble Report: Juan Gonzalez twirls gem - Friedrich, Roe and Scahill pummeled

AAA Colorado Springs, L 1-8 - (20-25, 3rd, 3.0 GB)

The Omaha Royals used and abused Chaz Roe (2005, sandwich pick) mercilessly last night, whipping him for eight run on nine hits (including three home runs) in just three innings in Omaha.  Roe is struggling mightily in his first season at AAA, going 1-7 with a 7.61 ERA and 5.87 FIP.   Don't blame the elevation of Colorado Springs either - he has been a shade worse on the road.

The loss was the seventh straight for the Sky Sox, who have scored only one run for three games straight. Last night's was an unearned run: Travis Metcalf (2010 MiLB FA) grounded out in the ninth inning to drive in Mike Paulk (2005, 13th round)who had singled. Paulk reached third on an error.  Cole Garner (2003, 26th round) was 0-for-4 and Paul LoDuca (2010 MiLB FA) had two singles; otherwise, each batter singled once.  The last game of the season series with the Royals is this afternoon at 4:35 MDT.

AA Tulsa, L 2-3 - (18-26, 3rd, 10.0 GB)

Christian Friedrich (0-2, 3.23) (2008, 1st round) is still winless at Tulsa.  The Midland RockHounds (Athletics) made solid contact on him, collecting 10 hits in four innings before he departed.  In part because all ten hits were singles, Friedrich was able to limit the RockHoiunds to "just" three runs.  Andy Graham (2006, 21st round) and Stuart Pomeranz (2010 MiLB FA) were able to put up four goose eggs, but the offense couldn't capitalize.

Anthony Jackson (2006, 16th round) had three hits (one a double) and Kiel Roling (2008, 6th round) notched two singles to raise their batting averages to .226 and .218, respectively.  Ryan Harvey (2010 MiLB FA), he of the monster home runs in spring training, is hitting .209 with a .126/.206/.241 slash line against RHP.  

Bruce Billings (3-3, 3.77 ERA) (2007, 30th round) will get the ball in tonight's rematch with Midland at 6:00 MDT.

Single-A recaps after the jump.

High-A Modesto, L 3-18  - (24-21, 2nd, 4.0 GB)

The starting pitching wasn't any better in Modesto.  Rob Scahill (2009, 8th round) guaranteed a fourth straight loss for Modesto by surrendering ten runs in four innings despite walking just two.  Jonnathan Aristil (2006, DR) got the next seven outs but was far worse, allowing four home runs and eight runs.  All told, the High Desert Mavericks (Mariners) pounded the Nuts for 18 runs on 21 hits, six of them home runs.

Offensively, Tim Wheeler (2009, 1st round) was a home run shy of the cycle.  He is 8-for-13 with 3 doubles, a triple, a walk and two stolen bases in his last three games.  Brian Rike (2007, 2nd round), Jimmy Cesario (2008, 46th round) and Ben Paulsen (2009, 3rd round) combined to go 1-for-13 with 8 K's.  Modesto will try again tonight at 8:05 MDT at Mavericks Stadium

Low-A Asheville, W 4-3 -  (20-25, 5th, 8 GB)

Asheville continues to break the mold of the rest of the organization by getting consistently good starting pitching and tallying wins in bunches.  Juan Gonzalez (2007 Venez) led the Tourists to their sixth consecutive win by coming four outs away from a complete game shutout.  Gonzalez had a perfect game broken up with two outs in the sixth when he hit a batter, and he departed in the eighth after surrendering a two run home run.  He struck out four, walked no one and allowed just four hits to the Greensboro Grasshoppers (Marlins).  Sheng-an Kuo (2007, Taiwan) nearly blew the save again by allowing a home run in the ninth, but the Tourists managed to squeeze by with a victory.

Eliezer Mesa (2008, DR) scored three runs (twice drive in by Nolan Arenado (2009, 2nd round)) and Joseph Sanders (2009, 5th round) homered as Asheville posted four single tallies for the victory.  Orlando Sandoval (2006, DR) and Mesa each stole two bases, their 8th and 10th respectively.  

Arenado has begun his Asheville career with a six game hitting streak, reaching base at least twice in every game.  It's hard to beat a .455 batting average and .469 wOBA at age 19, though a BABIP of .500 with a 9% line drive rate is the ultimate example of unsustainable.