Obviously, the big news of yesterday for the Rockies was the beginning of Jeff Francis (story linked in the Rockpile) and to a lesser extent Brad Hawpe's minor league rehab assignments. I'll cover both, though perhaps we have a source that saw Francis live and who can provide more detail.
Chris Iannetta (2004 4th round) went 3-4 with a home run and 3 RBIs to lead the dvision-leading Sky Sox (15-12) to victory. Johnathan Herrera (Venezuela FA 2002), Matt Miller (2004 13th round), and Walter Schaeffer (2007 38th round) also had multi-hit games to pace the offense. Josh Muecke (MiLB 2010) made his first start of the year, giving up three runs on seven hit in 4.2 IP. Juan Rincon blew the save but got the win (1-1, 4.35).
The story was Francis (2003 1st round), as I said above, who went 4.2 IP, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks, striking out three. Jeff had some trouble locating the zone, it would appear, as he threw only 42 of his 74 pitches for strikes. In other words, this wasn't an indication for me that he is ready to face big league hitters.
In terms of the actual game, all the Drillers (11-16, 6.5 GB) were able to manage on offense was a two-RBI double by Ryan Harvey (MiLB FA 2009) in the first inning. After that the Drillers had 15 more innings to score but couldn't do it. The Tulsa bullpen matched their Arkansas counterparts zero for zero until Cory Riordan (2007 6th round) gave up two runs in the 16th (on a Paul McAnulty home run), ultimately taking the loss (1-3, 5.17).
Modesto's offense came to life with the presence of Brad Hawpe (2000 11th round) in the lineup, but the pitching didn't rise to the occasion and the Nuts (15-10, 0.5 GB) fell. Hawpe went 1-4 with a RBI, while Jordan Pacheco (2007 9th round) continued to impress (he's batting .404 with a 1.061 OPS on the year) with a home run and a double. Unfortunately, Juan Nicasio (DR FA 2006) simply imploded, giving up seven runs on nine hits in 4.1 IP, striking out six and taking the loss (1-2, 5.01). I had high hopes for Nicasio coming into the year, but he has done nothing so far to justify them.
Wes Musick (2009 9th round) had a strong outing, going 6.2 IP and allowing only two runs on six hits, striking out four, to take the win (3-3, 5.81). The Tourists (10-17, 7.5 GB) got multi-hit efforts from Joseph Scott (2009 42nd round), Nathan Hines (2009 50th round), and Eliezer Mesa (DR FA 2006) -- who is hitting .361 -- while Sheng-An Kuo (Taiwan FA 2007) pitched 2.2 innings of two run relief, striking out seven of the eight men he retired to close the win out.