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Thursday Pebble Report: Bruce Billings Breaks Scoreless Record

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Billings also threw a no-hitter in Asheville two seasons ago.  (Photo by Ken Weisenberger/
Billings also threw a no-hitter in Asheville two seasons ago. (Photo by Ken Weisenberger/

AAA Colorado Springs, Off Day  (28-30, 3rd, 2.0 GB)

The Pacific Coast League had an off day yesterday.  The Sky Sox used it as a travel day from Salt Lake to Las Vegas, where they will take on the 51s (Blue Jays).  Esmil Rogers (0-0, 3.86) (2003, DR) will take the ball for Stu Cole.

AA Tulsa, W 2-1 - (24-31, 3rd, 8.5 GB)

The record had stood for 60 years, but Bruce Billings (5-3, 2.73) (2007, 30th round) has pushed Jim Blackburn aside to etch his name in Tulsa history.  By pitching 7 2/3 scoreless innings against the Springfield Cardinals (Cardinals), Billings polished off a 39 inning scoreless streak before seeing it snapped from the dugout.  After getting two quick outs in the eighth, Billings walked one and gave up a single.  His replacement, Scott Rice (2010, MiLB FA) walked a batter and hit another with the bases loaded to end Billings' streak.  What a tortuous way to see that streak end, just three innings shy of the Texas League record.  Our hats are off to you, Bruce.  His final line - 7.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 6 K, 2 BB.

Billings made sure himself that he wouldn't get Kershaw/Ubaldo'd.  In the top of the eighth, Billings doubled and scored on a Charlie Blackmon (2008, 2nd round) single. Blackmon would later score what would prove to be the winning run on a Daniel Mayora (2005, VZ) double.   Keith Weiser (3-4, 2.81 ERA) (2006, 3rd round) takes the ball tomorrow in a rematch.

Single-A recaps after the jump.

High-A Modesto,  - (31-27, 2nd, 5.0 GB)

The Nuts are doing too good of a job emulating their big league brethren.  Does this sound familiar?  The Nuts got a fantastic start from their starter, had virtually no offense, putting too much pressure on the bullpen, which eventually cracked in extra innings.  Filling the Aaron Cook role was Juan Nicasio (2006 DR), whose 7.0 IP, 5H, 1 ER, 2 R, 6 K, 2 BB is not only deserving of a win, but it's very close to Billings' effort. 

Michael Mitchell (2007, 25th round) drove in a run with a double and scored on a bunt single from Jordan Pacheco (2007, 9th round) for Modesto's two regulation runs.  Thomas Field (2008, 24th round) actually gave the Nuts a lead in the 12th with a sac fly, but Adam Jorgensen (2008, 26th round) served up a solo home run with two outs in the bottom half to extend the game.  Isaiah Froneberger (2007, 4th round)  took the loss by walking a batter and allowing a walk-off double.  After being unscored upon in 13 of 15 outings to start the year, Froneberger has been lit up in four straight, walking eight and striking out nine on the way to nine earned runs in eight innings.


Low-A Asheville, Off Day -  (25-34, 5th, 10.5 GB)

The South Atlantic League also had the day off.  Chris Balcom-Miller (0-2, 3.80) (2009, 6th round) will try to get his first win above rookie ball by beating the Kannapolis Intimidators (White Sox, and yes that's really their name) tonight at 5:05MDT.