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Pebble Report - Weekend Recap: Jay Payton making a case for a roster spot, Casper gets offensive, more

AAA - Colorado Springs: W 7-2, W 10-9 (61-74)
On Saturday, the Sky Sox rolled to the victory behind OF's Cole Garner (PuRP #23) and Jay Payton. Garner was 2-for-4 with his 13th homer of the year, while Payton went 3-for-4 with a homer and a double. Other PuRPs in action included SS Chris Nelson (#16 - 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, and two RBIs) and C Michael McKenry (#11 - 1-for-4).

The guys in the Springs finished up the series with a walk-off victory as Payton's third hit of the game plated the winning run in Paul Phillips. Nelson - along with 2B Kaz Matsui, OF Chris Frey, and OF Matt Miller - had two hits on the afternoon. Edgmer Escalona (PuRP #26) earned the win by pitching a scoreless ninth.

AA - Tulsa: W 8-4, L 3-1 (64-67)
Aaron Cook picked up the victory in his rehab start on Saturday night as he allowed two runs on five hits and two walks in 5.2 innings. He struck out six and made a throwing error on a pickoff attempt. Adam Jorgenson and Stuart Pomeranz each struck out the side in their respective innings of work to finish things off. Offensively, C Jordan Pacheco (PuRP #22) was one of five Drillers who had two hits in the game. He also knocked in four runs. OF Scott Beerer (PuRP #27) went 0-for-4, while OF Charlie Blackmon (PuRP #12) finished 0-for-3 with a strikeout and a walk.

Beerer bounced back nicely with two hits and an RBI yesterday, but that was about the extent of Tulsa's offense. Blackmon was in action again and finished the weekend without a hit, as he went 0-for-4 with a K. Brandon Durden tossed a quality start (seven innings, three runs) but was pegged with the loss.

A (Advanced) - Modesto: L 5-4, L 7-6 (67-65)
DH Mike Zuanich and OF David Christensen (who homered) led Modesto's offense with two hits apiece, but that was about it for the Nuts. OF Tim Wheeler (PuRP #8) was in action and went 0-for-3 with an RBI and struck out twice. Rob Scahill pitched well in 6.2 innings, allowing just an earned run on three hits and striking out nine. However, his defense (and to a much smaller extent, the bullpen) failed him.

Christensen homered again yesterday, as did 3B Joseph Sanders - twice. Sanders, along with Zuanich (again) and SS Erik Wetzel each had two hits. Pitching PuRPs Juan Nicasio (#15) and Casey Weathers (#17) were in action, and the results were mixed. Nicasio did well in seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out eight. Weathers, on the other hand, blew the save by allowing three runs on four hits (including a homer) and a walk while recording just one out to start the eighth inning.

More after the jump...

A - Asheville: L 3-2, L 13-1 (65-65)
The Tourists got on the board first in both games, but were unable to hold the lead in either. On Saturday, Chad Bettis started and pitched very well through 5.2 innings, allowing just a run on five hits and a walk while racking up six strikeouts. The one negative sign was that he allowed more flyouts (7) than groundouts (3). PuRPs in action included OF Delta Cleary (#20) who went 1-for-5 with a triple and a run scored, DH Eliezer Mesa (#24) who had two hits (including a double) and an RBI, and 3B Nolan Arenado (#13), who had an RBI single.

In Sunday's rout, Chris Balcom-Miller (PuRP #14) pitched fairly well, all things considered. Sure, he allowed five runs on eight hits in 5.2 innings, but he struck out nine batters and induced four groundouts, as compared to no flyouts. However, there wasn't much offense and the bullpen was downright shabby, allowing eight runs in 2.1 innings. Cleary Jr. added two more hits, as did Angelys Nina. Arenado went 1-for-4 with a double, and Mesa was 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.

A (Short Season) - Tri-City: L 4-2, L 4-3 (28-41)
OF Jared Simon had two hits in what was otherwise a rough Saturday for the Dust Devils' offense. Starting pitcher Josh Mueller allowed two runs on four hits in 3.2 innings, walking four and striking out five. Billy Vopinek (2.1 IP, H, BB, 2 K) and Bradley McAtee (IP, K) were solid in relief.

Josh Hungerman struck out five batters in five innings yesterday, but was burned by his defense and thus, was prevented from picking up a W. He allowed just one earned run on five hits. Craig Baker (IP, 2 K) and Kraig Sitton (IP, H, 2 K) were very good at the back end of the bullpen. The 1-2 combination of OF Nathan Hines and SS Jeremiah Sammy did their best EY and Dex impression, with each getting two hits at the top of the order.

Rookie - Casper: W 8-1, W 12-4 (31-34)
Tyler Gagnon was impressive on Saturday, lasting six innings and allowing a run on six hits while striking out six. Blake Keitzman (2 IP, H, 3 K) and Juan Perez combined for three frames of scoreless relief. Offensively, OF Rafael Ortega, OF Corey Dickerson, C Ryan Casteel, and OF Juan Crousset each had two hits. 1B Blake McDade homered and drove in two.

Yesterday saw more of the same from the Ghosts' offense, as Dickerson fell a homer short of the cycle while posting four hits and three RBIs. Meanwhile, Casteel also fell a triple short of the cycle and drove in five runs. Ortega tacked on two hits and a walk, and McDade pitched in three hits. SS Jeffery Squier joined the party with two hits of his own. Kyle Hancock started the game and earned the victory by tossing five innings of one run ball. Ricardo Ferrer picked up your basic 12-out save.