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Thursday Pebble Report: It's Fun to Hit in Colorado Springs

 AAA Colorado Springs, W 10-4  - (50-61, 3rd, 11.0 GB)

I don't even need to tell you where the Sky Sox game was last night against New Orleans.  Just know that the Sky Sox hit FIVE home runs last night and just four singles.  Travis Metcalf (2010, MiLB FA), Brad Eldred (2010, MiLB FA) and Kaz Matsui (2010, MiLB FA) each went deep, while Mike McKenry (2006, 7th round) hit his sixth and seventh of the season, all at home.  I like seeing offense from Quadzilla, but note that his home/road splits are more ridiculous than any Coors Field hitter...ever.

Josh Muecke (2010, MiLB FA) allowed one run through six innings for the win and Edgmer Escalona (2006, VZ) tossed two perfect innings in relief.  Franklin Morales' (2004, VZ) outing was good news/bad news.  The good news was he didn't walk anyone.  Bad news:  he allowed three hits, two runs and a home run in one inning.

Jhoulys Chacin (2006, VZ) is scheduled to start tonight for Colorado Springs, but he obviously won't if the Rockies choose to remove Aaron Cook from the rotation.  If no news is out by tonight, we should know indirectly at the start of the Sky Sox game

AA Tulsa, L 2-3 - (22-17, 2nd, 2.0 GB)

Rex Brothers (2009, sandwich pick) got the loss as the NW Arkansas Naturals walked off on the Drillers, but don't blame Brothers.  He allowed a leadoff ground ball single up the middle, a sacrifice bunt and Jeff Kindel (2006, 14th round) booted a ground ball to allow the winning run to score.  Bruce Billings (2007, 30th round) continues to flourish in the bullpen, as he struck out three in two scoreless innings in relief.  That marks the fifth consecutive relief appearance in which Billings struck out three batters.  Kyle Vrska featured Billings in this article last week.  Keith Weiser (2006, 3rd round) pitched effectively for six innings as well, allowing two runs in six innings.

Jason van Kooten (2003, 46th round) scored both Tulsa runs.  He doubled and scored from second on a wild pitch and led off the seventh with a single, later scoring on a Lars Davis (2007, 3rd round) single.  Davis has replaced Wilin Rosario in the Drillers' lineup after Rosario injured his knee.  Scott Beerer (2003, 2nd round), Kindel and van Kooten each had two hits.

High-A Modesto, W 4-3 - (18-21, t-3rd, 7.0 GB)

Parker Frazier (2007, 8th round) was very effective for his second straight start.  He struck out seven, walked one, and allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits over six innings. Josh Sullivan (2005, 5th round) walked two and committed an error on a pickoff move to lead to the third run.

Ryan Peisel (2008, 8th round) doubled in a run and scored on a Scott Robinson (2006, 30th round) single.  James Cesario (2008, 46th round) singled twice and walked twice.   Erik Wetzel (2008, 13th round) and Ben Paulsen (2009, 3rd round) added RBI singles.

Low-A Asheville, W 3-2 -  (23-16, t-1st)

A three-run third inning was all it took for the Tourists to win their fifth of their last six games, thanks to starter Nicholas Schnaitmann (2008, 22nd round) and a dominant bullpen.    Schnaitmann allowed one run (on a sac fly) on four hits in five innings.  Sheng-an Kuo (2007, TW) allowed a solo home run in the ninth but struck out two for the save.  Paul Bargas (2009, 13th round) tossed a 1-2-3 eighth.  Coty Woods (2009, 33rd round) was better with a 1-2-3 7th with two K's and Daniel Perkins (2009, 27th round) one-upped Woods by striking out the side in the sixth.

After an error, walk and Angelys Nina (2007, DR) bunt single to load the bases in the third, Jared Clark (2009, 12th round) laced a single to center to score two.  Nolan Arenado (2009, 2nd round) killed the rally with a double play ground ball, but the run scored on the play proved to be the winning run.  Orlando Sandoval (2006, DR) and Clark each had two hit games.

Short-A Tri-City, L 0-7 - (5-3, 1st)

Samuel Deduno (2004, DR) seemingly took a step back  in his recovery last night.  After a dominant outing July 30, he was hit around for seven runs  (six earned) on eight hits in five innings.  He only struck out three, walking one.  This came on the heels of striking 14 and walking one in two scoreless outings.  Joshua Slaats (2010, 5th round) found Deduno's lost dominant pitching potion though, striking out six in four perfect innings.  The 21-year old right hander has struck out 11, walked one and allowed one hit in 7.1 scoreless innings to start his career.

Usually, it's a good sign when your 9-hole hitter gets on base in each plate appearance.  David Hernandez (2009, DR) singled twice and walked, but he accounted for all of the Dust Devils hits.  

Rookie Casper, Postponed -  (3-1, 2nd, 0.5 GB)

Weather didn't allow the series finale in Orem.  The club opens a three game set against Ogden in Casper tonight at 7:05 with Tyler Gagnon (4-0, 2.22) (2009, 15th round) on the hill.

DSL Rockies, Susp. - (31-22, 3rd, 8.0 GB)

Yesterday's game against the Orioles was suspended.  They will try to break a four game losing streak this morning at the Cubs.