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Thursday Pebble Report: Ian Stewart Debuts in AAA, Rex Brothers Still Punching Out Fools

AAA Colorado Springs, L 3-4 (5-9, 3rd, 4.5 GB)

Ian Stewart made his AAA debut against old friend Chaz Roe with mixed results.  In four plate appearances, he walked twice, stole a base, and grounded out to second.  He also committed a fielding error, though he was joined by #14 PuRP Jordan Pacheco (2007, 9th round) in the E column.  Pacheco threw the ball into center field in consecutive innings on stolen base attempts.  #7 PuRP Charlie Blackmon (2008, 2nd round) doubled and singled and continued to push his average north of .300 and OPS further into four figures.  Eric Young Jr. (2003, 30th round) doubled and singled as well.  Young is now hitting .325.

#12 PuRP Rex Brothers (2009, sandwich) came in to protect a late one run lead with one out and runners on the corners.  The Tacoma Rainiers managed to line consecutive singles off the gloves of infielders, scoring two runs.  Despite not being charged with an earned run, the southpaw earned his first blown save.  After the two singles, Brothers retired the next five batters, four via strikeout.  He has now struck out 14 and walked 3 in 8.0 shutout innings.

AA Tulsa, L 1-6 (6-7, t-3rd, 1.5 GB)

After two starts this season, Cory Riordan (2007, 6th round) had a gruesome 11.73 ERA, having allowed 17 hits in just 7.2 IP and striking out just four.  He showed last night finally why the Rockies chose to protect him from the Rule 5 draft this past offseason.  In seven sterling innings, he struck out seven to nil free passes and permitted just a trio of base knocks. However, the Cardinals were opportunistic with their hits off the Drillers' right-hander.  One was a solo home run, while the other two were singles sandwiched around a stolen base.  Riordan was truly the only Driller that shined, as both the line-up and bullpen failed to hold up to the starter's standard.

Tulsa managed just four hits on the day.  #23 PuRP Ben Paulsen (2009, 3rd round), #2 PuRP Wilin Rosario (2008, DR) and Thomas Field (2008, 24th round) each singled, with Field tacking on a solo home run for the Drillers' lone run.  Adam Jorgenson (2008, 26th round) allowed a single and three walks ahead of a double to push the final deficit to five.  #11 PuRP Hector Gomez (2006, DR), Paulsen and Rosario struck out in order to end the game.

High A Modesto,  L 4-6  - (6-8, 4th, 2.0 GB)

#4 PuRP Nolan Arenado (2009, 2nd round) doubled twice as part of his three-hit night, an effort which pushed his hitting streak to five.  He has gone three consecutive games without a strikeout and has avoided a two-strikeout night in every game of the season (though he has yet to draw a walk in 2010).  #30 PuRP Delta Cleary (2008, 37th round) also produced a three-hit night including his first triple of the season.  Parker Frazier (2007, 8th round) gave up five of the runs (four earned) in 4.1 IP for the loss.


Low-A Asheville, L 8-18 - (7-7, 3rd, 1.5 GB)

The good news is that the sticks showed up for the Tourists - all nine Asheville batters in the game recorded a hit, with Cristhian Adames (2010, DR) the only one not to smack one for extra bases.  C/DH Bryce Massanari (2009, 30th round) hit a home run among his two hits to keep his average over .400, and #15 PuRP Corey Dickerson (2010, 8th round) continued his resurgence from a poor season start with a two hit day.

The bad news is that the offense showed up in an even bigger way for the Lakewood Blue Claws.  They put together a 6-run fourth against starter Ricardo Ferrer (2007, DR), a 6-run eighth against Bradley McAtee (2008, 45th round) and a 3-run ninth off Kraig Sitton (2010, 7th round).  PuRP #9 Kyle Parker (2010, 1st round) was out of the line-up for the fourth consecutive day with the flu.