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Tuesday Pebble Report: Organization Swept, Relievers Let Down Teams

AAA Colorado Springs: L 5-4

The Sky Sox offense tried to reclaim the game at the end, but the relief pitching wasn't able to hold the line. Though shortstop Chris Nelson was the only Sky Sox player to have a multi-hit game, the team as a whole was very productive in a 3 run eighth inning that saw three straight singles from second baseman Matt Macri, left fielder Jeff Salazar, and pinch hitter Josh Fields, who brought Macri home. After a Willy Taveras sacrifice bunt, right fielder Charlie Blackmon and Nelson batted in the final two runs. The fourth Sky Sox run had come in the second inning on an Ian Stewart homer, his fifth while with the Sky Sox.

Starter Josh Muecke was hittable, but not too bad, giving up three earned runs over six innings on nine hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out five. Andrew Johnston and Edmger Escalona each pitched one inning of relief, and while neither was completely knocked around, each gave up one earned run apiece. In the bottom of the eighth inning with the game tied at four, Escalona walked Albuquerque Isotope Trayvon Robinson, who stole a base and scored on a single in the next at bat. In a very unusual play, Nelson botched a throw to first base that was recovered by catcher Jordan Pacheco, who was able to tag out baserunner Damaso Espino who was attempting to score from third on the error. But the one run scored in the inning was enough for an Albuquerque win, and Escalona was stuck with his first loss on the season.


AA Tulsa Drillers: L 8-7

The Drillers smacked 17 hits during the game, but ultimately lost after a heartbreaking ninth inning. Aaron Cook's third rehab start in Tulsa saw him go five innings and allow four earned runs to the Springfield Cardinals on seven hits, including a home run. The good news, however, is that Cook continues to get a great deal of ground outs during his starts, and though it would be great if the hits came down, Cook didn't walk any batters during the start. He also accumulated an un-Cook like six strikeouts.

Offensively, everyone in the starting lineup except Cook got at least one hit. Prospects Tim Wheeler and Ben Paulsen each had three hits in the game, including Paulsen's fifth home run of the season, as well as Wheeler's eleventh double. Wheeler now also has 40 RBI. Infielders Hector Gomez and Warren Schaeffer had two hit games, as did outfielders Brian Rike and Scott Beerer. The Drillers took their first lead of the game in the eighth inning, when three runs came around on five straight hits taking the score to 7-5. Gomez represented the eighth run, but was thrown out at home, which would ultimately leave the lead one run too short.

Josh Sullivan, whose spot in the rotation is occupied by Cook for the time being, threw three innings in relief, allowing one earned run on four hits and a walk. Closer Adam Jorgenson, who is appearing on a surprisingly (to me) low number of PuRPs ballots so far, allowed a three run home run in the top of the ninth, his second blown save of the season. The Drillers offense was unable to tie the game in the bottom of the inning despite a leadoff single from Rike, and Jorgenson received his second loss of the year.

A+ Modesto: L 10-8

The Nuts battled the Bakersfield Blaze for 12 innings, but came up short in the end. The offensive stars were shortstop Josh Rutledge (4-7, RBI, R), designated hitter Mike Zuanich (3-6 including his 18th double of the season, 2 R) and third baseman Nolan Arenado (2-5 including singling in the tying run in the ninth inning to keep the game alive, 2 RBI, R, BB). Catcher Dallas Tarleton joined the three in the multi-hit crowd and also threw out two potential base thieves back to back to at the start of the game. Only center fielder Delta Cleary Jr. was hitless in the game, though he managed a walk. First baseman Kiel Roling gathered two RBI in the game, including walking in a run. Of the Nuts' 15 hits, only three were for extra bases, all doubles.

Starter Dan Houston had one of his worst outings of the season. He gave up 12 hits and two walks over six innings, leading to seven earned runs crossing the plate. Coty Woods came in relief of Houston for the final three innings of regulation play, allowing just one hit over his three innings pitched while striking out six. Long reliever Leuris Gomez, whom the Nuts have recently been counting on for eating innings during Tyler Matzek starts, came into the game as extra innings began. He blew the lead in the tenth, but Rutledge singled in Tarleton in the bottom of the inning to keep the game going once again. After a clean eleventh inning, Gomez ran into trouble in the twelfth, loading the bases to start the inning. One run scored on a sacrifice fly, and Gomez walked in the second. The Nuts when down in order at the bottom of the inning, and Gomez received his second loss of the year.

If you want more info on this Nuts game, look for Muzia, who was at the game.


A Asheville: L 7-1

The Tourists were quite clearly outclassed offensively by the Lexington Legends during the game, as they managed only five hits in the game to Lexinton's 11. Only designated hitter Bryce Massanari managed multiple hits, including a solo home run (his eleventh)  that would provide Asheville with their only run. Second baseman Helder Velazquez and outfielders Kyle Parker and Avery Barnes (who came in for Corey Dickerson after he ran into the wall in the second inning) each singled once. Center Fielder Rafael Ortega and shortstop Cristhian Adames each walked. The Tourists grounded into four double plays during the game.

Starter Albert Campos, who has not looked well since returning from the DL earlier in the year, was not his best, allowing seven runs (six earned) in six innings on eight hits and two walks. Relievers Josh Hungerman and Juan Perez threw effectively in the final third of the game.