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Thursday Pebble Report: Drillers Overcome Error-Filled Night, Sky Sox Do Not

Eye On - Hector Gomez - AA SS

Over three years ago, #11 PuRP Hector Gomez (2006, DR FA) was rated by Baseball America as baseball's #95 overall prospect at age 20.  The toolsy shortstop suffered chronic injuries, and the feeling was he would excel if only he was able to stay on the field.  That goal has been attained, as he has already played 42 games in 2011.  The results, though, have not come.  Gomez committed two errors (#'s 6 and 7 this season) in the first inning alone last night, facilitating Christian Friedrich's early exit.  As for the bat, he went 1-for-6 last night with a home run, fairly indicative of his season line.  He's hitting just .222/.266/.409 for the season with worse than league average strikeout and walk rates, but the flashes of power remain tempting for a still relatively young shortstop.  That .188 ISO represents his best of his minor league career, and 17 of his 39 hits have been for extra bases.  He shouldn't be written off yet - he still has less than 600 at bats since 2007 - but his season certainly has been discouraging overall.


AAA Colorado Springs - L 6-7 (10)  (19-28, 4th, 9.0 GB)

Troy Renck tweeted yesterday that the Rockies wanted to see #12 PuRP Rex Brothers (2009, sandwich) have better command on back-to-back days.  On cue, Stu Cole sent Brothers out for the second consecutive day last night, just the third time this season.  The previous time, he worked 1.2 scoreless with one walk and two punchouts.  The first time - five runs, four hits, and one each in the walk, strikeout, home run and innings columns.  Unfortunately, Brothers rewarded the Rockies with a loss last night, presiding over a walk-off loss after giving up three singles in the tenth after getting two outs.  He threw 22 of 34 strikes and walked one in 1.0 IP, striking out one and allowing four singles.

Offensively, #7 PuRP Charlie Blackmon (2008, 2nd round) hit his tenth home run of the season and #5 PuRP Chris Nelson (2004, 1st round) collected three hits.  Josh Fields (2011, MiLB FA) committed three errors at third base, two of which led to three unearned runs.

AA Tulsa  W 14-13 (24-20, 1st)

The Drillers scored four in the top of the first thanks in large part to a bases loaded single from #2 PuRP Wilin Rosario (2008, DR FA), but that lead would disappear quickly.  #3 PuRP Christian Friedrich (2008, 1st round) got just five outs and was charged with ten runs, with just two of them being earned.  While the lefty was on the mound Tulsa committed four errors, and they added two more later in the game.  Friedrich's official line:  1.2 IP, 10 R, 2 ER, 7 H, 3 BB, 1 K, 69 pitches, 36 strikes, 6/1 GO/AO.

Faced with a 10-4 deficit, Tulsa didn't give up.  Four runs scored in the third on a 3-run Brian Rike (2007, 2nd round) home run, and wild pitch.  Hector Gomez hit a 2-run shot the next frame, and two more scored in the fifth on a one-out botched double play ball with the bases loaded and one out.  Rike doubled home a run and scored in the seventh to finish off the scoring, at that would prove enough for the win.  #23 Ben Paulsen (2009, 3rd round) posted his fourth consecutive multi-hit game, with Rike and #16 PuRP Tim Wheeler (2009, 1st round) also rapping multiple hits.  


High-A Modesto  L 7--9 (11)  (21-25, t-4th, 10.0 GB)

It was a wild night in the High Desert.  Modesto's offense was even more lackluster than the Rockies, getting just three baserunners...through eight innings.  Trailing 5-0 in the ninth, the Zombie Nuts arose and scored five runs, with the help of two errors and two walks.  The big blow was a game tying two-run pinch-hit ground-rule double by Dallas Tarleton (2009, 20th round).    An RBI double in the 11th by Kent Matthes (2009, 4th round) and ensuiing single from Jose Gonzalez (2006, VZ FA) gave Modesto 7-5 edge, but it was not to be.  Sheng-An Kuo (2007, TW FA) walked the leadoff man in the save opportunity, then permitted two flyball singles ahead of a walk-off grand slam.

#8 PuRP Chad Bettis (2010, 2nd round) had an uneven but largely decent forgotten start, going seven innings, striking out eight and walking two.  He was charged with all five runs in regulation.


Low-A Asheville W 4-1 (21-25, 4th, 2.0 GB)

#21 PuRP Josh Slaats (2010, 5th round) allowed just one run in five innings, his best line of the season, despite walking five.  Bryce Massanari (2009, 30th round) clubbed his 12th home run, Joey Wong (2009, 24th round) rapped three hits, and Russell Wilson (2010, 4th round) singled twice.  #6 PuRP Peter Tago (2010, sandwich) and the Tourists take on Bryce Harper and the Hagerstown Suns today at 4:35 MDT.  Make sure you listen in.