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Thursday Pebble Report: Dan Houston Tosses Complete Game Shutout

AAA Colorado Springs - LL 6-12 (30-36, 3rd, 8.0 GB)

Colorado Springs is the place where many former valuable MLB players are auditioning for a callup.  Several of those players had very poor nights in Las Vegas last night.  Dexter Fowler went hitless in five at-bats, pushing his rehab line to 0-for-9 with 3 K's, the same number Charlie Blackmon has had with the big club over the last eleven days.  Dex is 0-for-5 (2K) batting right-handed and 0-for-4 (1K) batting left-handed.  Ian Stewart was also hitless with a strikeout in four at bats.  John Maine (2011, MiLB FA) allowed six runs (four earned) in three innings, and Sean White (2011, MiLB FA) was pegged for three runs in an inning of work. Willy Taveras (2011, MiLB FA) homered, doubled, and drove in three for the Sky Sox.


AA Tulsa - L 0-4  (31-33, 3rd, 2.5 GB) 

Christian Friedrich (2008, 1st round) has not been dominant this season; nor has he been a disaster.  Rather, he has been quietly decent, nothing overly exciting but decent.  That pretty much described his start yesterday against the Naturals:  5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 K, 1 BB.  He also induced seven groundouts.  Tim Wheeler (2009, 1st round) singled three times and Erik Wetzel singled twice, but the team went 0-for-8 with RISP in the shutout.

High-A Modesto W 2-0 (30-35, 4th, 18.0 GB)

California League all-star pitcher Dan Houston (2008, 7th round) continues to have a spectacular year in 2011.  The right-hander, who had a 5.92 ERA in 21 games in Modesto last season, lowered his ERA to 2.56 and pushed his record to 7-1 with a complete game shutout.  Only four Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks) reached base, all via hit.  He struck out five and induced 11 groundouts.  All in all, dominant.

Dallas Tarleton and Mike Zuanich rapped out three hits, with Zuanich tagging his 12th home run of the season.  Nolan Arenado (2009, 2nd round) did not strike out for his fifth consecutive game and keeps a tidy K rate at a tiny 8.5%.  The Nuts travel to San Jose to take on the 48-17 Giants (yes, that's really their record) tonight at 8:00 MDT.


Low-A Asheville Canceled (30-35, 4th, 9.0 GB)

The Tourists were rained out, and their game in Asheville against Hickory was canceled as a result.  They travel to Augusta to open a four game series tonight at 5:05 MDT.


DSL Rockies -  W 4-3  (8-6, 4th, 1.5 GB)

On a day in which one of the biggest names of the Rockies' Latin development pipeline tormented the Padres at Coors Field, a quietly dominating arm did the same against the Padres in the DSL.  18-year-old LHP Jayson Aquino struck out seven, walked one and allowed three runs (one earned) in 7.0 IP.  That raised his season ERA to 0.77 in four starts, this after dominating the DSL with a 1.02 ERA and 6.56 K/BB in 12 starts in 2010.   With many Dominican players already matriculating stateside in preparation for rookie league Casper's season opener Monday, it seems Aquino might not actually start with the Ghosts.  Given his age and resume, that might suggest how much the Rockies buy into his success.  The offense managed just three hits, but pushed across four runs, as all three hits came with runners in scoring position.