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Monday Pebble Report: Nuts Drop Heartbreaker to Rancho Cucamonga

AAA Colorado Springs Sky Sox (41-53, 3rd PCL Pacific North, 16.5 GB)

Sky Sox 4, Aces 6

Despite his massive smile, Edgar Gonzalez' pitching on Sunday was far from smile-inducing. Going 5.2 innings and allowing 4 runs on 7 hits, Gonzalez struck out one batter and walked 3. In his defense, however, the game was tied when he left, thanks to a grounder from Keith Weiser (who is completely awesome despite an unsightly ERA, poor GB/FB rates, and a bad K/BB ratio). Josh Roenicke allowed the killing blows to the Sky Sox over his 1.2 innings of work, allowing 4 hits, a walk, and a solo home run to Aces 1B Robby Hammock.

On the positive side, Mike Paulk had a 2-hit game, raising his season average to .357 (.357/.415/.557). Paulk's having himself a nice little season down in the PCL, batting .377/.460/.585 at home and .339/.373/.532 line on the road. Those, folks, are impressive numbers, despite the PCL being an offensive league in general. I can't speak to whether or not this will give him a look over someone like Cole Garner should the big club need another outfielder, but it's certainly something to think about.


AA Tulsa Drillers (43-49, 3rd TEX North, 7.5 GB)

Drillers 5, Travelers 2

This was just a good team win for the Drillers. Willin Rosario hit another homer, bringing his season total to 15 with a .256/.300/.474 line in a pitcher-friendly league. James Cesario and Brian Rike added 2-hit days of their own, Rike coming into the game in the 3rd to replace Bronson Sardinha who left the game with a migraine.

Rob Scahill, Dustin Molleken, Joe Torres, and Daniel Turpen tossed a combined 9 scoreless innings, striking out 5 and walking 3.

Adam Jorgensen, however, allowed a 2-run HR in his 0 innings of work that also included 2 walks. I'd be more forgiving of Jorgensen, but his 7.27 ERA in the Texas League is far from acceptable, and neither is his poor K/BB, poor HR/9, poor groundball numbers... I think you get it. I don't meant to tear the guy down completely, but at 25 years of age and struggling the way he is, I wouldn't be shocked to see a release or demotion in his future. I know that Drillers' fans have been equally frustrated with his performances this season.

A+ Modesto Nuts (43-51, 4th CAL North, 21.5 GB)

Nuts 11, Quakes 12

A relatively short outing from starter Daniel Perkins wasn't supported by the Nuts bullpen. Despite jumping out to a 6-1 lead by the 4th, Nuts pitchers allowed 6 runs in the 6th and 5 in the 9th to hand the seemingly surefire victory over to Rancho Cucamonga.

Heartbreaking loss, but at least we can say that the offense brought their game faces today. Led by Nolan Arenado's 4-for-5 day (2 2B, 3 RBI) and Keil Roling's 2 bombs, the Nuts plated 11 runners on 14 hits and 5 walks. 5 Nuts batters had multi-hit days, and Angelys Nina and Carlos Martinez both added stolen bases to the game. 

Sunday's game raised Arenado's season line to .304/.349/.472.


A Asheville Tourists (43-50, 5th SAL Southern, 11.0 GB)

Tourists 7, Grasshoppers 4

Rafael Ortega paced the offense with a 3-for-5 day, while Helder Velazquez and Dustin Garneau notched multi hit days as well. Only Corey Dickerson failed to reach base for the Tourists in Sunday's matchup.

Joshua Mueller turned in a quality start for Asheville, going 6 innings and allowing 3 runs. Kraig Sitton pitched scoreless 7th and 8 innings, and despite allowing a run of his own on a solo shot, Juan Perez finished the game with plenty of room to go around.


A- Tri City Dust Devils (16-14, 1st NOR East)

Dust Devils 4, Emeralds 1

Ben Alsup tossed 5.2 innings of 1-hit ball, striking out 6 and walking 1 en route to his first professional Win. With the exception Roberto Padilla allowing a single run in his 2 innings of work, the Dust Devils' staff was nearly untouchable, allowing only 2 hits and 5 walks.

The offense wasn't overwhelming on Sunday, but given how untouchable the Tri City hurlers were, 4 runs was more than enough to cruise past a shaky Eugene defense.


Rk Casper Ghosts (9-18, 4th PIO South, 9 GB)

Ghosts 4, Brewers 3

Rosell Herrera notched 2 more hits on his season, bringing his Pioneer League line to .283/.347/.522. Will Swanner added another hit as well, bringing his season OPS to a mighty .976, fueled by 7 homers and 8 doubles. Despite going hitless, Carl Thomore did walk and steal a base. Thomore isn't hitting much thus far in Casper, but the guy is doing a great job at getting on base, with an 8:9 BB:K ratio.

As far as pitching goes, Raul Fernandez tossed 5 innings of 3-hit, 1-run ball, nearly matching his season-best performance that he set back on July 1st. Despite allowing runs in the 6th and 8th, the bullpen did their job of holding the lead over the final 4 innings, securing a precious win for the Casper Ghosts.


DSL Rockies (23-18, 4th BC Baseball City, 4.0 GB)

Off Day