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Wednesday Pebble Report: Nolan Arenado Homers Twice as Nuts Grab First Place

AAA Colorado Springs -  L 6-8 (51-60, t-3rd, 12.5 GB)

Joe Mather (2011, MiLB FA) hit a 3-run home run in the top of the first inning as part of a 4-run first for the Sky Sox, but it was all downhill from there.  Billy Buckner (2011, MiLB FA) allowed seven runs in five innings of work, and Sean White (2011, MiLB FA) escaped his two innings of work with just one run allowed, despite permitting six baserunners.  Former Rockie farmhand Bruce Billings (2007, 30th round) worked a scoreless inning against the Sox for Sacramento.  Mike Jacobs (2011, MiLB FA) had three hits, and Jorge Cantu (2011, MiLB FA) went 0-for-4; Cantu is 0-for-11 since joining Colorado Springs. Video highlights are available if you have


AA Tulsa - W 6-2 (15-15, t-2nd, 1.0 GB)

After hitting home run number 29 on July 29, the last day of a homestand, #10 PuRP Tim Wheeler (2009, 1st round) has failed in eight straight games to notch #30.  Good news - a homestand starts tonight.  His 0-for-3 night dipped his batting average under .300.  #27 PuRP Thomas Field (2008, 24th round) and Michael Mitchell (2007, 25th round) had two hit nights for the Drillers, while Joey Williamson (2007, 36th round) extended his scoreless innings streak to 13 with six blank frames, allowing just three baserunners in the process.  Video highlights are available if you have

High-A Modesto -  W 11-5 (22-16, t-1st)

There is still a month left of games, but the Nuts didn't want to wait.   They came into their series with the Stockton Ports needing a sweep to tie Stockton for first place in the CAL North Division.  With an 11-5 victory last night, they did just that.  Trailing 4-2 in the sixth, Modesto's offense went Nuts, scoring nine runs over the rest of the game, with eight being driven in by #5 PuRP Nolan Arenado (2009, 2nd round) and Kent Matthes (2009, 4th round)

Arenado started the scoring burst in the sixth by unloading the first of his two home runs on the night, this a solo shot.  Leuris Gomez (2006, DR) gave the run right back, but Modesto came roaring back.  The Nuts took the lead in the seventh with a #30 PuRP Delta Cleary Jr (2008, 37th round) RBI groundout and 2-run shot from Arenado.   A bases loaded walk for Arenado in the eighth preceded a grand slam for Matthes.

This was the third time in Arenado's career he hit 2HR in a game, all of them coming this season.  He has matched last season's total of 12 HR despite moving up a level and moving to a much less friendly HR environment.  Kent Matthes has 22 hits (13 for XBH) as part of his 11-game hit streak, and #24 PuRP Josh Rutledge (2010, 3rd round) improved his hitting streak to 26 games with a double and single.


Low-A Asheville - W 10-5 (20-18, 4th, 4.0 GB)

#12 PuRP Rafael Ortega (2009, VZ) hit two solo home runs (his first 2-HR game of his career) and drove home two more with a single as the Tourists trounced the Charleston RiverDogs.  #15 PuRP Corey Dickerson (2010, 8th round) and Helder Velazquez (2006, 4th round) also went yard, as every member of the line-up got a hit.  Peter Tago (2010, 2nd round) was solid, striking out six, inducing nine ground outs and allowing 3 runs in 6.2 IP.


Short Season-A Tri-City - L 4-9 (5-2, 1st)

Ben Alsup allowed a 3-run sixth and Chris Dennis allowed two more in the 8th to turn a 4-4 tie into a 9-4 loss.  Chris Jensen got the start and left in the fourth inning, charged with four runs, three earned. Catcher Ryan Casteel collected three hits and stole a base and was the only Dust Devil not to strike out that also got a base hit.


Rookie Casper -  W 4-1  (3-0, 1st)

The Ghosts pitchers have started to figure things out.   Casper won their fourth consecutive game to improve to 3-0 in the season's second half, with the pitchers allowing 4 runs total in their last 3 games.  Daniel Winkler was the winner this time, striking out five in six innings, allowing just one run on three hits.  Rosell Herrera (2009, DR) rose his average to .311 with a 4-for-4 night, and Will Swanner doubled home two for the Ghosts. Video highlights are available if you have


DSL Rockies - L 1-4   (33-22, 2nd, 3.5 GB)

Joel Payamps pitched well, allowing two runs in five innings, but the offense was completely absent in the loss.  The Rockies had just three hits on the night - singles by Cesar Galvez, Raimel Tapia and Miguel Dilone.