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Wednesday Pebble Report: Tourists Win Home Run Derby, Nuts Crushed, Check Out Joe Gardner

Corey Dickerson has five dingers in five games for the Tourists
Corey Dickerson has five dingers in five games for the Tourists

AAA Colorado Springs - L 2-6 (62-76, 3rd, 12.5 GB)

Clayton Mortensen's (2011, trade) struggles in the PCL continue, as the lanky right-hander allowed six runs on eight hits in the first 4.1 innings. He walked three and unleashed two wild pitches, but the bullpen of Keith Weiser (2006, 3rd round), JC Romero (2011, MiLB FA) and Andy Graham (2006, 21st round) held the Bees scoreless the remainder of the game. Ryan Spilborghs (rehab) doubled and singled twice, Ryan Rohlinger (2011, MiLB FA) hit a home run and Scott Beerer (2003, 2nd round) rapped out two more hits. Chris Nelson (2004, 1st round)injured himself swinging in his first at-bat and left the game, though I don't know the extent of his injury.


AA Tulsa - W 4-3 (32-31, 2nd, 1.0 GB)

The Drillers just keep rolling, as Tulsa beat Springfield last night for their eighth consecutive win. Unfortunately, Northwest Arkansas beat Arkansas, so the Drillers remain one game out of the division with now six games remaining on the season. A #19 PuRP Ben Paulsen (2009, 3rd round) sacrifice fly in the first and Brian Rike (2007, 2nd round) RBI single in the second gave Tulsa an early lead. After falling behind 3-2 in the third, Jimmy Cesario (2008, 46th round) and Rike hit back-to-back home runs to lead off the fourth for a 4-3 lead that would hold until the 27th out. 

Joe Gardner (2011, trade) worked seven strong innings, allowing two runs on four hits. Most importantly, he induced 16 groundouts to just 2 air outs, indicating the sink he was acquired for is alive and well. Gardner has taken a strong step forward in AA since moving over from the Cleveland organization. In his five Tulsa starts, Gardner has allowed 10 ER in 31.1 IP (2.87 ERA) with 18 K's and just four walks. He has induced 56 groundouts to just 14 air outs in that time. He has done everything the Rockies hoped he would - don't forget about him. 

High-A Modesto - L 4-17 (37-27, 1st)

Alan DeRatt (2008, 17th round) got lit up in Stockton, as he allowed 13 runs (7 earned) on 11 hits while retiring just 10 men. The Ports ended up scoring in 7 of the 8 innings they batted, as Modesto suffered an ugly loss in their effort to protect a slim one game lead in the division. The best offensive performance of the night came from #24 PuRP Josh Rutledge (2010, 3rd round), who tripled, singled twice and scored twice.


Low-A Asheville - W 6-5 (11) (36-29, t-3rd, 2.0 GB)

Joey Wong (2009, 24th round) delivered the Tourist's five-game sweep of Hagerstown with a walk-off bases loaded opposite field single in the 11th inning. Chandler Laurent (2009, 21st round) hit a clutch game-tying home run in the bottom of the tenth after Bruce Kern gave up a solo home run in the top half, and 2-run shots from #12 PuRP Rafael Ortega (2008, VZ) and #15 PuRP Corey Dickerson (2010, 8th round) completed the Asheville scoring on the day. It was Dickerson's fifth home run in the 5-game series against just 2 strikeouts, though naturally it came at home: Dickerson has a .212/.299/.397 line on the road and .356/.418/.841 at home. #28 PuRP Josh Slaats (2010, 5th round) pitched seven strong innings for a no-decision.


Short Season-A Tri-City - W 2-1 (17-12, 1st)

Ryan Casteel (2010, 17th round) poked a two out ground ball single to right-field in the ninth inning to score Jaron Shepherd for the walk-off victory in Pasco, Washington. Shepherd moved into scoring position on a wild pitch after pinch-running for Jordan Ribera (2011, 21st round), who had singled. Christian Bergman (2010, 24th round) held the Salem-Keizer to just one run on two hits over seven innings for the no-decision. Rafael Suarez (2006, VZ) tossed two scoreless innings for the win.


Rookie Casper -  W 6-4 (12-17, t-3rd, 7.0 GB)

The Ghosts lost all seven games on their recent road trip after winning the home finale August 21. Mike Lansing Field brought back the winning ways last night though, as the Ghosts won for just the 2nd time in 14 games. Rosell Herrera (2009, DR) doubled and scored in the first inning, then singled home Trevor Story (2011, sandwich pick) in the third after Story walked and stole his 11th base in just his 40th game. The Ogden Raptors stormed back with four in the fifth inning despite hitting just one ball between the white lines. Between Raul Fernandez (2008, DR) and Brook Hart (2011, 23rd round), the Ghosts gifted runs via the following: BB, HBP, K, K, BB, HBP, pitching change, WP, single, WP, K. The Ghosts bounced back in the sixth with a four-run frame of their own, highlighted by home runs from Sam Mende (2011, 31st round) and David Kandilas (2009, Australia). The bullpen held Ogden scoreless the rest of the night