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Saturday Pebble Report: Matzek and Bettis are Dominant, Thomas Makes a Splash in Debut

It was a decent day for the affiliates overall (3-3) and a great day for Tyler Matzek and Chad Bettis. More on that below.

Nashville 11, Colorado Springs 4

The Sky Sox (52-62) got a four hit from SS Ryan Rohlinger plus multi-hit games by PuRP 14 catcher Jordan Pacheco and by CF Joe Mather, but the pitching wasn't there. Alan Johnson lasted only four innings, allowing 8 runs on 14 hits to get the loss (4-8). Carlos Gonzalez went 1-5 in his rehab assignment, leading off and playing RF.

Springfield 4, Tulsa 2

The Drillers (19-22 2nd half, 52-59 overall) lost their third straight game to fall 3 games back of the division lead. Tulsa was led offensively by a three hit effort from PuRP 27 2B Thomas Field, but only one of their 9 hits went for extra bases. The recently acquired Joe Gardner made his Drillers debut with a loss (0-1), allowing 4 runs on 7 hits in 6.1 innings while striking out 6.

Modesto 7, Rancho Cucamonga 2

The Nuts (23-18 2nd half, 56-55 overall) rode a strong pitching performance from my personal favorite pitching prospect (I ranked him 4th on the last PuRPs list), PuRP 11 Chad Bettis. Bettis (10-5) went 7 innings, allowing 5 hits and 1 run but striking out 10 in the process. Since the All-Star break Bettis has gone 6-1 with a 2.64 ERA and a 4:1 K/BB ratio. At this point he really needs to be in AA. Offensively, 1B Jared Clark hit a grand slam (4) while 2B Angelys Nina and PuRP 5 3B Nolan Arenado both had multi-hit games.

Asheville 3, Hickory 1

The Tourists (23-18 2nd half, 54-56 overall) won their fourth straight on the strength of the best start PuRP 4 LHP Tyler Matzek has had as a professional -- and a great sign as he looks to regain the form that made him the top PuRP once upon a time. Matzek (2-3) went 7 innings, allowing 4 hits and 1 run while striking out 9 and (most importantly given his control problems) walking only 1 man. It's been a lost season so far for Matzek, but his last few starts since taking a sabbatical to California to regain his delivery have been very encouraging indeed. Offensively, PuRP 12 CF Rafael Ortega had three hits and PuRP 25 SS Cristhian Adames had two to lead Asheville.

Short season ball after the fold.

Eugene 10, Tri-City 8

The Dust Devils (28-20) got multi-hit efforts from 2B David Hernandez, SS Taylor Featherston, and 1B Matt Argyropoulos as well as a homer by 3B Jayson Langfels (3), but the pitching dug them a 9-1 hole and the offense couldn't recover the gap.

Casper 14, Idaho Falls 2

The Ghosts (5-1 2nd half, 16-28 overall) have effectively gone from worst in the first half to first in the second. Casper was led offensively by a 3-5 night and a 3 run homer (1) by 2011 5th rounder Dillon Thomas, who was making his professional debut. The Ghosts also got a homer from leadoff hitter David Kandilas (2), part of a 2-4 night for him. Three other Ghosts had multi-hit nights to pound their foe into the ground. Brook Hart got the win (2-1) with 5 innings of two run ball in relief.

DSL Rockies (33-22) -- PPD