Colorado Spring 7, Nashville 4
Brandon Hynick's second start since returning to the Rockies was not exceptional, but the offense and bullpen were able to secure a Sky Sox victory. Hynick was hittable in his time on the mound, allowing six hits in four and two thirds innings, including a two run home run. After a solid bridging effort from Jared Wells, Edgmer Escalona blew the lead in his first outing since returning to the minors, allowing three hits in his inning of work. Dustin Molleken (awarded his second win) and Zach Putnam (awarded his fifth save) kept the Nashville offense from rallying and allowed the Sky Sox offense to take the game in the ninth.
Tommy Field hit his third home run of the year, while Andrew Brown knocked two doubles as he begins to find his stroke after losing it after a decent showing in Spring Training. DJ LeMahieu had a four RBI game, including a bases clearing triple that gave the Sky Sox their lead in the ninth. Hernan Iribarren also tripled to lead off the game in his two hit outing, but wasn't brought around to score. The final multi-hit game of the night belonged to Wil Nieves, his first two hits since returning from the DL.
The Drillers offense turned their offense on early, and never had to look back. Eight of their nine runs were scored in the first five innings, several of which were gifted from passed balls and wild pitches from the opposition. Offense highlights included Lars Davis' second home run of the year (a two run shot), a three hit outing for Ben Paulsen and two runs batted in for Kent Matthes, one of the slower starters at Tulsa this year. Every Driller had at least one hit, with five of them putting up more than one towards the final 15 hit total.
Edwar Cabrera had uncharacteristically poor command in the game, including four walks to only three strikeouts, but minimized the damage to just three runs. The bullpen was also effective with the exception of Michael Marbry, who walked four batters while recording just one out. Coty Woods, arguably the best reliever in the system so far this season, picked up his sixth save of the year, recording the final two outs with the tying run on deck. Cabrera picked up his fourth win of the season.
Modesto and Asheville didn't fare as well. Check out reports of their games after the jump.
For the second straight start, Tyler Matzek's control has looked uncomfortably close to last year's disastrous lines. The enigmatic prospect walked seven batters in just four innings, though much like last time he avoided allowing the game to be blown open, allowing just three runs in that period. Matzek wasn't the only one with control problems in this game, though. Nick Schnaitmann (taking his third loss of the year), Kurt Yacko (third blown save in limited time at Modesto) and Craig Bennigson followed the path of their starter, each walking at least two batters. In total, Modesto pitching walked 14 (!!!) San Jose Giants, and though the Nuts' offense showed up and put ten hits and six runs on the board, it's pretty hard to expect a team to win a game with that little pitching control.
Every starting Nut got one hit, with only Rafael Ortega managing a second, though Timothy Smalling and Cristhian Adames each walked twice as well. Adames and Chandler Laurent had the only extra base hits for the team, a double for each.
An incredible Asheville pitching performance was heartbreakingly wasted thanks to a passed ball by catcher William Swanner on a strikeout that would have been the final out of the third inning. A runner scored on the passed ball, and the elongated inning allowed a RBI double off of starter Alex Gillingham, accounting for the only two runs scored by Lexington. Gillingham was slightly hittable (7 hits in 7 innings), but generally excelled in the game, striking out seven with no walks. Neither Rafael Suarez nor Taylor Reid walked batters in relief, meaning that while Modesto was busy walking 14 batters in a game Asheville walked none. Gillingham was stuck with his third loss of the season.
Obviously, Lexington put up a pretty darn good pitching performance of their own. The Tourists were limited to six singles and three walks to work with to score runs. The lone Asheville run was scored in the second inning, as Brian Humphries scored on a fielding error (all three runs scored in this game were unearned, a very unusual occurrence). Humphries and Delta Cleary Jr. recorded four of the six Asheville hits with two each. Notable prospect Rosell Herrera is in an incredible slump, going 4 for 31 over his past ten games. His batting average was lowered past the .200 mark in the game. He has a .399 OPS during that time, and just .105 points higher on the season.