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Saturday Pebble Report: Josh Rutledge has his Third Four Hit Game of the Month

This has happened a lot recently.
This has happened a lot recently.

AAA Colorado Springs – W 15-5, (36-38, 2nd, 8.5 GB)

The Sky Sox offense exploded last night for 15 runs. Matt McBride led the charge with four hits including a home run but he was just one of six Sky Sox starters who had multi hit games. One of them was #9 PuRP Tim Wheeler who now has four of those in the last five games but still has zero home runs on the season. Despite the enormous run total, Colorado Springs actually trailed in this game as late as the fourth inning before Andrew Brown hit his team leading 11th home run, a three run shot that put the Sky Sox ahead for good.

On the mound, Tyler Chatwood scattered seven hits and three walks over 4.2 innings to limit Salt Lake to one earned run. He continues to be extremely hittable as he’s now surrendered 52 knocks in just 37.1 innings.

AA Tulsa – W 8-4, (2-1 (Second Half), T - 1st)

The story of this game was #8 PuRP Josh Rutledge’s four hit night. He now has a 1.061 OPS in June despite only walking twice all month. #14 PuRP Cory Dickerson hit the game winning two run home run in the 7th, his third HR for the Drillers in just his 47th plate appearance. Unfortunately it was his only hit on the night as his OBP in Tulsa fell to just .229 in an extremely limited sample size. Kiel Roling had the other big knock, a pinch hit two run home run in the 8th to cap the Drillers’ scoring.

On the mound, Nick Schmidt’s line wasn’t terrible (2 ER in 5.0 IP), but he didn’t display his normal command of the strike zone. He walked as many hitters in a game as he has since his first start of the season (3) and wasn’t ahead of as many batters as he usually is on a consistent basis.

High-A Modesto – W 3-0, (2-0 (Second Half), T – 1st)

Juan Gonzalez, Isaiah Froneberger, Chad Rose, and Adam Jorgenson combined for a four hit shutout of the Stockton Ports. For Gonzalez, the six shutout innings were a welcome surprise as he had given up 15 ER in his last 9 IP coming into the game. Even after this game though, he’s still just 3-9 on the season with a 5.90 ERA.

Perhaps the best news from this game was from #10 PuRP Kyle Parker. He continued his red hot June with a home run in the second inning before recording two walks and another hit later in the game. For the month, Parker now has a .960 OPS but that may not even be the biggest reason to be excited here. In that same timeframe, Parker has 16 BB’s and 13 strikeouts. Its part of a developing trend this season where his K% numbers are going down and his BB% numbers are going up despite moving up a level. If a guy with his raw power potential (and he’s started to show that a bit with three HR’s in his last seven games) is developing this type of plate discipline, there’s the potential for some very, very good things here.

Low-A Asheville – L 4-2, (0-2 (Second Half), T – 5th)

A bases clearing double by Rome’s Robby Heffinger did in Asheville’s chances in this one. It never should have happened though as a crucial error by #16 PuRP Rosell Herrera helped extend the inning and lead to the three unearned runs. Alex Gillingham’s line ended up looking good (6.2 IP, 5K’s and just 1 BB) but his inability to escape that 5th inning jam proved to be his undoing on the night.

Meanwhile Ashville was held to just four hits offensively and the team was just one for ten with runners in scoring position. Sadly, this game was also a continuation of Trevor Story’s slump. The #3 PuRP is now batting .069 with a .138 OPS since June 12th and also has an ugly 14 K’s and 0 BB’s during that time.

Tri-City – L 1-0, (3-5, T- 2nd)

The Dust Devils only gave up one run in this game but it was one too many. Benjamin Hughes and Eric Federico both pitched well but Hughes was tagged with the loss as #15 PuRP Charlie Blackmon and Patrick Hutcheson were the only two Tri-City starters to record hits in this game.

Grand Junction – W 13-4, (2-3, 3rd)

David Dahl recorded his first hit with the Rockies organization last night. In fact he had two, but both times he was erased on a caught stealing. The rest of the lineup had his back though as five other Rockies had multi hit games while both Miguel De Leon and Ryan Garvey went deep.

Grand Junction had to use five pitchers to compete the other side of the coin. Jordan Mejia was the most impressive of the bunch as he struck out the side in his one inning of work.

DSL Rockies – W 6-1, (9-9)

# 27 PuRP Jayson Aquino continues to be flat out nasty. While he didn’t quite reach the 13 K’s he posted in 8.0 innings of work last time out, he came close with 12 K’s in 9.0 innings without allowing an earned run. This performance drops Aquino’s ERA to an amazing 0.30 in 30 IP on the season.

Odd Fact of the Day: Josh Rutledge now has more four hit games than walks in the month of June.

Looking Ahead: Joe Gardner will take the mound tonight for Tulsa (6:05pm MT) and face Springfield. This is the fourth time in Gardner's last eleven starts that he's faced the Cardinals.