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Sunday Pebble Report: Jared Clark Leads Nuts to Victory...From the Mound

David Dahl takes his first at-bat in the Grand Junction home opener.  He would fly out to left.  Photo courtesy of @Joe_Poll
David Dahl takes his first at-bat in the Grand Junction home opener. He would fly out to left. Photo courtesy of @Joe_Poll

AAA Colorado Springs - W 8-4, (37-38, W2, 2nd, 8.0 GB)

One of my company's clients is married to the sister of one of the uncles of one Trevor Story. That same client is also second cousins with the pitcher who faced the Sky Sox last night - superprospect Danny Hultzen. It was Hultzen's first AAA start after being promoted from AA last week, and the Sky Sox chased him in just three innings. The lefty struggled with control, walking five, including walking in a run and allowing a run on a wild pitch. Brandon Wood (2012, MiLB FA) hit an RBI ground rule double in the first, followed by a 2-run knock from Chad Tracy (2012, trade). #9 PuRP Tim Wheeler (2009, 1st round)continues to boost his average without extra base hits, as the center fielder singled four times to raise his batting average to .339. Organizational soldier Brandon Hynick (2012, MiLB FA) got the win by allowing four runs in five innings.


AA Tulsa - L 4-5, (2-2, L1, t-1st, t-last)

Tim Torres (2012, MiLB FA) unloaded a deep fly ball to center field with two outs in the ninth that traveled 400 feet to dead center field, but it landed in Oscar Taveras' glove for the game's final out. With that, the Drillers lost by one. The Drillers have now won 10 of their last 15, with all five losses coming by one run. #1 PuRP Nolan Arenado (2009, 2nd round) singled twice and walked, #14 PuRP Corey Dickerson (2010, 8th round) tripled and scored, Lars Davis (2007, 3rd round) singled thrice, and #8 PuRP Josh Rutledge (2010, 3rd round) doubled and scored twice. #22 PuRP Joe Gardner (2011, trade) allowed just four hits, but three went for extra bases, and he walked two against two strikeouts. That resulted in 4 runs (3 earned) in 5 innings of work. He did have the sinker working most of the night though, as evidenced by his 16-2 GO-AO ratio.

High-A Modesto - W 7-6 (18), (3-0, W3, 1st)

Jared Clark (2009, 12th round) was the hero last night, but it had very little to do with his bat. Clark, who leads Modesto in HR and RBI, was 1-for-7 with a double. His heroics came...on the mound. After Chad Rose (2008, 16th round) walked three in a two-run ninth inning to tie the game, both Stockton and Modesto held each other scoreless for the next. Seven. Innings. The final three were pitched by Jared Clark, following a parade of seven Nuts pitchers, as the game was a designed bullpen start. Modesto finally broke through in the 18th inning, when Helder Velazquez (2006, 5th round) singled home Dustin Garneau (2009, 19th round), who had singled and advanced on a bunt. Velazquez was the only hitter on either side with three hits in the 18 innings. Modesto will need Tyler Matzek to pitch deep into the game today


Low-A Asheville - L 3-9, (0-3, L5, t-6th, 3.0 GB)

With the beleaguered Modesto bullpen and designed bullpen start Saturday night, the Nuts could use an additional starter coming up from Asheville. A decent candidate would be Saturday's starter #7 PuRP Tyler Anderson (2011, 1st round), but he continues to not dominate Low-A ball. The lefty lasted just four innings. He struck out three but allowed two walks and seven hits (three doubles), which resulted in three runs. Rafael Suarez and Michael Wolford each allowed three runs in two innings of relief. The Tourists are now 0-3 in the second half after having the best record in the SAL in the first half. More quizzical - all three losses have come at the hands of the Rome Braves, who were just 18-52 in the first half.

#3 PuRP Trevor Story (2011, sandwich pick) went hitless again, dropping his disappointing-June-out-of-nowhere line to .156/.250/.234, but it doesn't appear to be affecting his plate discipline, as the shortstop walked twice. It may be affecting his defense though, as he committed three errors to bring his season total to 16. #13 PuRP Will Swanner (2010, 15th round) had his third two-walk game in his last six contests, and he has walked in six of his last eight games. This development is arguably more important to maintaining Swanner's prospect ceiling than his catcher defense.


Short-season A Tri-City - L 4-7, (3-6, L3, t-2nd, 1.0 GB)

#17 PuRP Peter Tago (2010, sandwich pick) continues to struggle, as the right-hander allowed 5 runs in 5 innings. He walked three, allowed a home run and unleashed a wild pitch. Tago now has allowed 11 hits in 8.2 IP over two starts this season. Seth Willoughby (2012, 4th round) made his pro debut, allowing a single and a two-run home run to a fellow named Balbino Fuenmayor. Charlie Blackmon doubled, and Tom Murphy (2012, 3rd round) continues to hit well, with two hits and two runs driven in from the cleanup spot.


Rookie Grand Junction - W 10-6, (3-3, W3, 2nd, 2.0 GB)

The Rockies won their home opener, with plenty of offense. Jason Stolz (2012, 17th round) and Ryan Garvey (2012, 33rd round) have hit the ground running in their pro careers, and they haven't stopped. Stolz doubled, singled twice and drove in three runs; Stolz has hit 9-for-26 so far this year. Garvey fell a triple shy of the cycle and is now 9-for-17 for the season. David Dahl (2012, 1st round) hit an opposite field ground rule double. Cesar Galvez is making a strong transition stateside, as the shortstop and leadoff hitter tripled and walked twice, lowering his average to .348. He also committed two errors.

Josh Mueller (2010, 13th round) gave up 3 runs in 5.1 innings, and Brian Rike (2007, 2nd round) rebounded from Wednesday's debacle well by retiring five of the six men he faced. The Rockies have now rebounded from an 0-3 start to win three straight against Idah Falls, who had opened the season 3-0.


DSL Rockies - W 14-3 (10-9, W2, t-3rd, 2.0 GB)

Second baseman Miguel Dilone, who turns 19 in two weeks, tripled twice and drove in five runs to aid in the Rockies' onslaught on the Dominican Reds. The left-handed hitter is worth keeping an eye on, as he has walked 56 times to just 38 strikeouts in his DSL career, and he's quickly approaching that coveted .300/.400/.500 slash line this season. First baseman Henry Garcia had three hits and a stolen base and catcher Jairo Garcia hit his first home run. Five Rockies hitters drove in at least two. Reliever David Martinez worked three perfect innings for the win in relief of Carlos Estevez.