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Saturday Pebble Report: Rockie Affiliates Go 6-2 On The Night As Tomorrow Still Looks Better Than Today

AAA Colorado Springs – L 8-1, (43-44, 3rd, 9.0 GB)

The first place Reno Aces pounded both Sky Sox starter Nick Schmidt and the Colorado Springs bullpen for eight runs and 15 hits. For Schmidt, he has now walked at least three batters in each of his last three starts (one of which was still in AA); certainly a step backwards for a guy who went 11 consecutive starts without walking more than one batter from April 15th to June 12th.

Meanwhile, the Sky Sox offense was shut down by Reno’s arms. A Brandon Roberts triple followed by a #9 PuRP Tim Wheeler RBI groundout in the 8th inning accounted for all of the Sky Sox runs and no player had more than one hit.

AA Tulsa – W 6-2 & W 1-0, (6-8 (Second Half), 3.0 GB)

The Drillers played a pair of seven inning games yesterday and took them both. In the first contest, Josh Outman held the San Antonio Missions to two runs over 4.2 innings while he struck out five and walked three. He also received some solid run support as Tulsa used a team effort to scratch out six runs. No Driller had an extra base hit, but seven players did have at least one base knock. The best days came from #26 PuRP Ben Paulsen who went 2 for 4 and catcher Lars Davis who had two RBIs.

The evening affair was all about two of the biggest factors that have made the Drillers successful all season long – The bullpen and #8 PuRP Josh Rutledge. Short a starter due to the extra game, Tulsa just used it’s bullpen for the duration of the contest and got a combined shutout performance from Cory Riordan (5.0 IP), Tim Sexton (1.0 IP), and closer Coty Woods (1.0 IP). They needed to be every bit that good too, because the only run the Drillers offense would score all night was on a Josh Rutledge solo home run in the bottom of the 6th inning. Rutledge now leads the team in average, OBP, HR’s, and OPS. (Cory Dickerson also went 2-2 in this game)

High-A Modesto – W 6-2, (11-5 (Second Half), 1st)

#10 PuRP Kyle Parker notched his fourth multi hit game in his last 11 starts, this time it was a three hit effort that also plated a pair of RBIs. #12 PuRP Rafael Ortega also had a multi hit game and swiped his 19th bag of the season. More surprising though was the effort the Nuts got on the other side of the ball. Leuris Gomez turned in his second straight quality start as he pitched 6.2 innings of one runs baseball while striking out eight and only walking three. Perhaps he can build off these two outings and better a season that at least through June has been a disaster.

Low-A Asheville – L 4-3, (8-8 (Second Half), 4th, 4.0 GB)

It’s not often that the second inning is the most important of the game, but it was in this one as it completely undid Ashville. Dan Winkler’s line looks great (7.0 IP, 1 ER), but it’s only masking the mess that was made early in the game. Two hits, two walks, a hit batter, and a Taylor Featherston throwing error that led to three unearned runs gave Augusta all the runs they would score and all the runs they would need on the night. Six Tourist starters did manage to get at least one hit, but only one was for extra bases and the offense was held to just three runs. #3 PuRP Trevor Story and #13 PuRP Will Swanner both having the night off also limited Ashville’s offensive potential)

Tri-City – W 5-4 (11 Innings), (10-12, 2nd, 3.0 GB)

For the fifth time in the last six games, the Dust Devils beat the last place Boise Hawks as they try to claw their way back to .500. The winning run in this contest was scored on a series of small ball plays in the 11th inning. First Anthony Aguilera singled on a ground ball up the middle, and then Yafistel Roja drew a walk. This brought Zach Osborne (who already had three hits on the night) to the plate. Instead of swinging away, he successfully sacrificed the two runners over. Two batters later the move would pay off as Aguilera would score on a play at the plate after a ground ball to the third baseman off the bat of Francisco Sosa. It held as the winning run.

Grand Junction – W 2-1, (10-9, 2nd, 1.0 GB)

It was a good night for the first two Rockie selections in the 2012 draft. Eddie Butler, the first pitcher picked by the Rockies this June (46th overall), turned in his best outing of his very brief career (3 games), as he posted a line of 4.0 IP, 2 H, 3 K’s, and 0 BB. Meanwhile, first round pick David Dahl (10th overall) went 1-4 to extend his perfect streak of getting on base at least once in every game he’s appeared in to 16 games. While it certainly wasn’t the most impressive performance we’ve seen from Dahl, it was still a great night for him at the plate as that one hit was a double that came with men on first and second, two outs in the 8th inning, and Grand Junction down 1-0. It would prove to be the only RBI, and only extra base hit the team would record all night, and the offensive linchpin to the team’s victory.

DSL Rockies – W 6-1, (17-13, 2nd, 1.0 GB)

#27 PuRP Jayson Aquino continued his complete domination over DSL hitters yesterday as he racked up 13 K’s in 7.0 IP without walking anyone!!! The Cubs did manage to get one run off him as he surrendered his first HR of the season but Aquino has bamboozled hitters so much over his last four starts that he now has a mesmerizing 46 K’s to just 5 BB’s in 32 IP over that time. If ownage was actually a word, this would be the definition of it.