Sacramento 6, Colorado Springs 14
Nick Schmidt was not especially effective on the mound, but he was not punished too badly for it and it ultimately wouldn't be a factor. Schmidt allowed eight hits (seven of which were singles) and three walks over six innings. Four runs crossed the plate, three were earned. Mike Ekstrom threw two solid innings, while Joey Williamson allowed two runs (one earned) to score on two hits.
We're nearing the stage where several AAA level guys are going to be in consideration for September callups, and some of the more notable potential candidates had excellent games today. Tim Wheeler led the Sky Sox with four hits, including two doubles. Tommy Field and Wilkin Castillo each had three hits, including a double and a triple. Castillo led the team with four runs batted in. Matt McBride, Brendan Harris and Hernan Iribarren also each had multiple hits. Chad Tracy was the only starting Sky Sox player not to manage a hit. The runs were scored in bunches, as two six run innings occurred during the game.
Much like the AAA game, Dan Houston didn't put up a great start, but the offense bailed him out. Houston picked up his ninth win of the year despite allowing six runs over five innings. While he didn't walk anybody., four of the nine hits he allowed were for extra bases. In his first appearance since returning to Tulsa from fill-in duty with the Sky Sox, Tim Sexton put up a good long relief appearance to bridge to closer Josh Sullivan, who was awarded his 17th 2012 save.
Nolan Arenado hit his 12th home run of the year as one of his team leading three hits. Ben Paulsen hit is 13th as part of a multi-hit outing, while Corey Dickerson's 21st homer (12th at the AA level) was his only knock in the game. Jimmy Cesario, Angelys Nina, Tim Torres and Michael Mitchell each also had two hits, with everybody in the starting lineup recording at least one.
And here the pattern continues. After a series of three effective starts, Kennil Gomez dropped the ball. He allowed five runs on five hits and three walks across just two and two-thirds on the mound. While Craig Bennigson was effective in long relief, Nick Schnaitmann would give up the long running Modesto lead in the seventh. Geoff Parker threw the final innings cleanly, and he would get his fifth win of the season, his first decision at the A+ level.
Rafael Ortega led the Nuts with three hits, all singles, and he would score all three times. Kyle Parker knocked in four runs on two hits, including a triple. Cristhian Adames and Joey Wong each had multi-hit games, while Delta Cleary Jr. and Helder Velazquez had big late game hits that helped Modesto come back to win.
Tyler Gagnon, who has been mostly pitching in relief after an injury-plagued first half of the year, was given the start today. Though he lasted only two and two-thirds innings and didn't strike out a batter, he allowed just one run on one hit. On the more ugly side, he walked three. Kenneth Roberts allowed one more run in the following two and a third, but generally looked sharp, as did Nelson Gonzalez, who threw three clean innings late in the game. Jefri Hernandez would nearly blow the game at the end, allowing three runs in his inning, but the final out was recorded with Asheville still on top, awarding Gonzalez his eighth win on the year.
While two of Asheville's brightest prospects in Trevor Story and Will Swanner each struck out three times, home runs from Tyler Massey (10) and David Kandilas (4) made up for their lack of production (though Story did double and score in the game as well; he has 39 two-baggers on the year). Massey also doubled, and Jordan Ribera doubled as one of two hits of his own.
In the system's lone loss, the Rockies affiliate was unable to overcome a mediocre pitching performance. Benjamin Hughes wasn't awful, but allowed three runs over five innings on six hits and two walks. The key run corssed under Chris Dennis' watch in relief, on a solo shot. Josh Slaats, still trying to battle back from an injury-plagued season, pitched a clean relief inning. Dennis was given his second loss of the year.
Three guys who have had difficult seasons led the Dust Devils offense, with Dillon Thomas, Rosell Herrera and Miguel De Leon each having two hits. De Leon hit his third home run as one of them. Richard Pirkle, also an injury victim, got two hits out of the DH spot.
Grand Junction 7, Idaho Falls 6
While there are many positive stories coming out of the 2012 draft's professional beginnings, Colorado product Ryan Warner has struggled mightily. He allowed seven hits in just two innings of work, with four runs crossing the plate. Alving Mejias threw four innings in relief, and while he wasn't untouched, with two more runs scoring on four hits, it would be good enough for his sixth in of the year. Michael Mason and Raul Fernandez held the game down in its final third, the latter getting his second 2012 save.
David Dahl, on the other hand, continued to do big things. He singled twice and walked, scoring twice and stealing his 12th base. Matt Wessinger and Michael Ramirez each had two hits, while Ashley Graeter, Ben Waldrip and Juan Ciriaco were productive with their lone hits. On the negative side, Jeremy McLeod, Julian Yan and Max White combined 0-14 with 10 strikeouts.