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Saturday Pebble Report: Three Young Starters Provide Hope Down the Road

AAA Colorado Springs – W 4-1, (60-54, 2nd, 6.0 GB)

#11 PuRP Edwar Cabrera was excellent before being pulled with a mild arm strain. He got through four innings on just 41 pitches and shut out the Cubs on four K’s and zero walks. The bullpen pitched well from there as Will Harris allowed the only Iowa run of the game. However, it came in the bottom of the 8th when the Sky Sox held a narrow 1-0 lead. The game was tight all the way until the top of the 9th when Colorado Springs finally put three runs on the board; because of this, Harris picked up both a blown save and a win.

At the plate, #9 PuRP Tim Wheeler continues to quietly heat up as he picked up his 6th multi hit effort in the last ten games. The most important base knock came in his last at bat when he sparked the 9th inning rally with a leadoff single and later came around to score the winning run.

AA Tulsa – L 4-3 (10 Innings), (17-24 (Second Half), 3rd, 11.5 GB)

The top four hitters in Tulsa’s lineup went a combined 9-18 but the bottom of the order only collected one hit on the night. The result was the 7th game in the last nine in which the Drillers failed to score more than three runs. The biggest offensive bright spot on the night came from #14 PuRP Corey Dickerson who went 3-5 with two doubles for his second straight multi hit game.

On the mound, Dan Houston was his typical self; not bad, but not great either. 4.0 IP, 7 hits, and 2 earned runs. Unfortunately he caught Colorado Rockies disease when he injured himself tripping while backing up home plate in the 4th inning. No word yet on if he will make his next start. The contest went to extra innings knotted at three when Michael Marbry surrendered the game winning run.

High-A Modesto – L 5-1, (22-19 (Second Half), 2nd, 1.0 GB)

The Nuts lost their 5th straight game Friday as the offense never quite got it in gear. They did draw six free passes but only managed five hits all night and were 2-13 with runners in scoring position. Five players were on base twice including #10 PuRP Kyle Parker who went 1-3 with a walk, but there was only one extra base hit by a Nut all night.

Meanwhile, Juan Gonzalez was unable to keep his string of solid outings alive. He had only allowed two earned runs in his last 16 IP coming in, but in this game he surrendered 4 ER, on 8 hits in 6.0 IP.

Low-A Asheville – W 3-2, (22-20 (Second Half), 2nd, 6.0 GB)

#7 PuRP Tyler Anderson had a different kind of positive outing last night. After not striking out more than six hitters in any game this season, Anderson fanned eight Savannah Sand Gnats last night in 5.2 innings pithced. He also extended his streak of games in which he’s allowed two runs or less in at least five innings of work to seven. In those seven starts, Anderson has thrown 43.1 innings and has posted a sparkling 1.45 ERA.

Anderson had to be good too because the offense struggled for most of the game. With only four hits and no extra base knocks all night, it looked like the Tourists were going to be on the wrong side of the scoreboard in this one. However, they put together an unorthodox game winning two run rally in the 8th that included two hits, two walks, a hit by pitch, and an error. (#3 PuRP Trevor Story went 0-3 with a hit by pitch.)

Tri-City – L 6-2, (3-7, (Second Half) 4th, 3.0 GB)

The Dust Devil offense struggled to score runs again last night. They did rack up nine hits, but they were too spread out and they only drew one walk against Yakima pitching. Francisco Sosa, who is one of only two Dust Devil players this season who have at least 100 plate appearances and an OPS over .650 collected two hits and hit his team leading third home run of season.

On the mound, starter Shane Broyles gave up four runs on nine hits. It was by far the most hits Broyles has given up in any start all season.

Grand Junction – W 11-3, (2-4, (Second Half) T-3rd, 2.0 GB)

In a game that was even more lopsided than the scoreboard indicates, the Grand Junction Rockies jumped out to an 11-0 lead at the end of the 6th inning. Jeffery Popick, Julian Yan, and Wilfredo Rodriguez all had multi hit games and three RBIs a piece with Yan and Rodriguez each hitting home runs. David Dahl also had a multi hit game and also knotted his Pioneer League leading seventh triple season.

Receiving more than enough run support, Eddie Butler lowered his ERA to 2.41 with six shutout innings. He did however double his walk total on the season as he allowed two free passes on the night. Even after this outing though, Butler has been remarkable when it come to throwing strikes. He’s now allowed just four walks in 30.0 IP.

DSL Rockies – L 7-3, (32-21, 1st)

David Martinez who had been working out of the bullpen all season made his first of the year on Friday and threw six shutout innings for the Rockies. At 17 years old, Martinez has been outstanding, posting a 1.42 ERA and only walking five in 31.2 innings. With #27 PuRP Jayson Aquino’s recent promotion, Martinez may soon take over the role of most intriguing prospect on the DSL roster.

Meanwhile, the bats launched a multi pronged attack as five Rockies had exactly two hits in the game. The best day came from leadoff hitter Marcos Derkes who was on base five times with two hits and three walks.