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Saturday Pebble Report: Modesto Clinches A Playoff Spot, Sky Sox Are Eliminated

AAA Colorado Springs – L 8-4, (73-68, 2nd, 5.0 GB)

Troy Tulowitzki made his third rehab start for the Sky Sox last night going 1-4 with a double; unfortunately he also committed an error for the second time in as many games as he’s been in the field for the Sky Sox. Tulo will be evaluated in Denver again today as the team tries to figure the best time for him to return. Hopefully it’s soon, I miss me some Tulo. (Jason Giambi – also on a rehab assignment - went 1-3 with a double and is scheduled to rejoin the team tonight.)

The real offensive star of the night was #9 PuRP Tim Wheeler, who went 5-5 with triple in what was his best game of the season at plate. Brendan Harris and Brandon Wood also added on two hit nights. Despite a 13 hit effort though, the Sky Sox found themselves down by eight runs at the 7th inning stretch thank to a mediocre start from Cory Riordan and another disastrous outing from reliever Austin Bibens-Dirkx. (In his six games with the Sky Sox, Bibens-Dirkx has now compiled a 16.76 ERA and has allowed more base runners than he’s recorded outs in all but one of those outings.)

The loss officially eliminates the Sky Sox from playoff contention as they are now 5.0 games back with three to play.

AA Tulsa – CANCELED, (32-34 (Second Half), 3rd, 8.5 GB)

The Drillers were looking to finish off a four game sweep of the Springfield Cardinals but the remnants of hurricane Isaac forced a cancellation of the game. However, these two teams have not seen the last of each other as they will play a best of five playoff series starting Wednesday after Tulsa travels to Northwest Arkansas this weekend to finish off the regular season.

High-A Modesto – W 3-1, (39-28 (Second Half), 1st)

The Nuts clinched a playoff berth Friday as they defeated the San Jose Giants and locked up the second half crown. All three Modesto runs were scored in the second inning in a rally that included walks by #10 PuRP Kyle Parker and Jared Clark, an RBI double by Timothy Smalling, and an RBI single off the bat of Dallas Tarleton.

Meanwhile, Josh Mueller continues to defy the odds as he turned in five innings of one run baseball despite walking five and striking out four. This outing was emblematic of Mueller’s time as a starter all season. In eight starts he has a 2.74 ERA in 42.2 innings despite an unattractive 27 to 17 K/BB ratio.

Low-A Asheville – L 4-3, (39-28 (Second Half), 2nd, 4.5 GB)

The Tourists lost their fourth one run game in the last five such contests. Starter Chris Jensen tossed six solid innings of two run baseball and was in line to get the win until Nelson Gonzalez surrendered a pair of runs in the 7th. Offensively, #3 PuRP Trevor Story and #23 PuRP Sam Mende each had a two hit game that included a double while #13 PuRP Will Swanner finished off his disastrous August with an 0-4 showing. For the month, Swanner batted .203 with .288 OBP, a .627 OPS, and a 33% K rate.

Tri-City – W 10-5, (14-23, (Second Half) 4th, 9.0 GB)

After not scoring double digit runs all season, the Dust Devils have now done it two games in a row. Home runs from Tom Murphy and Miguel De Leon as well as a three RBI game from third baseman Matt Argyropoulos were key in the effort.

On the mound, Ryan Arrowood and Matt Flemer got all the outs as Josh Slaats worked in-between them and failed to retie any of the three hitters he faced. Arrowood pitched the first five innings giving up two runs while Flemer worked an impressive final four shutout frames.

Grand Junction – L 8-4, (18-14, (Second Half) 2nd, 1.0 GB)

Despite the score, there was actually some good pitching for the Grand Junction Rockies in this one. Shawn Stuart, Jonathan Vargas, and Jordan Mejia all worked at least one inning while striking out at least a batter an inning. All of the damage came off of starter Johendi Jiminian (2.0 IP, 5 ER, 1 K, and 5 BB’s) and Brian Rike (1.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, and zero K’s).

Meanwhile, David Dahl is still in video game made. Grand Junction had just four hits all night, but Dahl had half of them including a first inning home run that gave the Rockies an early 2-0 lead. Not only are Dahl’s overall numbers impressive, but he’s been remarkably consistent as will. His OPS stands over 1.000 during every month of the season so far.

Looking Ahead: #4 PuRP Tyler Matzek will pitch for the Nuts tonight. I have no idea what to expect. (You have a better chance of guessing the lottery than Matzek's line)