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Monday Pebble Report: Sky Sox bomb, plus three close victories

While the Sky Sox pitching staff struggled strongly and the Tri-City offense failed to score, the Drillers, Nuts and GJ Rockies pulled off tense victories.

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Colorado Springs 4, Sacramento 20

Every once and again, you end up with a game where no matter who you put into the game, they just can't seem to pitch effectively. Jeff Francis, making his second AAA appearance of the year and first since being demoted from the Rockies, set a bad tone early. He allowed six runs on nine runs an three walks in just three innings. Cory Riordan allowed another five in his. two innings, followed by the Rockies org debut of Hisanori Takahashi, accounting for another four runs. Coty Woods walked three batters in his inning, and despite allowing just one hit, allowed another two runs. Finally, Glenallen Hill just decided to have infielder Drew Gracia throw the final inning. ANother three runs added, but not pitcher wasted on this odd night.

Offensively, Kent Matthes hit his second home run in as many days since being promoted to the Sky Sox as one of two hits. Tim Wheeler finally went deep with his first homer and knocked in two runs. Charlie Culberson singled twice.

NW Arkansas 1, Tulsa 2 (10 innings)

The polar opposite of the Springs game, Christian Bergman pitched a gem, allowing six hits and walking none while striking out two. He lasted eight innings and got 14 ground ball outs. Of the several former starters to convert to relief this year in the system, none has responded better than Dan Houston, who threw two clean innings and got the win in extras.

Kyle Parker hit is 12th home run of the year in the second inning. Angelys Nina walked twice in the game, and came around to score the winning run off the bat of Jaron Shepherd in the 10th inning. The only other Tulsa hit came from Kiel Roling. Delta Cleary Jr. struck out three times, continuing a difficult season

Visalia 5, Modesto 6

Despite leaving the first inning down 4-0, a recovery by starter Chris Jensen and good work from the Nuts bullpen kept them in the game. Jensen allowed all four of his earned runs in the first, but managed to throw another three cleanly. Geoff Parker, Russell Brewer, Kenneth Roberts and Scott Oberg (who got his 16th save) combined to allow just one unearned run on one hit and three walks.

Will Swanner had a breakout game, going 3 for 4 with two doubles, a stolen base and three runs batted in before being replaced by a pinch runner. Taylor Featherston had two hits and a pair of runs batted in. Trevor Story doubled and also stole a base.

Asheville 4, Delmarva 8

Shane Broyles continued his difficult season, allowing five runs in the first on four hits and a walk, including a three run homer. He would not return for a second inning. Ryan Arrowood was hittable in relief, allowing eight in four innings and two more runs, plus two walks. Roberto Padilla walked two of his own and saw another run cross the plate. Patrick Johnson and Rayan Gonzalez pitched clean innings.

Tom Murphy's 13th homer, a two-run shot, was his only hit of the day. Dillon Thomas led the Tourists with three knocks, all singles, and knocked in a run. Jason Stolz knocked in a run on one of his two hits, while Francisco Sosa doubled as one of his pair of hits.

Tri-City 0, Eugene 6

Konner Wade was pretty good in his debut, allowing one run over four innings on two hits and no walks. He struck out three. Jonathan Vargas, making a "pseudo-start" behind Wade didn't fair so well, allowing seven runs over the same amount of time on five hits and one walk. He struck out just one batter.

The Dust Devils walked five times, including twice by Michael Tauchman, but were unable to plate any on their three hits, leading to the shutout. An Ashley Graeter double was the only extra base hit, with Patrick Hutcheson and Sean Dwyer singling. The team struck out 11 times against Eugene pitching.

Grand Junction 6, Orem 5

The GJ Rockies remain undefeated after nearly blowing their lead late in the game, much like the real Rockies yesterday. Amateur free agent signee Devin Burke did well in his debut, lasting six innings and allowing two runs on six hits. He walked one while striking out six. Draftee Jacob Newberry made his pro debut afterward, with a clean inning, followed by another from Scott Firth. Both pitcher walked batters, but allowed no damage. Carlos Yan struggled in the ninth, managing to allow three runs on nothing but walks and hit batsmen. He was able to retire two before Jordan Mejia came in for the final out and the save.

COle Norton went 3 for 3 with a home run and two walks. Raimel Tapia and Jairo Rosario each had two hits. Ryan McMahon hit his second double, while Dom Nunez walked twice in his debut but did not record a hit.