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Saturday Pebble Report: 7-run inning dooms Modesto

Colorado Springs was on the losing end of a pitcher's duel, while Asheville came out on top of their own. Tulsa's offense burst into action as they dominated NW Arkansas, and Modesto squandered an early 5-0 lead in their 9-7 loss.

Could Rutledge be ready to return to the majors?
Could Rutledge be ready to return to the majors?

Colorado Springs Sky Sox 1, Reno Aces 3

It was pitcher's duel in Reno, as the Sky Sox (33-26) fell to the Aces (22-40). Jeff Manship held the Aces scoreless through the first four innings, but allowed two runs to come home home in the fifth off of two triples and a double. This would be all the Aces needed to win the game, though they scored one more run in the seventh inning. Manship allowed 3 runs (only two earned) on six hits and a walk, and struck out 6 batters. He also allowed five extra base hits, 3 doubles and 2 triples.

Charlie Culberson hit his eighth home run of the year in the second inning off of Michael Bolsinger. Culberson was 2-for-4 on the night, with only Josh Rutledge and Ben Paulsen reaching base via a hit. Josh Rutledge now has a four-game hitting streak. He is batting .359/.468/.564 in his last 10 games, good for a 1.032 OPS.

Reno's pitcher Michael Bolsinger, making his first start for the team, allowed six walks, but struck out seven and was able to induce Sky Sox batters to keep the ball on the ground. Three pitchers, including former PuRP Chaz Roe, pitched three hitless innings and Reno was able to take away only their 22nd win of the year.

Tulsa Drillers 8, NW Arkansas Naturals 1

Sean Gallagher earned the win and improved to 3-0, as he pitched six innings of one run ball, allowing five hits and three strikeouts against the mostly harmless NW Arkansas team. Isaiah Froneberger allowed only a walk in his inning of work, and Juan Gonzalez allowed a single hit in his two innings of work to complete the excellent job started by Gallagher and achieve a 8-1 win.

The Drillers scored 8 runs off of 12 hits and three walks. Only catcher Jose Gonzalez did not reach base at all. Cristhian Adames, Kiel Roling, and Angelys Nina each hit a home run. Angelys Nina went 3-for-4 and hit his 6th home run of the year.

Meanwhile, this was Kiel Roling's 15th home run of the year. After stalling a little in 2010 in Tulsa, he was demoted to Modesto the following year, where he improved well enough to be brought back up to Tulsa in 2012. He seems to finally have found his stride, and is batting .272/.353/.578 this year for the Drillers team.

Modesto Nuts 7, Stockton Ports 9

Despite out-hitting Stockton 13-10, Modesto was felled by a catastrophic 7 run third inning. After shooting out to a 5-0 lead in the first three innings, they fell behind 7-5. They were able to catch up to tie the game in the next to frames, but Stockton was able to put up two more unanswered runs in the sixth inning. The ugly third inning included four singles, a double, two home runs, a walk, a passed ball, a stolen base, and an RBI sacrifice fly.

Chris Jensen left the game with only one out in the third, and was charged with seven hits on seven run and two walks, striking out two and allowing two home runs. Nick Schnaitman left the game after three innings of work. He walked two batters in the bottom of the sixth, leaving Kraig Sitton with two inherited runners. Sitton walked Max Muncy to load the bases, and allowed a single to Tony Thompson to score Bobby Crocker and Addison Russell. Modesto went scoreless in the last four innings, and despite their early lead, fell to Stockton.

Modesto's offense had a productive night, and 6 of their 13 hits went for extra bases. Will Sawnner was 3-for-4, and Tyler Massey, Taylor Featherston, Jared Simon, Brian Humphries, and Trevor Story had two hits apiece.

Trevory Story and Tyler Massey had identical batting lines, going 2-for-5 with a triple, a homer, and two walks. After getting only 2 hits in his previous 6 games, Story has 7 hits in his last four games. This was his first triple and fourth homer of the year, and his first home run in 10 games. This was Massey's second game in a row where he posted that exact same line.

Asheville Tourists 3, Charleston RiverDogs 2 (13 innings)

Asheville was able to come out on top in last night's extra inning affair in Charleston. Derek Jones' game-tying RBI double in the ninth inning pushed the game into extras, and after three scoreless innings, Max White hit a two out single which allowed Jason Stolz to score from second, and Asheville was able to take the game.

T.J. Oakes, who started for Asheville, had an excellent performance, allowing only a Peter O'Brien solo home run to score. He allowed only three hits and two walks and struck out four. Brook Hart allowed a second solo home run to Reymond Nunez to put Charleston in the lead. Rayan Gonzalez pitched through the tenth inning. Michael Mason allowed a hit, a walk, and struck out five in three innings of work to earn his second win of the year.

The Asheville pitching staff showed excellent control, and combined to allow two runs on seven hits, striking out 12 while only walking four. Dante Bichette, Jr. went 0-for-5 for Charleston. Peter O'Brien posed the biggest offensive threat for Charleston, going 3-for-5 with the solo home run in the fourth.

Rosell Herrera had two hits on the night. His single in the first was the first hit of the game, and his solo home run against Rafael De Paula represented the first run of the game. This was his second homer in as many games, and in his last ten games is hitting .405/.444/.738, good for a 1.183 OPS. Moral of the story: if you are not really, really excited about Herrera, you should be.