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Sunday Pebble Report: Sam Moll throws a combined no-hitter for Tri-City

Sam Moll becomes the second Rockies starting prospect to throw a combined no-hitter this year. Modesto catcher Ryan Casteel notches his 20th home run and Raimel Tapia extended his hitting streak to 20 games for the Grand Junction Rockies.

Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
Charlie Drysdale

Short-season Tri-City - W 3-0 (17-19)

Starter Sam Moll (#27 PuRP) and the rest of the Dust Devils pitching staff combined to no-hit the Giants Short-season affiliate on Saturday. Moll lasted five innings, giving up just two walks and striking out five. The Tennessee native was able to produce most of his outs via the groundball with a 6-to-2 groundball rate and his ERA now sits at 2.28 after the contest. Relievers Shane Broyles, Jerad McCrummen and Trent Daniel combined to strike out five and work four shutout innings to uphold the no-hitter.

Rockies General Manager Dan O'Dowd was in the stands watching the action and had the following comments for the Tri City Herald:

"It's pretty neat for the organization. Everything is about the kids. I look at all these kids as they are my own."

First baseman Patrick Hutcheson was the offensive star of the night, going 2-for-3 and scoring two runs. Right fielder Marcos Derkes contributed both the RBI with a pair of hits, driving in Hutcheson and shortstop Patrick Valaika, who reached on a walk in the second.

Triple-A Colorado Springs - W 6-2 (53-46)

Starter Collin McHugh took the mound for the Sky Sox against the Padres affiliate on Saturday. McHugh pitched a gem, allowing just a solo home run in six innings on five hits, and earning six strikeouts. A throwing error by second baseman Hernan Iribarren led to Tucson scoring an unearned run in the fourth.

Shortstop Charlie Culberson (#28 PuRP) saw his average rise above .300 after going 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles. Right fielder Kent Matthes returned from an injury and scored a run after reaching on a base hit. Matthes is batting .588 in Triple-A this year.

Double-A Tulsa - L 6-5 in 10 innings (47-50)

Starter Chad Bettis (#6 PuRP) had a rough first inning, giving up a three run homer and eventually four earned runs in the inning. Bettis settled down and went on to pitch three scoreless innings. by then the damage had been done and he finished with a line of four earned runs in four innings pitched, eight hits allowed, six strikeouts and one walk.

Starting at first base, Kyle Parker (#5 PuRP) earned a run back in the second when he doubled and scored on an RBI groundout from Angelys Nina. Shortstop Cristhian Adames (#20 PuRP) contributed two hits and a walk, raising his batting average to .266 on the season. Joseph Gardner struck out the third batter in the ninth before the Drillers endured a 29 minute rain delay with the game tied 5-5. When the rain subsided, Gardner returned for the 10th and allowed the winning run to reach base and eventually score to earn the loss.

High-A Modesto - L 6-7 (48-52)

The Nuts held the lead late in this game, before their normally reliable bullpen gave up four late runs. Closer Scott Oberg earned the loss after giving up a pair of runs in the ninth. The outing raised Oberg's ERA to 2.04 on the season. The game spoiled a strong outing from Dan Winkler (#14 PuRP), who allowed just three earned runs in six innings, while striking out eight.

The first six batters for Modesto notched a run in the game, including second baseman Taylor Featherston (#25 PuRP), who went 2-for-4 raising his average to .274 on the year. Catcher Ryan Casteel (#24 PuRP) had just one hit, but he made it count with a grand slam in the first. It was Casteel's 20th home run of the season, just four behind the Modesto Nuts record of 24 held by Jared Clark in 2012. With 40 games to play, Casteel has a chance to catch Modesto's all-time record of 29 set by Ryan Ludwick before John Thurman Field was renovated in 1997.

Low-A Asheville - L 1-4 (50-45)

Lefty Jayson Aquino (#12 PuRP) made his third start for the Tourists and earned the loss after being betrayed by his defense. Aquino scattered six hits, allowing just one earned run while striking out five batters. Three errors in the seventh led to three unearned runs scoring and an elevated pitch count that kept Aquino from going deeper into the game. The Dominican has an ERA of 2.28 at the Low-A level this year.

Shortstop Rosell Herrera (#8 PuRP) struck out twice, but also had two hits in the against the Giants affiliate. Herrera is in the middle of his hottest month of the season, with a 1.171 OPS in July. Catcher Tom Murphy (#11 PuRP) went 0-for-4 and has been hitless in his last three games, he's batting just .179 in his last 10.

Rookie Grand Junction - L 4-7 (18-11)

Left fielder Raimel Tapia extended his hitting streak to 20 games against the White Sox affiliate on Saturday. Tapia went 2-for-5 with a double and is seven games shy of David Dahl's (#2 PuRP) record of 27 for Rookie-level Grand Junction. First baseman Correlle Prime had a pair of hits, raising his average to .293 on the season.

Fifth round pick Blake Shouse made the start for Jonathan Gray, who's start was pushed back till Sunday. Shouse lasted just one inning, giving up three earned runs on three hits, he also walked a batter and hit a batsman. Helmis Rodriguez came on in relief and gave up a solo home run in 3.2 innings. Four errors doomed Grand Junction and allowed an additional three runs to score in the game.