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Thursday Pebble Report: Modesto extends winning streak to nine

A Taylor Featherston home run helped extend first place Modesto to a nine game winning streak. Ryan Warner struggled for Tri-City and Ryan McMahon hit his seventh home run for Grand Junction.

Taylor Featherston
Taylor Featherston
Charlie Drysdale

Triple-A Colorado Springs - L 5-7 (61-64)

Kent Matthes started out hot after initially being called up to Triple-A, hitting four home runs in four games. Since then the right fielder has just one in 28 games. Things changed Wednesday as Matthes blasted two, the first as part of a back-to-back effort with Ben Paulsen in the sixth and another in the eighth inning as a Matthes put the Sky Sox up 5-4 It was part of a 2-for-4 night for the Alabama alum. Tim Wheeler had a three hit game, driving in one RBI on the night.

Starter Nick Schmidt demonstrated a commanding presence against the A's Triple-A affiliate, striking out five batters in five innings and walking just one. The lefty allowed just five hits, two earned runs and earned a no decision due to the bullpen. Rob Scahill had two shutout innings in relief while striking out a batter. Things got out of hand when Mike McClendon and Logan Kensing worked the eighth and ninth, giving up the lead with a total of five earned runs allowed.

Double-A Tulsa - L 6-12 (61-65)

Tyler Matzek had allowed just two earned runs when a two out error in the fifth by Tim Smalling set the table for a Jett Bandy grand slam and giving the Angels Double-A affiliate an insurmountable lead. The lefthander lasted five innings, giving up two earned runs on eight hits, with one walk and one strikeout. The outing saw Matzek's ERA rise slightly to 3.54 on the year.

The Drillers struggled to figure out Angels starter Mike Piazza -- a second cousin of the former All-Star catcher -- who gave up just one earned run and five hits in five innings pitched. Third baseman Tim Smalling reached the .200 plateau with a three hit night and two runs scored. Center fielder Delta Cleary Jr. also had three hits, but was unable to reach the same goal and sits at .191 for the year. Kyle Parker was in the middle of a furious ninth inningm scoring Cleary on a line drive to left field. Four Drillers reached base in the ninth, but were unable to capitalize as a Smalling double play erased the threat.

High-A Modesto - W 9-6 (67-61)

The Nuts had a back-and-forth game, scoring runs in nearly every inning before withstanding a seventh inning rally to notch their ninth win in a row. Harold Riggins got things going in the second with a RBI double scoring Jared Simon and later scoring on a Brian Humphries single. Riggins finished with three RBI on the night to go with a two-hit effort and a stolen base. Simon had his own special night as a three-run homer in the third extended the Nuts lead. Second baseman Taylor Featherston was a wrecking ball from the leadoff position, reaching base via two walks and a hit. The TCU alum scored two runs and earned an RBI with his 11th home run of the season in the ninth inning.

Starter Chris Jensen lasted just four innings, walking three and giving up three earned runs on eight hits. The San Diego grad struck out three in the effort, but also gave up a two-run homer in the third. Scott Oberg worked around a bases loaded situation in the ninth to earn his 30th save of the season.

Low-A Asheville - L 2-4 (59-67)

Jayson Aquino pitched a solid game, but ultimately earned the loss and saw his season record fall to 0-7. The lefthander went seven innings giving up just three runs on six hits, walking one and earning nine strikeouts. Aquino ran into trouble in the third when he gave up a walk and a pair of doubles with a hit by pitch sandwiched in-between. A strikeout finished the third and Jayson recorded shutouts in his remaining six innings pitched.

The third proved to be the Tourists best offensive inning as Max White scored on a Matt Argyropoulos double. The first baseman later scored when Francisco Sosa drove a pitch into center field for a single. Dillon Thomas and Juan Ciriaco didn't factor into the scoring, but both led the team with two hits apiece.

Short-Season Tri-City - L 4-10 (30-35)

Starter Ryan Warner saw his ERA jump almost a full point from 2.95 to 3.77 after Wednesday's start against the Rangers affiliate. The Colorado Springs native gave up 10 runs in the game, including a three run bomb to Ryan Cordell in the first inning. Warner finished with 10 runs off of eight hits in three innings, he walked two and struck out one.

Shortstop Alec Mehrten continued his strong year with a 3-for-4 night, including a triple and two runs scored. The California native is batting .305 with an incredible .439 on base percentage this season. The Dust Devils rallied in the seventh and eighth scoring three runs, but it wasn't enough to make up the difference as they snapped a four game winning streak with the loss to the Rangers affiliate.

Rookie Grand Junction - W 8-4 (26-32)

The Rockies snapped a five-game losing streak with a win over the Diamondbacks Rookie-level affiliate. Emerson Jimenez drove in Correlle Prime in the first inning, part of 2-for-4 night for the shortstop. Prime scored twice after reaching three times. It was the first baseman's first game in eight days as he was battling an ankle injury. Ryan McMahon led off the fifth inning with a home run and it ignited the Rockies offense who scored four more times, two coming from a Jairo Rosario single driving in Jordan Patterson and Miguel Dilone. Raimel Tapia raised his average to .372 with a 3-for-4 night, with two doubles and a walk.

Starter Devin Burke had his strikeout game working, fanning eight in 4.2 innings. The free agent pitcher signed after the 2013 draft has a 3.60 ERA in 12 appearances and four starts. Peter Tago worked a scoreless eighth, part of an outstanding bullpen effort that pitched 4.1 scoreless innings between Tago, Scott Firth and Dylan Stamey.

DSL Rockies - L 0-7 (31-36)

Tough night for the Rockies offense as they put men on in the fourth and sixth only to see them both thrown out attempting to steal second. The team mounted a rally in the bottom of the ninth when Yonathan Daza singled to center and Luis Castro walked to put two on with two outs. Hamlet Marte strode to the plate with a .294 average and seven home runs to his name this season, but ultimately failed to capitalize as he struck out to end the game.

The Dominican affiliate has shown a recent unwillingness to allow its starters to work deep in games and Wednesday was another example of that fact. Radhames Valerio started the game and lasted just 3.2 innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits. The 6-foot-2 lefthander earned seven of his nine outs via the groundball, while walking two and striking out none. Ronald Harvey and Wilson Requena worked the last 4.1 innings, giving up a comined four earned runs on seven hits and striking out five.