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Saturday Pebble Report: Gray finding groove, organization sweeps the night

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On Friday, for the first time all season, every team in the organization picked up a win

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing but "W's" to talk about here.

Triple-A: Colorado Springs 7, New Orleans 5

The Sky Sox maximized their nine hits and took advantage of three Zephyr errors and cashed them into seven runs. Wilin Rosario and Josh Rutledge both played in this game with Rosario going 1-4 and Rutledge reaching base three times with two hits and a walk. Ben Paulsen also reached base three times via two hits and a walk and raised his OPS on the season to .990.

The other member of the two hit club for the Sky Sox was Jason Pridie who also hit the only home run of the night. Unfortunately, one player who did not get a hit was Kyle Parker who saw his 11 game hitting streak snapped and his OPS drop below .900 in an 0-4 effort.

Pedro Hernandez started this game for Colorado Springs and managed to string together six innings of one run baseball without walking anybody. The bullpen however was a little shaky including Chad Bettis who gave up a pair of runs in 2.1 innings of work. His disappointing season continues.

Double-A: Tulsa 3, Northwest Arkansas 1

Remember a month ago when Jon Gray was torched for six runs and chased from the game after just 0.2 innings of work on April 11? Well he's now made six starts since that date and still has yet to give up another six runs total. Over those half dozen starts, Gray has a 1.26 ERA in 35.2 innings of work with a 32 to 6 K/BB ratio while only allowing one home run. I'd say our guy is back on track.

Last night, it was just your average six innings of one run baseball on two hits, four strikeouts, and two walks. Also, the one run came in the sixth inning on a lead off single, a stolen base, a ball hit to the right side to move the runner to third, and a sac fly - So even the run he gave up was soft. If you're looking to pump the brakes here, you could note that five of these last six starts have come against Arkansas and Northwest Arkansas, which are both far from offensive juggernauts. Then again, these hitters have seen him several times in a short window and still can't touch his stuff.

Gray's outing dropped his ERA down to 2.98 overall on the season. However, that's still only good enough for fourth best on a starting staff which also includes Eddie Butler, Dan Winkler, and Tyler Anderson. Boy would I hate to see this team on the schedule if I were a hitter in the Texas League.

Meanwhile, a couple of overlooked prospects on the offensive side of things had strong nights. Taylor Featherston broke out of a rough stretch in which he had just three hits in his last nine games and went 2-4 with a home run, and Harold Riggins continued his strong season at the plate with a three hit night that included a triple. Riggins may be a little old for his level and not play a defensive premium position, but he's also now fifth in the Texas League in OPS at .928, and everyone ahead of him on the list is even older than he is so there's a little something to get excited about here.

High-A Modesto 9, Lake Elsinore 3

Stop the presses!!! After losing nine straight and 12 of 13 overall, the Modesto Nuts are back in the win column. And of course, because baseball is baseball, they got there in a game in which Trevor Story didn't record a hit. The key to the offense was instead an eight run eighth which blew open what was a 1-0 tightly contested pitching duel up to that point.

On the mound, Devin Burke has now put together three strong starts in a row with his best coming last night. In 7.0 innings of work, he allowed just one run on four hits while striking out five and not walking anybody. In 24.2 innings of work for the Nuts this season, he now has a 26/9 K/BB ratio and has been by far the best starter on this Modesto club.

Low-A Asheville 11, Lexington 1

This was a beatdown from the first inning. Six different Tourists has multiple hits in a game that saw Asheville score in five of the first seven frames. David Dahl went 2-5 with a pair of triples, Zach Osborne was on base three times with two hits and a walk, Patrick Valaika went 4-5 with two doubles, Ryan McMahon was 2-5 with a double and two RBI, and Ashley Greater and Max White were each on base three times and each launched solo home runs.

Then there is 19-year-old Antonio Senzatela who held the Legends scoreless through 5.2 innings of work. He wasn't overpowering, as he struck out four and allowed six hits, but he got the outs when needed. For Senzatela, it's the sixth time in eight starts this season he's allowed two runs or less while going at least five innings. It's also the third start in a row he's been able to do that.

Saturday Probables:

Sky Sox: Tyler Matzek (2-2, 4.19)

Drillers: Tyler Anderson (3-1, 2.57)

Nuts: Ryan Gibbard (0-4, 6.89)

Tourists: Alex Balog (2-3, 3.16)