The affiliates went 3-1 and got excellent some performances from players we've come to expect it from and a few who have been struggling mightily so far this season.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox 3, Iowa Cubs 12
The Sky Sox fell victim to an old-fashioned shellacking in this one. Highly touted Cubs prospects Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara combined to go 7-for-8 with five RBI and six runs scored.
Pedro Hernandez lasted only four innings in the start, giving up three runs and was replaced by Dan Houston, who promptly gave up five. Wilton Lopez was the only Sky Sox pitcher to not take a beating, working 2.1 innings and giving up zero runs, striking out four before giving way by Brooks Brown, who coughed up four more runs.
It was an ugly day on the hill.
The offense didn't fare much better, amassing only four hits on the day: two singles, a double from Tim Wheeler and a two-run home run from Jason Pridie.
Kyle Parker did not play in this game.
Tulsa Drillers 6, Midland Rockhounds 5
Dan Winkler just be Dan Winklerin' up in here. He only threw five innings in this one, but surrendered only one hit and walked two. Keeping the zero in the runs column and throwing up a seven spot in the strikeout column, Winkler improved his season ERA to 1.34, which is okay, I guess.
Dan Winkler leads the Texas League in ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts.
The Tulsa Drillers seem to have found their offense lately, posting another crooked number of hits with 14. Ryan Casteel, Brian Humphries, Dustin Garneau, and Jose Rivera all had multi-hit days.
Jose Rivera (batting in the ninth spot) did most of the power damage, hitting three doubles and driving in three. Harold Riggins and Tyler Massey each added a 1-for-2 with a double and RBI performance.
Even though the Drillers outhit the Rockhounds 14-6 in this game, some bad timing would find them tied late after a Rockhound rally and a blown save from Ken Roberts. Riggins' double in the ninth brought home Tyler Massey, though, and Scott Oberg worked the bottom for his 11th save already this season.
Scott Oberg may be one to keep an eye on moving forward. Gutsy win from the Drillers and I'm really not sure at this point what keeping Dan Winkler in Tulsa is doing for anybody unless the plan is to build extreme confidence. He should be at least in Triple-A by now.
Modesto Nuts 11, Stockton Ports 4
Look at Modesto, puttin' up some offense! Chris O'Dowd was a home run short of the cycle out of the leadoff spot, going 3-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI. Right behind him, Patrick Valaika continued his great start to 2014, going 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored.
Will Swanner, Derek Jones, and Matt Wessinger each had multi-hit days going a combined 6-for-14 with five RBI.
Ryan Kulik worked five innings, only giving up three runs (though he did allow 10 hits), and an unearned run off of Nate Striz would be the only other scoring the Ports would get. The Ports? Really?
Trevor Story and Rosell Hererra are both still on the DL for the Nuts.
Asheville Tourists 10, Lexington 4
Zach Jemiola needed a performance like the one he gave yesterday. He is still young for the level, but Jemiola has struggled so far in Asheville this season, especially when compared to some of his peers in the Asheville rotation. There has even been talk that he may need to iron things out in Tri-City once they start up.
So perhaps pitching with something to prove, Jemiola was cruising through 6.2 innings, having only given up one run and striking out eight batters. One out away from finalizing a dominant performance, a couple of hits and a fielding error plated two more runs for Lexington.
Final line: 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 K, 0 BB. It's just one start, but "Jemi" needed that one.
Raimel Tapia found himself back in the lead off spot with David Dahl out of the lineup. Tapia has moved around a bit lately but seems to be rediscovering his swing (or learning how to adapt to this level) and went 2-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI.
Wilfredo Rodriguez continued a strong offensive season with a 2-for-4 performance out of the three spot in the lineup, bringing his season average to .375. Cleanup hitter Ryan McMahon delivered a double and a run scored in four at-bats.
Correlle "Optimus" Prime is flat raking right now and grabbed two doubles, two runs and three RBI in this one.
Much like his old Grand Junction teammate on the mound, Jordan Patterson desperately needed some good to come his way as his season average was about to slip into the below .200. He went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, three RBI and (FINALLY!) his first home run of the season.
It was a great day for slump-busting in Asheville.
AAA: Tyler Matzek
AA: Jon Gray
A+: Ben Alsup