AAA - Las Vegas 51s 3, Colorado Springs Sky Sox 1
Three of the game's four runs were scored in the first inning in a rare pitchers' duel at Security Service Field. Las Vegas center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis led off the game with a triple against Sky Sox starter Yohan Flande and scored on a single from Daniel Muno. Later in the inning, Josh Satin singled and was driven home by Brandon Allen to give Las Vegas a 2-0 lead. The Sky Sox got a run back in the bottom of the inning when Angelys Nina hit a ground-rule double and came around to score on a wild pitch.
Flande did not give up a run after the first despite dealing with traffic on the bases throughout his outing, allowing six hits and six walks in his six innings of work. He was helped by a Sky Sox defense that turned five double plays in the game. The 51s got an insurance run in the eighth when Satin doubled and scored on Cory Vaughn's single. Las Vegas relievers Scott Rice and Zack Thornton closed the door on the Sky Sox from there.
AA - Arkansas Travelers 12, Tulsa Drillers 6
Having already clinched the frist-half title in the Texas League's North Divison, the Drillers dropped a 12-6 decision to the Arkansas Travelers at ONEOK Field. Right-hander Mike Piazza (no, not that one) made his debut for the drillers, allowing two runs on five hits in five innings, walking six and striking out four. However, the Tulsa bullpen was unable to keep the game close as Nate Striz came in and gave up six runs on five hits while getting just two outs as the Arkansas lead ballooned to 8-1 in the middle of the sixth.
Tulsa shortstop Taylor Featherston (No. 22 PuRP) did his best to keep the Drillers in the game, leading off the bottom of the sixth with a home run and then repeating the feat in the eighth with a man on to cut the Arkansas lead to 10-4 at that point. After Joey Wong walked, Ryan Casteel (No. 11 PuRP) went deep for the eighth time to cut the lead to 10-6. But the Travelers got a pair of runs in the ninth to secure the 12-6 victory.
High-A - Bakersfield Blaze 12, Modesto Nuts 2
The Nuts' tough season continued Thursday as they blown out by Bakersfield, 12-2, dropping to 22-46 on the year. The game was scoreless through four innings and it was actually Modesto that got on the board first with a two-run home run from catcher Chris O'Dowd in the top of the fifth, taking a 2-0 lead. However, the Nuts pitching then imploded, allowing a dozen runs in the next four innings.
Modesto starter Ben Alsup went just 4 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits with five walks and three strikeouts. The Nuts bullpen then allowed a Juan Nicasio-esque 10 runs (six earned) on 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings of work spread among three relievers as Bakersfield ran away with the easy win.
A - Asheville Tourists 17, Rome Braves 6
Like their parent club, the Tourists came away from Thursday with a blowout win over the Braves, these of the Rome variety. The Braves did strike first, however, scoring three runs in the top of the second thanks to a two-run double from left fielder Blake Brown, who came around to score on Connor Lien's single. However, the Tourists matched the three runs in the bottom of the inning thanks to a Ryan McMahon (No. 7 PuRP) walk and a trio of doubles. It was 4-4 in the bottom of the third when Asheville catcher Jose Briceno hit his first home run of the season, a two-run shot, giving the Tourists a 6-4 lead they would not relinquish.
The Tourists loaded the bases with nobody out in the fourth and Raimel Tapia (No. 16 PuRP) came through with a grand slam to right, his sixth home run of the season, giving Asheville a 10-4 lead. The Tourists would score two more runs in the inning and five in the sixth to secure the 17-6 victory.
DSL - DSL Orioles2 2, DSL Rockies 1
The DSL Rockies got their lone run of the game in the first inning as Orioles starter Ofelky Peralty loaded the bases with one out thanks to three walks and Rockies first baseman Daniel Suero grounded into a fielders' choice at second to score Manuel Melendez.
Rockies starting pitcher Hector Villarroel pitched 5 2/3 innings of shutout ball, allowing a pair of hits and three walks while striking out seven, but the Orioles were able to get a run in each the eighth and ninth innings to earn the 2-1 walkoff win.