On a day when Juan Nicasio might have pitched himself out of the rotation at the big league level, Rockies top prospect continued his season-long quest for improvement in dominating fashion, holding Springfield scoreless for five innings in Double-A Tulsa's 4-3 win.
Gray allowed five hits -- all singles -- and walked a pair of batters while striking out five. The main thing holding Gray back seems to be efficiency; it took him 94 pitches, 60 of which were strikes, to get through five frames. Gray's ERA in 2014 is down to 3.39. He has 61 strikeouts and only 18 walks in 69 innings. His start on Sunday went a long way toward helping him overcome his issues at ONEOK Field; Gray entered the game with a 5.82 ERA in three starts at his home park.
Cristhian Adames had two of the Drillers' six hits, including a walk-off infield single in the 10th, raising his average to .296. Cole White earned the victory in relief after striking out three in two scoreless innings.
Dahl, Patterson lead Tourists to win
Rockies top position player prospect David Dahl had a pair of hits and scored twice and Jordan Patterson launched a two-run homer to spark Low-A Asheville's 5-3 win over Rome.
Dahl led off the game with a single and scored on Raimel Tapia's double-play grounder. Then, after a two-out double by Correlle Prime, Patterson homered over the massive right-field wall to give the Tourists an early 3-0 advantage. Dahl doubled and scored in Asheville's ultimately decisive two-run fifth.
Prime and Zach Osborned joined Dahl with two hits apiece. Johendi Jiminian picked up his eighth win of the season after scattering 10 hits and allowing three runs in six innings. He struck out five and did not issue a walk.
Sky Sox futile with runners on base, win anyway
Triple-A Colorado Springs racked up 15 hits and drew six walks. That's at least 21 baserunners, yet the team plated only four runs. Fortunately, that four was enough to squeak by Salt Lake, 4-3, at Security Service Field on Sunday.
Rafael Ynoa had four hits from the top of the order and Kyle Parker and Paul Janish had three apiece. Even Delta Cleary, who has performed well in his limited time with the Sky Sox, had a couple of hits, but the Sky Sox left 13 men on base as a team and went 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Still, a win is a win, and the relief duo of Brooks Brown and Rob Scahill, who combined for four scoreless innings, deserves just as much credit as anyone else for the result.
Tri-City loses slugfest
It's not often that 20 runs are scored in one night in the Northwest League by each of the circuit's eight teams, but that's what Class A (short season) Tri-City and Boise did on Sunday, with the latter coming away victorious from an 11-9 contest.
Boise's Kyle Schwarber, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft, hit his second homer of the season. The Dust Devils also had their power bats working, getting homers from shortstop Rodney Polonia and first baseman David Bergin. Sam Bumpers, the Rockies' 22nd round pick in this year's draft, went 3-for-5 in his professional debut. Polonia, Bergin and Josh Fuentes added two hits apiece.
Tyler Gagnon, who appeared in three games for Modesto earlier this season was OK in five innings of his rehab start, allowing three runs on five hits. However, relievers Huascar Brazoban and William Waltrip combined to allow eight runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.