Colorado's minor league affiliates went 2-5 on the day - but at least this time there was some reason for excitement at the system's upper levels.
Nolan Arenado had a successful rehab start for the Sky Sox, hitting second in the lineup and going 2-4 with a double and two RBI. It was Arenado's first game action since breaking his finger (and our hearts) on a headfirst slide just over a month ago. The Rockies will likely get Arenado back with the major league club before the week is out. Other stars on offense in this game included Kyle Parker (PuRP 5) and Dustin Garneau, both of whom had multi-hit games for the Sky Sox.
Meanwhile, the dominant Sky Sox pitching staff, led by the 41 year-old conquering hero Brett Tomko and supported by Leuris Gomez and Brooks Brown, shut down their opponents at home. Tomko, auditioning for the 13th spot in Colorado's rotation no doubt, threw five innings of shutout ball, allowing six hits and striking out two in the process. Gomez and Brown each added two scoreless innings of relief.
Tomko now has a 3.86 ERA in 11 2/3 innings pitched for the Sky Sox despite a 1.88 WHIP. Like it or not, if another rotation injury befalls the rotation between now and Brett Anderson's return, Tomko's the likely call-up.
This game started off bad for the Drillers, with their opponents scoring two in the first and three in the second, and then got worse as they saw their deficit increase to 10-0 before scoring three late runs. Taylor Featherston (PuRP 22) was the only Driller with two hits, Trevor Story (PuRP 6) got his first AA hit (a triple), and Ryan Casteel (PuRP 11) hit his 11th homer on the year. Ryan Kulik took the loss for Tulsa, allowing nine runs on 11 hits and four walks while striking out six.
The Nuts scored five runs on five hits in this one and came back to tie the game at five apiece before giving up some late runs. A major reason for the comeback was the newly promoted (from Tri-City) Michael Tauchman. Tauchman hit a two-run homer and has five hits in his first 11 at-bats for the Nuts. On the mound, Ryan Carpenter lasted 6 2/3 innings, allowing six runs (four earned) on nine hits and two walks, striking out five.
This one was a barnburner through and through - there were only three of the 18 half innings in this game that did not feature at least one run scored (including both halves of the fifth inning). After falling behind early, the Tourists were able to tie the game at 11 entering the ninth, but they allowed four runs in the top half and were only able to get one back in the bottom.
There were plenty of offensive stars in this one, as David Dahl (PuRP 3) and Max White (PuRP 25) both had four hit nights - three doubles for Dahl (plus his 15th steal) and one for White. Jordan Patterson (PuRP 23) was 3-6 with a homer (8) and three RBI, while Correlle Prime was 2-4 with a homer (14), double, and two RBI. Not to be overlooked were the two hit performances of Ashley Graeter and Wilfredo Rodriguez (PuRP 18). The 24 year-old Graeter is quietly hitting .352/.420/.636 on the year, while the 20 year-old Rodriguez is hitting .339/.399/.417.
The news was not as positive on the mound, of course, as Johendi Jiminian allowed six runs on six hits and three walks in three innings of work. Unfortunately, the next three relievers also proved to be ineffective and made the mountain too steep for the offense to overcome.
The Dust Devils ran into a buzzsaw yesterday, mustering only one hit (from first baseman Josh Fuentes) and three walks against their opponents in a game that was played in just over two hours. They wasted a decent pitching performance by Helmis Rodriguez, who went 5 2/3 innings and allowed a run on four hits and three walks while striking out four. Logan Sawyer provided 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief as well, but Tri-City couldn't get anything going on offense.
The GJ Rockies jumped out to a 5-0 lead and held on in this one. Renaldo Jenkins went 2-3 with a homer (1) and double, while Randy Reyes was 2-4 with a triple. Kevin Padlo (Colorado's 5th rounder) got his first professional hit as well as two walks. On the mound, Carlos Polanco went five innings, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks to get the win.
The DSL Rockies lost a tough one yesterday, allowing their opponents to score the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the ninth, with the winning run scoring on a wild pitch. Bonus baby Carlos Herrera, a 17 year-old shortstop the Rockies signed for $1.2 million last year, had a 3-5 game hitting leadoff. Herrera has a .320/.433/.360 line so far. Joel Diaz (3-4) and Luis Brito (2-4) were other offensive stalwarts for the DSL Rockies. Starter Breiling Eusebio allowed three runs on four hits in three innings, while Alejandro Requena was good in three scoreless innings of relief.
AAA: Brian Burres
AA: Jon Gray
High A: Devin Burke
Low A: Zach Jemiola
Short Season A: Grahamm Wiest
Rookie: James Lomangino