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Saturday Pebble Report: Ryan Casteel homers twice for Tulsa

Cristhian Adames is heating up in AAA, while Ryan Casteel homered twice for Tulsa. Grand Junction set a franchise record for number of wins in the first half of the season and the DSL Rockies are one of the best pitching team in the Dominican league.

Ryan Casteel hit his Nos. 13 and 14 home runs of the season on Friday.
Ryan Casteel hit his Nos. 13 and 14 home runs of the season on Friday.
Rob Tringali

AAA -Round Rock Express 12, Colorado Springs Sky Sox 4

Newly promoted Cristhian Adames (No. 16 PuRP) is heating up, and a 2-for-4 effort with a double and RBI improved his season average to .304 on the year. First baseman Kyle Parker (No. 9 PuRP) enjoyed a three-hit game that saw his season average peek above .300. Parker has been making good contact over the past two months, hitting .322 in June and .302 in a July where he earned a promotion to the big leagues for the first time in his career. The Sky Sox enjoyed good production from the top of the order, but 12 strikeouts, mostly from the bottom of the order, kept the team from producing many runs on the night.

Veteran Brett Tomko earned the loss on the night after surrendering three home runs resulting in seven earned in 5.2 innings pitched. Lefty Christian Friedrich worked 2.1 innings of relief and held the opposition to one earned run on two hits, while striking out a pair.

AA - Tulsa Drillers 5, Arkansas Travelers 2

A four-run first inning, highlighted by a Brian Humphries steal of home put the Drillers in a position they wouldn't relinquish. First baseman Ryan Casteel (No. 15 PuRP) produced a pair of home runs, giving him 14 for the year. The right-handed hitter was responsible for four RBI's on the night. Designated hitter Will Swanner continued his hot hitting in Double-A with a two-hit performance and zero strikeouts, giving him a .300 average on the season.

Starter Richard Castillo produced a quality start for the Drillers, holding the Travelers to just one earned run while striking out five in 5.2 innings pitched. The effort lowered Castillo's ERA to 5.01 on the year. Ryan Arrowood earned the hold with a two strikeout performance in 1.1 innings pitched. Meanwhile Nelson Gonzalez surrendered a run in two innings of relief, but it wasn't enough to allow the home team back into the game.

High-A - Modesto Nuts 6, Inland Empire 66ers 1

Three home runs lifted the Nuts to a rare win over the visiting affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels. Third baseman Dean Espy put the Nuts in the lead with a solo homer in the second, he later doubled as part of four-run seventh inning. David Dahl (No. 2 PuRP) went hitless in the game, but reached on a wild pitch, just ahead of Patrick Valaika's  (No. 17 PuRP) sixth home run of the season. Francisco Sosa tacked on a homer in the eighth to give the Nuts a solid cushion.

Starter Ben Alsup improved his record to 2-10 with a seven inning, three-hit, one run gem. The right-hander is allowing batters to hit just .244 in the second half of the season and provided ten groundball outs for his defense to work with on the night. Jon Keck worked two innings of scoreless relief, striking out three in the effort.

Low-A - Greensboro Grasshoppers 7, Asheville Tourists 1

It was a lackluster performance by the Tourists as a solo home run from Max White provided the only scoring for the Rockies Low-A affiliate. Third baseman Ryan McMahon (No. 6 PuRP)  recorded his 100th hit of the season after going 1-for-4, but also struck out twice and walked once.

A rain delay which lasted nearly two hours may have messed with Johendi Jiminian (No. 33 PuRP), who was 3-0 with a 2.28 ERA in his previous four starts. The Hoppers scored early and often against the right-hander who gave up seven runs total on eleven hits, while recording just four strikeouts.

Short-season - Tri City Dust Devils 14, Eugene Emeralds 7

The Dust Devils took advantage of a nine run second inning to jump all over the Emeralds. Centerfielder Marcos Derkes scored twice in the inning without recording a hit. He was hit by a pitch to open the inning and later reached as a gift from a throwing error by the opposing shortstop Franchy Cordero. Second baseman Sam Bumpers went 3-for-5 on the night with two runs and two RBI and a walk to lead Tri City. Designated hitter Josh Fuentes had three runs scored and three RBI after a pair of hits, including a double which raised his season average to .282.

Rockies third round pick Ryan Castellani  (No. 25 PuRP) started for Tri City, but had a short leash, lasting just two shutout innings while striking out a pair. The effort lowered his ERA slightly to 3.38 on the year. Chad Zurat earned the win with 3.1 innings of work, where he allowed three earned runs and struck out one. Zurat has a 9.28 ERA for the season.

Rookie - Grand Junction Rockies 7, Ogden Raptors 6

A late rally put the Rockies ahead of the Dodgers Rookie-level affiliate in Grand Junction Friday night. The win gives Grand Junction a franchise record 22 first-half wins on the season with one left to play.  Second baseman Wilson Soriano was responsible for the game-tying run in the eighth and went 2-for-4 on the night, good enough for a .293 average on the season. Designated hitter Randy Reyes went 2-for-4 and raised his average to .357 on the year.

Last year's DSL standout Carlos Polanco hasn't enjoyed the same success this year in the states, but he kept the Rockies in the game with a 5.1 inning start, allowing just four earned runs and striking out three. Grand Junction's bullpen slammed the door, holding the Raptors to just one unearned run in 3.2 innings of work while striking out four.

DSL -  DSL Rockies 8, DSL Orioles2 2

The Dominican Rockies improved to 26-21 with a win over the Orioles affiliate on Friday. The record puts them in fourth place, behind the Red Sox, Giants and Yankees in the Boca Chica South division.

Starter Jorge Oviedo pitched a five-inning gem for the Rockies, allowing just two hits and one earned run, while striking out six. The performance lowered his ERA to 2.76 on the year. Oviedo is part of a Rockies pitching group with a team ERA of 2.86, ranked fourth in the DSL out of 36 squads.

Shortstop Carlos Herrera led the Rockies with three hits and a pair of RBI. The 17-year-old is batting .250 on the season. Second baseman Jonathan Piron was responsible for three runs scored, including his second home run of the season.