Jon Gray (No. 1 PuRP) allowed four runs in the first inning and wound up surrendering five in six frames of work in Double-A Tulsa's 6-2 loss to Arkansas on Sunday.
Gray gave up three consecutive hits -- the last of which plated two runs -- before striking out the next two batters in the first. However, he was unable to get out of the inning without further damage, as the 22-year-old right-hander allowed a pair of two-out hits -- including a two-run double -- before inducing a fly out to end the ugly frame.
The 2013 first-rounder settled in nicely after that, retiring the side in order in four of the next five innings. The only exception was the fourth inning, during which Gray walked two batters and gave up a run-scoring bloop single. He finished the game having allowed five runs -- all earned -- on six hits and two walks in six innings. He struck out five.
Trevor Story (No. 4 PuRP) led the Drillers with two hits and a walk, raising his average to .196 since being promoted from High-A.
Senzatela off, wins anyway
Antonio Senzatela (No. 20 PuRP) wasn't quite right for Low-A Asheville against Charleston, but when you pitch for one of the best teams in minor league baseball, that isn't always an issue.
That was the case on Sunday for the 19-year-old right-hander, who gave up six runs -- only two earned -- on six hits and a walk in five innings but still came away with his 12th victory of 2014. Most of the damage happened in the top of the fifth, when Senzatela gave up a one-out walk that was followed by a ground-ball single, a couple of errors and two wild pitches.
Fortunately for Senzatela, the Tourists' high-powered offense plated three runs on the strength of five hits in the bottom half of the inning to take a 7- lead and atone for their errors to preserve a win for their ace.
Michael Benjamin had four hits, including a home run, and Ashley Graeter also added four knocks. Emerson Jimenez (honorable mention PuRP) and Dillon Thomas finished with two hits apiece.
Round Rock 8, Colorado Springs 2: The Sky Sox scored twice in the bottom of the second on a two-run single from Jackson Williams, who led the team with two hits. The rest of the team combined for just six singles and hit into an astonishing 15 ground-ball outs -- and no fly outs -- in seven innings against Round Rock starter Robbie Ross. Sky Sox starter Brian Burres took the loss after allowing four runs in five innings. Juan Nicasio struggled in two-thirds of an inning of relief duty, allowing three runs -- though none were earned -- on a hit and two walks. He struck out two but threw a whopping 35 pitches.
Inland Empire 9, Modesto 4: The Nuts fell back to 40 games under .500 despite the efforts of Derek Jones and Matt Wessinger, both of whom homered. David Dahl (No. 2 PuRP) walked and singled in four plate appearances and is 4-for-15 with a couple of extra-base hits since his promotion.
Everett 4, Tri-City 3: Joel Payamps surrendered four walks and a pair of hits in two innings. He was rather lucky to have allowed only one run. Logan Sawyer, a 21-year-old right-hander who was drafted in the 29th round this year, tossed five innings of hitless relief, striking out five and walking one. However, the back-end of the pen was unable to hold a late lead, sending the Dust Devils to their seventh loss in nine games.
Drew Weeks and Shane Hoelscher led Tri-City with two hits apiece.
Orem 7, Grand Junction 3: Every player in the Rookie Rockies' starting lineup had at least one hit, but the team was able to get only three runs despite 12 knocks. Max George led the way with three hits while leadoff hitter Omar Carrizales added two. Sam Howard, the Rockies' third-round pick in 2014, allowed five runs on eight hits in four innings. Rafael Betancourt, in a continuation of the longest/weirdest rehab assignment ever, tossed a scoreless seventh to lower his ERA to 3.52.