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Colorado Rockies Prospects: Jon Gray improving, Asheville pitching on fire

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There was lots of free baseball on the farm last night including a 17-inning affair that saw the best prospect in the Colorado Rockies system take a big stride forward.

Caitlin Rice

There was lots of free baseball on the farm last night including a 17-inning affair that saw the best prospect in the Colorado Rockies system take a big stride forward.

Albuquerque 5, Sacramento 4 (17 innings)| MiLB.com Box |

Player of the Game: Jon Gray/Tim Smalling

Isotopes Beat River Cats 5-4 In 17 Innings | Albuquerque Isotopes News

Albuquerque only had three hits in extra innings, and Brandon Barnes only had one hit all afternoon. Trying to snap an 0-for-7 day leading off the 17th inning, Barnes watched two balls go by before blasting a 2-0 pitch over the left center field wall.

Starting pitcher and Colorado Rockies No. 1 prospect Jon Gray completed his second-straight strong start. The right-hander tossed six innings of four-hit ball, allowing just three earned runs. He struck out a season high seven batters, while walking only a single hitter. In his last two outings, Gray has tossed 11 innings, surrendering nine hits and five runs with nine strikeouts and just two walks.

Shortstop Cristhian Adames was activated from the disabled list prior to Sunday's game and wasted no time splashing back into the lineup. His ninth inning two-out RBI single gave Albuquerque a short-lived 4-3 lead. He finished the day 3-for-8 with an RBI. Adames has a team-leading nine multi-hit games and has picked up at least one hit in all but five of his starts this season.

Not to be outdone, Tim Smalling went 3-5 with two home runs.

This is now two consecutive solid outings for Gray and the first all year I've been able to watch from a decent camera angle. He was only hit hard once (the home run he gave up) and both of the other runs had elements of tough luck involved. The first came after Gray was rattled when he hit a batter and then walked a batter with two outs.

He settled down but a two out single into left field -- the first hit he gave up in the game -- plated a run but just barely as Matt McBride almost gunned the runner down at the plate.

The second run of the game came via a ground-ball triple that would have been a double if fielded cleanly by McBride in left which was important since the run came in on a sacrifice fielders choice ground-out to short.

Gray touched 97 with movement and got a ton of swings and misses with the slider. His location was much better than in previous outings.

Asheville 2, Lakewood 0 | MiLB.com Box |

Player of the Game: Helmis Rodriguez

Rodriguez Follows Suit In Another Shutout Win | Asheville Tourists News

On Friday, Sam Howard went seven innings, allowed just two hits, and only one run in an Asheville win over Delmarva. On Saturday, Zach Jemiola tossed a nine-inning complete game shutout over Lakewood. Sunday the spotlight was on Rodriguez and the Tourists lefty went seven, did not give up a run, and allowed just two hits; both ground ball singles on the infield.

An interesting side note in this game was that Rodriguez faced off against his twin brother, Herlis; an outfielder for the BlueClaws. Helmis held Herlis hitless in three at-bats, including a strikeout looking on one of his best curveballs of the day.

Omar Carrizales was 2-2 with two runs scored and two walks. So many twos.

Kevin Padlo's double (1-3) was the Tourists only extra base hit of the day.

Forrest Wall recorded a hit and a sacrifice fly.

Modesto 9, Inland Empire 5 (11 innings) | MiLB.com Box |

Player of the Game: Correlle Prime

Nuts Rally to Win Series Against 66ers | Modesto Nuts News

The Modesto Nuts outscored the Inland Empire 66ers 8-1 down the stretch to earn a 9-5, eleven-inning victory on Sunday afternoon at San Manuel Stadium. The win gives the Nuts (16-15) their third straight series victory, and it comes in their longest game of the year. Ryan McMahon tied the game with a bloop RBI single in the ninth. Correlle Prime won it for the Nuts with a two-run double in the eleventh.

Raimel Tapia grabbed three more hits in the game, bringing his season batting average to .341. He's really good at hitting baseballs.

Sam Moll struck out four batters in 2.1 IP, continuing an excellent streak of whiffing guys.

Carlos Estevez pitched two clean innings bringing his ERA down to 1.08.

New Britain 7, Portland 3 | MiLB.com Box |

Player of the Game: Trevor Story (who else?)

David Dahl hit two doubles, knocked in a run, scored a run, and stole his 10th base of the season.

Trevor Story went 2-4 with a walk, a double and a run scored stabilizing his batting average at .365 -- it has plummeted after a few 1-3 performances.

Tyler Massey had two hits and two RBI and Will Swanner swatted his third home run of the season.

Matt Flemer pitched five innings, giving up three runs on six hits, striking out only one and walking only one. Gus Schlosser picked up a three-inning save and didn't allow a hit.