Shotstop Pat Valaika and Catcher Wes Rogers were impressive but Wednesday was mostly about the pitching, both good and bad.
Ryan Casteel (no. 30 PuRP) led the offense in an 8-1 Isotopes victory over the Aces on Wednesday night. Casteel went 3-for-5 with a double and two runs scored and a walk as the offense produced their best output of the 2016 season so far. Jordan Patterson (no. 18) and Joey Wong also had two hits apiece and every starting position player had at least 1 hit.
David Hale started the game for the Isotopes but was pulled from the game after 2 innings and 32 total pitches having allowed just one hit. Yohan Flande came on in relief, allowing one run on five hits in four innings of work. Scott Oberg and Simon Castro combined to limit Reno to just 1 hit in the final three innings to secure the win for Albuquerque.
Hartford secured their second series win of the season by defeating the New Hampshire Fisher Cats 3-1 on Wednesday afternoon. Playing as the home team in New Hampshire, the Yard Goats rode a stellar outing from starting pitcher Zach Jemiola, who threw seven innings and allowed just one run on four hits and one walk and two strikeouts.
Meanwhile, shortstop Pat Valaika kept his hot start going, driving in Jan Vasquez and Raimel Tapia (no. 6 PuRP) on a two-run double in the third inning. David Dahl (no. 2 PuRP) added an insurance run in the eighth on his fourth home run of the year. Austin House and Matt Carasiti combined for four strikeouts in the final two innings to secure the victory.
Modesto went down in extra innings for the second time in three games, this time on a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 13th to give the Bakersfield Blaze a 4-3 victory. Wes Rogers (no. 35 PuRP) had a good day at the plate with two triples, two singles and a walk. Meanwhile, Forrest Wall (no. 11 PuRP) had two hits and drove in the tying run in the top of the seventh. Despite getting runners to third base in the ninth, 10th, and 11th innings the Nuts could not manage a go ahead run before ultimately losing on a Kyle Petty home run in the 13th.
After allowing eight runs in less than two innings in his first start, Jesus Tinoco (no. 14 PuRP) managed to give up just three runs in 5 and 1/3 innings of work--trending in the right direction! According to Bobby DeMuro, Tinoco was sitting 90-92 early but dipped in velocity late and struggled with his command for much of the outing.
Despite getting a stellar pitching performance from Parker French, the Tourists fell to Charleston 5-4 thanks to a late rally from the RiverDogs. French, who has yet to allow a run in 2016, allowed five hits and two walks over six innings of shutout ball. It's not just French, either; the Tourists starting rotation is pitching exceptionally well through the first seven games. Tourist starting pitchers have allowed just a 2.00 ERA over 40 1/3 innings of work. Unfortunately, it's been a different story so far for the Tourists bullpen. Daniel Koger and Justin Lawrence combined to allow five runs (all of which scored with two outs in the inning) in the seventh, pushing the bullpen ERA up to 10.26 in the early going of 2016.
Hamlet Marte had a double and two singles and also drove in the second Tourists run in the third inning. Yonathan Daza drove in a run to make it 5-4 in the top of the eighth but Carlos Herrera struck out to end the inning and the last threat Asheville could muster. As a team the Tourists are hitting .209/.261/.309 on the season.
Some intriguing starting pitchers in the Rockies system are set to take the mound on Thursday. Many of you know about Jeff Hoffman and Antonio Senzatela by now, both looking to build on great debuts, but also keep an eye on Sam Howard and Jack Wynkoop, both starting in their team's home opener.
Triple-A Albuquerque: Jeff Hoffman (no. 3 PuRP) @ Reno Aces, 1:05 pm MT
Double-A Hartford: Antonio Senzatela (no. 9 PuRP) @ Portland Sea Dogs, 4:00 pm MT
High-A Modesto: Sam Howard (no. 33 PuRP) v. Stockton Ports, 8:05 MT
Low-A Asheville: Jack Wynkoop v. Rome Braves, 5:05 pm MT