All four of the Colorado Rockies' full-season affiliates were in action on Saturday afternoon and evening, as is typically the case for Saturdays in the summer. With it, a mixed bag of results and prospects to watch leaves us with a lot to unpack from last night's action down on the farm.
The Isotopes struck first with two runs in the bottom of the first inning, and they were on the receiving end of a very strong start from lefty Ryan Carpenter, but it wasn't enough as Tacoma pounded out single runs in the second, fourth, and sixth, and put up a two-spot in the seventh inning to win in Albuquerque on Saturday night. Sam Moll took the loss after allowing those two seventh inning runs. (Coincidentally, here's an interview I did with Moll at the end of spring training.) Scott Oberg also tossed a scoreless inning.
On offense, Mike Tauchman led the way for the 'Topes with two hits, two runs, an RBI, a double, and a stolen base. Here's more on Tauchman's highly disciplined mental approach as he sees Triple-A for the first time. Rafael Ynoa also collected three hits and scored a run.
The Yard Goats, who played 17 innings the day before, helped themselves with a simple nine-innning matchup on Saturday afternoon in Portland, Maine against the host SeaDogs. Harrison Musgrave twirled seven innings of great work on just 79 pitches in his first start of the season, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk while striking out two batters. Austin House picked up a two-inning save.
On offense, Raimel Tapia had two hits and two walks, and Jan Vazquez added two hits and two times on base after being hit by pitches, and ended up scoring three of the Yard Goats' six runs. Hartford is now 7-3 on the young season, and continues to be the best defensive team by fielding percentage in the Eastern League.
Things were looking good for the Nuts, leading 4-3 in the top of the 8th inning, when newcomer Logan Sawyer gave up a five-spot to the Stockton Ports. Modesto fought back with one in the bottom of the eighth and one more in the bottom of the ninth, but it wasn't enough, and they came up short. Carlos Polanco started for Modesto and threw well, allowing three runs (two earned) in 5.2 innings, along with four strikeouts against six hits and four walks. Sawyer was pitching after being assigned to the team five minutes before game time, according to Keaton Gillogly, the Nuts' broadcaster.
On offense, Collin Ferguson hit a two-run home run in the second inning, and Max White added a triple and a run scored. Ferguson, Shane Hoelscher, Drew Weeks, and Troy Stein all picked up two hits apiece, with Hoelscher also drawing two walks in the game. As a team, the Nuts walked six times on Saturday night (but their pitching staff allowed another six right back to Stockton).
The Asheville Tourists' tough start continues; the team is now 2-8 after giving up an unearned run in the top of the ninth inning to the Rome Braves that broke an 8-8 tie at McCormick Field. Trey Killian started for the Tourists, and allowed seven runs (six earned) on nine hits (including five doubles) in four innings of work. The Tourists' pen held for a little while thanks to four combined innings of good work from Justin Lawrence and Daniel Koger, but Jonathan Piron's ninth inning throwing error led to the deciding run.
Piron did hit a home run, though, too. Elsewhere for Asheville, Terry McClure went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three runs scored, and he's now hitting .308 on the young season. The eighth round draft pick from 2013 is splitting time in left field in his first full-season experience after three summers in short-season. Chris Rabago and Mylz Jones both added two hits apiece, continuing their strong starts to the summer in the South Atlantic League.
Sunday organizational probables
Triple-A: RHP Eddie Butler vs. Reno, 1:35 pm MT
Double-A: LHP Kyle Freeland @ Portland, 11:00 am MT
High-A: RHP Ryan Castellani vs. Stockton, 2:05 pm MT
Low-A: RHP David Hill vs. Rome, 12:05 pm MT