In their last guaranteed home game of 2017, the Grand Juction Rockies looked like they were going to go quietly into the night. Down 5-1 early against a team they need to beat, the Rockies battled back to defeat the Ogden Raptors 8-7. Casey Golden—who had five RBI on the night—hit his league-leading 20th home run. That’s 20 home runs in 51 games, or one in ever 9.8 at bats. For comparison, Giancarlo Stanton has hit a home run in every 11.03 at bats in 2017.
There were plenty of othe home runs to go around at Suplizio Field on Tuesday. Chad Spanberger knocked his 18th to stay right behind him. Ogden first baseman Luis Paz, who is third in the league in home runs, hit his 17th as well. The deciding home run came off the bat of Ramon Marcelino, who knocked his 15th home run of the year as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the eighth inning.
The Rockies are now two games back of the Raptors for the South Division second half title with four games to play. The teams have a two-game set in Ogden over the next two days before the Rockies head to Orem—the team between Grand Juction and Ogden—for two more.
Meanwhile, the Lancaster JetHawks, who won both the first half and second half South Division crowns, begin their best-of-five series against the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes tonight in Lancaster. The JetHawks have home field advantage throughout the California League playoffs. Peter Lambert (no. 5 PuRP) will take the hill for the JetHawks tonight while Jesus Tinoco is slated to start on Thursday.
★ ★ ★
Chad Spanberger (no. 30 PuRP): 2-for-4, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI
Shael Mendoza: 0-for-4, R
Casey Golden: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 5 RBI
Ramon Marcelino: 1-for-1, HR
Jorge Oviedo: 1 2/3 IP, 5 H, 5 R/ER, 3 BB, 3 K
★ ★ ★
High-A Lancaster: Peter Lambert (no. 5 PuRP, 9-8, 4.17 ERA) vs. Rancho Cucamonga (LAD), 7:35 pm MT (California League Playoffs, Game 1
Rookie Level Grand Junction: Jeffri Ocando (no. 27 PuRP, 5-4, 6.44 ERA) @ Ogden (LAD), 6:30 pm MT