Tuesday Farm Report: Grand Junction Whittles Magic Number to 3
While High-A Lancaster makes final plans for the opening of the California League playoffs against Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday, Rookie Grand Junction continued a bid to claim the second-half berth in the Pioneer League playoffs with a 5-2 victory against Orem.
Grand Junction has a one-game lead over Idaho Falls in the Pioneer League Southern Division, which beat Ogden, 4-2. Ogden is two games back of Grand Junction. While Grand Junction finishes out its regular season against Orem, Idaho Falls and Ogden are playing each other.
Lancaster will host the first two games of its best-of-five playoff with Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday and Thursday. Brandon Gold (9-9, 5.44) will start the playoff opener for the Jet Hawks.
In Monday’s Games
AAA Albuquerque (63-77) closed out its season with an 8-3 loss at Reno, leaving the Isotopes in last place in the Pacific Coast League Southern Division, 19 ½ games behind division champion El Paso, the Diamondbacks affiliate. Josh Fuentes (.327) finished the season by going 3-for-4 with two doubles and a single. His 39 doubles rank second on the Isotopes all-time list. David Holman (5-5, 5.25) suffered the loss, allowing four runs on five hits and three walks in two innings.
AA Hartford (65-72) won 5-3 at New Hampshire in its season-ending game. Roberto Ramos hit his 15th home run with the Yard Goats after opening the season by hitting 16 home runs for High-A Lancaster. Jesus Tinoco (9-12, 4.79) allowed one run on three hits and a walk, striking out eight, in five innings. Matt Pierpont (1.95) increased his franchise record save total to 32, tops in the Eastern League.
High A Lancaster (37-33 2nd half; 70-70) lost 6-5 at Lake Elsinore. Manuel Melendez (.291) was 1-for-3 with two RBI. Juan Pena (4-1, 6.48) allowed five runs, two earned, on six hits and a walk, striking out one.
Low A Asheville (37-31 2nd half; 63-73) lost 2-1 against Rome. Tommy Doyle (7-6, 2.31) suffered the loss, relieving Nick Kennedy (7.09), who pitched six shutout innings, allowing one hit and two walks, striking out seven. Ramon Marcelino (.221) hit his 22nd home run.
Short-Season A Boise (14-24 2nd half; 35-41) won 11-2 against Eugene. LJ Hatch (.258) was 3-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBI. Justin Valdespina (4-2, 3.00) allowed two runs on six hits, striking out five, in five innings.
Rookie Grand Junction (21-14 2nd half; 41-32) won 5-2 against Orem. Alexander Martinez (3.18) tied the Pioneer League record with of 18 saves, set by Michael Toney with Medicine Hat in 1994 and equaled by Andrew Johnson with the Rockies' Casper affiliate in 2005. Cayden Hatcher (2-0, 5.54) allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits and a walk, striking out six in five innings. Grant Lavigne (.343) was 2-for-3 and walked twice, setting a Grand Junction record with 37 walks.