Missoula’s big 6th inning sends GJ Rockies to sixth straight loss
The second-half swoon continued Tuesday for the Grand Junction Rockies, who dropped their sixth straight game, 12-3 to Missoula.
In the first game of a seven-game road trip, the Rockies again fell victim to one big inning, allowing six runs in the sixth inning — the “Peanut Inning” in Missoula. A long-standing tradition, fans and the public address announcer chant various renditions of the word “peanuts,” and if the Osprey score, fans are rewarded with peanuts.
The peanuts were flying Tuesday, with Missoula pounding out three doubles and a home run in the inning off relievers Carlos Estevez and Manuel Montilla.
The six-spot helped Missoula end a six-game losing streak. The six consecutive losses tie a season high for Grand Junction, now 3-10 in the second half after winning the first-half title in the Pioneer League South.
Grand Junction (24-27) is six games behind Orem in the second-half standings.
The Rockies trailed 2-1 in the fifth when Missoula’s Stryker Trahan hit a three-run home run off Zach Jemiola, sending him to the dugout.
Jemiola (2-1) gave up two runs in the bottom of the first, but settled down until the fifth.
He got one run back in the fourth when Emerson Jimenez doubled and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Raimel Tapia. Jordan Patterson’s fly ball to left scored Jimenez.
In the bottom of the inning, the Rockies lost Correlle Prime, their big first baseman, to a leg injury when he got tangled up chasing down a ball in foul territory. He made the catch for the second out, but left the game.
Prime is the only true first baseman on the roster, with Miguel Dilone playing first when Prime needs a day off. Dilone, though, was Grand Junction’s designated hitter on Tuesday, so Jordan Patterson moved in from right field. Jose Briceno, who had spelled Prime at first base, was promoted to Class A Asheville earlier this month.
Missoula had 15 hits and drew five walks. Another batter was hit by a pitch — Missoula’s three pitchers did not walk a batter.
Patterson hit a home run in the ninth, his eighth of the season. Tapia doubled and scored on a base hit by Patterson in the sixth.