Bats wake up as GJ Rockies snap 6-game losing streak
A full week had passed since the Grand Junction Rockies led a baseball game, let alone won a game.
It took more than three hours Wednesday night in Missoula, Mont., but the six-game losing streak ended with a 16-12 victory over the Osprey.
Sparked by Miguel Dilone’s 4-for-6 performance, the Rockies scored 16 runs on a season-high 19 hits. Dilone hit two home runs and had six RBI.
The 16 runs tied a season high.
Despite building leads of 10-1 and 16-9, the Rockies (25-27, 4-10) couldn’t put the game away until the final two innings. Scott Firth entered the game with the bases loaded after Carlos Yan issued three straight walks.
He got a double play on his first pitch, with one run scoring to cut Grand Junction’s lead to four, 16-12, then struck out Stryker Trahan.
He retired the Osprey in order in the ninth for his second save.
Grand Junction batted around in the first and second innings, putting up five runs in the first and four in the second. Dilone hit his home runs in those two innings.
Starter Joel Payamps, though, allowed seven runs in 3 2/3 innings as the Osprey, who ended their own six-game losing streak Tuesday, stayed close. Missoula cut the lead to 10-8 in the fourth inning, sending nine men to the plate.
Angel Lezama relieved Payamps with two out, but hit the first man he faced, then gave up a two-run double and an RBI single.
With runners at first and third, Daniel Palo came on and struck out Jose Queliz, preserving the Rockies’ lead.
In the top of the fifth, Grand Junction responded with five runs. Jordan Patterson worked a bases-loaded walk and Dilone drove in two runs with a base hit to left.
After an RBI double by Ryan McMahon, Jairo Rosario got another run home on a sacrifice fly for a 15-8 lead.
Every Grand Junction player had at least one hit — Raimel Tapia went 3 for 5 and raised his Pioneer League-leading batting average to .376 — and only Dom Nunez did not score.
All but Tapia, the leadoff batter, and Wesley Jones, hitting ninth, had at least one RBI.
Patterson went 2 for 4, scored three runs and had three RBI. He hit his ninth home run of the season in the second inning.
Palo’s 2 1/3 innings of relief, allowing one run on two hits, earned him his first professional victory.