Four-run 9th lifts GJ Rox past Orem
Luis Jean scored on a wild pitch in the top of the ninth inning Wednesday night to ignite a rally in which Yonathan Daza scored on a fielder’s choice and Kevin Padlo hit a two-run triple as the Grand Junction Rockies topped Orem 6-2.
Padlo’s hit with one out in the top of the ninth inning was the first by Grand Junction (9-8) since the third inning.
The Rockies’ win snapped the Owlz’ eight-game winning streak.
Starter Craig Schlitter and reliever Taylor Black combined for six scoreless innings, limiting Orem (12-5) to five hits, and Schlitter struck out three batters over four innings. But Orem battled back in the bottom of the seventh.
With the Rockies leading 2-0, Wendell Soto reached base on a throwing error by Jean, the Rockies’ only error of the game. A single by Caleb Adams moved Soto to third. Adams stole second, and Raul Linares drew a walk to load the bases, but the next two Orem batters struck out.
Michael Strentz then singled to left field to drive in Soto and Adams.
After a scoreless eighth, the Rockies and Owlz entered the ninth tied for the second straight night.
Grand Junction’s Terry McClure walked to lead off the ninth, and Jean reached base on a throwing error after a bunt attempt. Daza tried to put down a bunt, but McClure was thrown out on a controversial fielder’s choice at third base as the umpires drew the ire of Grand Junction manager Anthony Sanders.
Nate Causey was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Jean scored on a wild pitch.
Daza scored on a groundout by Dom Nunez, scampering home after the pitcher attempted to look him back to third base. Daza beat the throw home from the first baseman, his hand slipping under the tag, but the Rockies’ right fielder also injured his left shoulder on the slide.
After remaining on the ground 15 seconds, Daza walked off the field and returned to right field in the bottom of the ninth.
McClure had a big night at the plate for Grand Junction, hitting a solo home run in the first inning and a double in the third. He also walked twice, bringing his season total to 10 walks, fourth-best in the Pioneer League.
The Rockies close out the series in Orem today, then host the Owlz at Suplizio field Friday. The start time for the Independence Day game, originally listed at 7:05 p.m., has been moved to 6:30 p.m.