GJ Rockies cruise past Idaho Falls
The Grand Junction Rockies hammered Idaho Falls 18-8 on Thursday in the first seven-inning game of a Pioneer League doubleheader before the second game was suspended because of rain. It is the third rainout of the series.
The suspended game, which Idaho Falls led 7-0 through two innings, will be part of a doubleheader today at 5 p.m.
In Game 1, a two-out rally sparked by Kevin Padlo gave Grand Junction (39-22, 16-7 second half) a lift in the first inning. Padlo singled to right field, then Henry Garcia and Hamlet Marte followed with singles. Randy Reyes drew a walk, and Yonathan Daza hit a bases-clearing double before being thrown out at third base.
Idaho Falls (31-30, 11-12) scored one run in the bottom of the first, thanks to a leadoff triple by Brandon Downes.
Both teams were scoreless in the second and third innings before Grand Junction blew the game open with six runs in the top of the fourth. Daza singled and advanced all the way to third on consecutive wild pitches. Forrest Wall drew a walk and stole second, advancing to third on a wild pitch that also scored Daza. Wes Rogers singled to score Wall, and Terry McClure drew yet another walk before a pitching change was made. The Chukars’ pitching woes continued, however, as Luis Jean walked to load the bases, setting up a grand slam by Padlo.
The Rockies took advantage of more walks in the top of the fifth inning. Daza singled, then Wall and Rogers walked. McClure grounded into a double play, but a run scored in the process. A wild pitch scored another run.
Roberto Ramos entered as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning, replacing Garcia. Ramos left his mark immediately, cracking a two-run home run to left field. Marte was hit by a pitch, then stole second. Daza singled to score Marte, and advanced to second on the throw. Rogers drove in another run with a triple, and McClure’s single scored Rogers.
In the seventh inning, Ramos reached on an error and advanced to third on two wild pitches before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Reyes.
Padlo finished 3 for 4 with four RBI and three runs. Daza was 4 for 5 with four RBI and three runs. Every player who entered the game for Grand Junction reached base safely, and five had multiple hits. Wall nabbed his 13th stolen base of the season, second-best among active members of Grand Junction.
The Rockies took advantage of seven wild pitches and two errors by the Chukars.
Garrett Schlecht secured the win in relief for Grand Junction, allowing two runs in 1 2/3 innings. He relieved Harrison Musgrave, who struck out three in 4 1/3 innings.