Graeter leads Rockies to win

HELENA, Mont. — When the Grand Junction Rockies began the season in June, Ashley Graeter and Jeremy McLeod weren’t around. Friday night in Helena, Mont., they combined for the winning run in the Rockies’ 3-2 win over the Brewers in 11 innings.

With one out in the 11th inning, McLeod doubled, his third hit of the game. With two out, David Dahl was walked intentionally for the second straight time in front of Graeter, who hit into a double play in the ninth.

With his second chance, Graeter took a Martin Viramontes curveball and slapped it into left field.

“I was happy to see Graeter get that second opportunity,” Rockies manager Tony Diaz said. “I didn’t doubt that he would come through. Even though he hit into the double play the last at-bat, he hit the ball hard, so I wanted him up there.”

Mike Mason, who threw a scoreless 10th inning, set the side down in order in the 11th to secure the win and keep the Rockies tied for first place with Orem, which won 1-0 in Great Falls.

Jason Stolz gave the Rockies an early lead when he singled home Julian Yan with two out in the second inning. Yan started the inning with his first triple of the season. They kept the lead until the fifth when the Brewers took the lead with a two-out rally.

Paul Eshleman tied the game with his second home run of the season. Raul Mondesi Jr., followed that with a double and he scored when Chris McFarland reached on an error. The Rockies tied the game in with a run in the eighth.

Jayson Aquino allowed only one earned run in six innings. The bullpen quartet of Patrick Johnson, Raul Fernandez, Scott Oberg and Mason combined for five scoreless innings.

“The bullpen was outstanding,” Diaz said. “They stepped up and made big pitches when they had to, even when they had runners on base.”

The Rockies are a season-best seven games over .500 at 35-28. They improved to 14-11 in the second half and won six of seven against Helena.

Along with the three-hit game from McLeod, the Rockies got two hits apiece from Matt Wessinger, Dahl and Graeter.


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