Gran Junction Rockies recap, Aug. 21, 2017
Grand Junction 17, Idaho Falls 6
Monday at Suplizio Field
Grand Junction 29-28, 11-8 second half; Idaho Falls 26-31, 9-10
Eating their Wheaties
Alan Trejo is on a power surge, hitting his fifth home run this month, a three-run shot in the first inning, added two doubles and reached on an error. The only time he was retired was on a fly ball that was caught on the warning track in center field. Trejo has been playing nearly every day with fellow shortstop Ryan Vilade out with an injury since Aug. 12. In 10 games between Aug. 8-20, the Rockies’ 16th-round draft pick out of San Diego State hit .432 with 10 RBI. He’s now hitting .358 with seven home runs this season. ... The Rockies, who scored 17 runs on 18 hits (every GJ player had at least one), perfectly executed the hit-and-run in the fifth inning, starting Brett Stephens and Tyler Bates, and Shael Mendoza lacing a single up the middle to score Stephens and get Bates to third. With Pedro Gonzalez at the plate, Mendoza broke for second and Gonzalez singled up the middle, scoring Bates and putting Mendoza at third as the Rockies broke the game open with a six-run inning. “We ran the bases pretty aggressive, put the ball in play, hit behind the runner,” developmental supervisor Andy Gonzalez said. “Aggressive first to third, everything was working tonight. It was good to see, very fun.” ... Nic Motley hit a home run deep into the parking lot in the sixth inning, his fourth of the season, and Todd Czinege lined a three-run home run to left-center in the eighth. Motley and Trejo were each 3 for 5 and Pedro Gonzalez was 4 for 6 in his first game back from injuring a finger on the road trip to Montana.
During the third inning, the Rockies argued that base runner Tyler Straub obstructed a throw from catcher Nic Motley to first baseman Chad Spanberger. Straub grounded back to the mound with the bases loaded, and Lucas Gilbreath threw the runner out at the plate. Straub appeared to run straight down the line instead of in foul territory, but the umpires did not change the call — Spanberger was pulled off the bag by the throw around Straub. A fan down the first base line called out to home plate umpire Rob Headley: “Did you look at the eclipse?”
Bates showed off his arm in the third inning after Logan Gray singled to left with the bases loaded. One run scored, but Freddy Fermin was tagged out at the plate after Bates came up throwing. The ball was just to the first-base side of the plate, but Motley lunged back to just get Fermin and end the Chukars’ four-run inning.
Around the diamond
Grand Junction manager Frank Gonzales is taking a few days off, a practice encouraged by the Rockies’ parent club since the minor league coaches are away from their families for several months at a time. Hitting coach Lee Stevens coached third, with Andy Gonzalez serving as manager. Frank Gonzales will return for GJ’s homestand against Orem starting Aug. 26. “We have something good for Frank now; he can stay away,” Gonzalez said after the win, which put GJ one game above .500. ... The Rockies are playing a rare home day game on Saturday, with first pitch against Orem at 1 p.m. Gates open at noon. ... Idaho Falls relief pitcher Jeremy Gwinn struck out four batters in the seventh inning. A wild pitch on strike three allowed Mendoza to reach first.
On the bases
Mendoza, the Pioneer League leader in stolen bases (23, tied for second in GJ franchise history) was thrown out trying to steal third in the fourth inning, just before Pedro Gonzalez doubled, costing the Rockies one run. Mendoza got a good jump against left-hander Robert Garcia, who rushed his throw, but easily got Mendoza.
Idaho Falls at Grand Junction, 6:40 p.m., Suplizio Field
Starting pitchers: Will Gaddis, Grand Junction (3-1, 5.14 ERA) vs. Holden Capps, IF (1-1, 3.57)
TV: Ch. 16 (KGJT)
They said it
“It’s a short season, but it’s a long season for them; it’s the first time they’ve played this many games, and we understand we’re going to have bad days and good days. But to come out and respond this way tonight is good for them, good for the confidence.” — Andy Gonzalez, developmental supervisor
— Patti Arnold, The Daily Sentinel