Grand Junction Rockies recap, Aug. 12, 2017

Grand Junction 4, Helena 1

Saturday at Kindrick Legion Field

Records

Grand Junction 25-24, 7-4 second half; Helena 17-30, 2-7.

The key inning

Ramon Marcelino and Alan Trejo hit home runs on back-to-back pitches in the second inning to erase Helena’s early lead. Marcelino lined a 2-2 pitch over the fence in center field before Trejo turned on the first pitch he saw and mashed it over the fence in left. The rally started with two outs and ended with a long fly out from Brett Stephens, making the home runs the only hits Grand Junction had in the first two innings.

At the plate

The Rockies pounded out double-digit hits for the first time in three games, led by a three-hit night from Pedro Gonzalez. He was a home run shy of the cycle after starting the game 0 for 2. Gonzalez drove a two-out triple up the right-field line in the fifth inning, doubled home a run in the seventh and singled to left in the ninth.

The highly touted center fielder, converted from shortstop after a growth spurt two years ago, has multiple hits in seven of his past nine games. He has eight doubles, two triples and one home run in that span. His batting average was .261 before the surge and now sits at .316.

Two innings after hitting consecutive home runs, Marcelino and Trejo hit back-to-back singles, part of a unsuccessful rally in the fourth inning. Shael Mendoza continued his hot hitting with two singles and Ryan Vilade had an RBI single in the third.

Top pick out

After his RBI single, Vilade walked off the field under his own power with an unknown injury. The shortstop, taken in the second round of this year’s draft with Colorado’s top pick, is hitting .304 with five home runs, 20 RBI and five stolen bases. He was selected as a Pioneer League All-Star earlier this season.

On the mound

Starting pitcher Anderson Amarista had arguably his best pitching performance since arriving in the United States, scattering six hits over six innings with one strikeout and no walks. He threw 69 pitches, 44 for strikes, and worked quickly on the mound. Relievers Brandon Lambright, Colton Hathcock and Jefry Valdez combined to allow one hit the rest of the way, striking out three with one walk. Valdez picked up his sixth save of the season.

In the field

Although none of Grand Junction’s three errors resulted in Helena scoring a run. It’s the most errors the Rockies have committed since Aug. 4.

On deck

GJ at Helena, 1:05 p.m., Kindrick Legion Field

Starting pitchers: Jeffri Ocando, GJ (5-0, 3.98 ERA) vs. Alec Bettinger, HEL (5-1, 5.24 ERA)

Radio: GJRockies.com

— Sentinel Staff, The Daily Sentinel


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