Grand Junction Rockies recap, Aug. 16, 2017
Grand Junction 13, Missoula 7
Wednesday at Ogren Park Allegiance Field
Grand Junction 26-27, 8-7; Missoula 24-28, 5-9
At the plate
Joey Bartosic had the first four-hit game of his career, going 4 for 6 with five RBI. The Rockies’ center fielder hit a pair of doubles, driving in one run in the fourth inning for a 7-4 lead and two more in the sixth to put Grand Junction up 9-4. Brett Stephens had three hits and scored three runs. ... Missoula’s first six hits off Justin Valdespina were for extra bases, four doubles, one triple and one home run. ... Every Grand Junction starter had at least one hit.
On the mound
Valdespina worked out of early trouble thanks in part to his defense. Once the Rockies took the lead, he allowed only one more run to earn his second professional victory. He allowed four runs on nine hits and got 14 ground-ball outs against only two fly balls. His six-inning outing helped the Rockies’ depleted bullpen, which used five relievers in Tuesday’s 11-inning loss. Derrick Watson allowed two runs in his two innings of relief. Shameko Smith, in his second appearance, gave up a leadoff double in the ninth, but Eduardo Diaz was thrown out by Bartosic and Kennard McDowell trying to stretch it to a triple. Joey Rose followed with a solo home run to left. The three GJ pitchers combined to record 22 ground-ball outs.
In the field
Stephens turned in the defensive play of the game in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, runners at second and third with one run already in, Stephens caught a fly ball in left and unleashed a perfect throw to the plate to double up Gavin Stupienski, who had tagged up. The double play ended the inning and kept the Osprey from extending their 3-0 lead.
The key inning
Right after Stephens’ double play, he led off the top of the third with a base hit. It was the start of a six-run inning in which the Rockies sent nine men to the plate and pounded out five hits, highlighted by Ramon Marcelino’s three-run home run. Bartosic, who singled to score Stephens, was picked off first, took off for second, and a bad throw by first baseman Francis Martinez allowed Bartosic to reach second safely. The play was scored a pickoff/caught stealing/throwing error. A wild pitch got Bartosic to third and he scored on a base hit by Alan Trejo. Chad Spanberger walked and Casey Golden singled, scoring Trejo ahead of Marcelino’s home run to right.
Around the diamond
Marcelino’s home run was his 10th, tied with Casey Golden for the team lead. They’re tied with Jordan Patterson (2013) for third in GJ franchise history, behind Julian Yan (16, 2012). Ryan McMahon (2013) and Jonathan Piron (2015) are tied for second with 11. ... Bartosic took three bases (scoring twice) on wild pitches. ... Tonight is the Rockies’ final game against the North Division; they are 18-9 vs. the four Montana clubs. ... Pedro Gonzalez missed Wednesday’s game with a finger injury. ... GJ was 9 for 16 with runners in scoring position.
Grand Junction at Missoula, 7:15 p.m., Ogren Park Allegiance Field
Starting pitchers: Jorge Oviedo, GJ (1-1, 5.40 ERA) vs. Brady Muller, MIS (3-6, 6.53 ERA)
— Sentinel staff