Grand Junction Rockies recap, Aug. 19, 2017
Grand Junction 14, Idaho Falls 5
Saturday at Suplizio Field
Grand Junction 28-27, 10-7, Idaho Falls 25-30, 8-9
On the mound
Perhaps Anderson Amarista’s toughest chore was staying loose in the first two innings — the Rockies went 11 men to the plate in each of the first two innings and scored 12 total runs. Amarista (4-1), who pitched five innings, gave up a home run in the bottom of the second but retired the Chukars in order in the third after GJ’s long offensive innings. Idaho Falls touched him for a pair of runs in the fourth.
“He’s had an up and down year and you have these long innings and it’s not the easiest thing. He’s really working on trying to get outs with his fastball. He did a nice job,” manager Frank Gonzales said.
Amarista’s catcher, Nic Motley, also liked his approach after long innings.
“That’s definitely tough but I didn’t have to help him much,” Motley said. “He had it under control. A word here or there, but he was really good tonight.” ... Twice in the bottom of the first inning, Idaho Falls starter Julio Pinto went to his mouth and then gripped the ball on the rubber without wiping his fingers. Field umpire Colin Baron both times stopped Pinto and tossed the ball out of play. Major League Baseball rules call for the ball to be removed and a warning issued on the first violation, and a ball to be called on subsequent violations. The Rockies’ dugout called for that to be enforced, but was waved off by Baron.
Motley drove in seven runs, more than twice as many as he had in his first 23 games. Motley, who had three RBI before Saturday, hit a three-run home run in the first inning, a three-run triple in the second and added an RBI single in the seventh. He finished a double shy of the cycle. Motley said he’s adjusted to a swing change and is being more selective at the plate.
“I think a lot of it is just swinging at better pitches,” he said. “You have a lot more success swinging at strikes than balls. I’ve been swinging at bad pitches the first half of the season and I’m trying to cut down on that.”
Two big innings to open the game were plenty for the Rockies, who scored seven runs in the bottom of the first, hitting three home runs, and adding five more in the second. Mendoza got the hit parade started on the second pitch he saw, lining the ball off his photo on the video board in right-center for his fourth home run of the season. Joey Bartosic singled and stole second and came home when Chad Spanberger hit his 11th home run of the season, moving him into a tie for third in club history with Jonathan Piron (2015) and Ryan McMahon (2013). Singles by Ramon Marcelino and Alan Trejo set up Motley’s third home run of the season and the Rockies’ third in the inning. Motley added a bases-loaded triple in the second inning, the second straight inning the Rockies sent 11 men to the plate.
Around the diamond
The Rockies have added right-handed pitcher Aneudy Duarte from the Dominican Summer League to the roster. Duarte (6-foot-3, 170 pounds) went 1-0 with 10 saves in 11 chances for the DSL Rockies this summer, with a 0.79 ERA. He allowed three runs on 13 hits in 22 2/3 innings, striking out 29 and walking six. He was signed in 2014. He started six games in 2016, but has worked exclusively out of the bullpen this season. ... Idaho Falls manager Justin Gemoll was ejected in the bottom of the third inning.
Idaho Falls at Grand Junction, 5 p.m., today, Suplizio Field
Starting pitchers: Jeffri Ocando, GJ (5-1, 4.31 ERA) vs. David McKay, IF (2-5, 8.00 ERA)
TV: Ch. 16 (KGJT)
They said it
“(Driving in seven runs) did feel good but I had more fun catching our pitchers because they dominated tonight. They were throwing a lot of strikes.” — Nic Motley
— Patti Arnold, The Daily Sentinel