Grand Junction Rockies recap, July 12, 2017
Grand Junction 12, Billings 7
Wednesday at Dehler Park
Grand Junction 9-14, Billings 13-10
At the plate
Casey Golden had a monster night for Grand Junction, launching a pair of home runs in the Rockies’ victory. The first was a two-out, three-run shot in the top of the first inning, and the second a two-run home run during his next at-bat in the third inning. His fifth and sixth home runs of the season were both to left field.
All told, Golden finished 3 for 5 with six RBI, also driving in one run with a triple in the fourth inning. Each of Golden’s hits scored Chad Spanberger, who finished 2 for 4 with three runs scored.
Shael Mendoza continued his strong hitting with a 2-for-6 day, launching a solo home run to right field in the third inning. His double in the seventh inning also drove in a run and kicked off a three-run rally that put the Rockies up 12-6. He leads the Rockies with a .420 batting average and 17 runs scored, and is tied for a team-best with 15 RBI. It was the first time in three games that Mendoza didn’t steal a base, but his 16 steals in 19 games is far and away the best mark in the Pioneer League.
Six Rockies batters — Mendoza, Golden, Spanberger, Pedro Gonzalez, Ramon Marcelino and Tyler Bates — each had multiple hits, combining for 14 of Grand Junction’s 15 hits.
On the mound
Starting pitcher Anderson Amarista slogged his way to his first decision, grinding through six innings. The right-hander walked five batters and gave up only five hits. His wildness got him in trouble in the fourth inning, where he saw an 8-2 advantage close quickly. Amarista hit the leadoff batter, coaxed an infield pop-up, then surrendered a double to put two runners in scoring position. A walk loaded the bases before Carlos Rivero hit a shallow fly ball that was caught for the second out without a run crossing the plate.
Amarista walked the next batter he faced, forcing in a run, then gave up a bases-clearing double to Miles Gordon before getting a groundout to end the frame. The Mustangs added two runs in the first inning, the majority of the damage done by back-to-back doubles by Gordon and Jeter Downs, the competitive balance pick in this year’s draft by the Mustangs’ parent club, the Cincinnati Reds. Downs drew three walks on the day.
The walks continued with reliever Brandon Lambright, who issued three free passes in two innings. The right-hander gave up only one run, which came in the seventh inning. Lambright hit the leadoff batter, then walked the next two to load the bases. He forced a fielder’s choice at second base for the first out and a line-out double play to third baseman Alan Trejo ended the inning.
In the field
Catcher Javier Guevara had an uncharacteristically tough day in the field, committing both of the Rockies’ errors to bring his season total to three.
The hit parade
The Rockies scored at least one run in six of the first seven innings before coasting the rest of the way. Grand Junction posted two or more runs four times, including three-run rallies in the first and seventh innings.
Around the diamond
Colorado Rockies outfielder David Dahl, whose professional career began in Grand Junction, set out on a rehab assignment to High-A Lancaster. Dahl’s missed the entire Major League Baseball season with a stress reaction in his ribs. He finished 1 for 3 with a single in the top of the fifth inning, helping the Jethawks defeat Lake Elsinore 6-5 ... LHP Steve Ascher was released.
GJ at Billings, 7:05 p.m., Dehler Park
Starting pitchers: TBD, GJ vs. Luis Alecis, BIL (2-1, 3.38 ERA)
— Sentinel Staff