Grand Junction Rockies recap, Sept. 6, 2016
Tuesday at Suplizio Field
Ogden 12, Grand Junction 10
Grand Junction 19-16 (35-38), Ogden 20-16 (37-37)
Colorado’s first-round draft pick, Riley Pint, will carry Grand Junction’s playoff hopes tonight after the Rockies fell one-half game behind Ogden in the South Division with their second straight home loss. Grand Junction must win tonight and Thursday to extend the season; the Raptors need to win one to make it an all-Utah series.
If Grand Junction wins the division, the Rockies will host Game 2 of the best-of-three playoff series at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The teams will take Friday off, play Game 1 at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Orem, then Game 3, if necessary, will be at 7 p.m. on Monday at Orem. The shift allows Grand Junction to avoid playing on Friday afternoon because of a high school football game at Stocker Stadium on Friday night.
Comeback comes up short
Once Ogden starter Zac Grotz left the game, the Rockies showed signs of life in the late innings, sending 10 men to the plate in each of the seventh and eighth innings to cut a 10-1 deficit to 12-10.
In the seventh, Vince Fernandez doubled, Joel Diaz walked and Taylor Snyder’s hard liner went off third baseman Brandon Montgomery’s glove for a hit, loading the bases.
Pedro Gonzalez then laced a two-run double to the left-field corner, chasing reliever Johan Diaz in favor of Osiris Ramirez, who gave up an RBI single to Cole Anderson and a sacrifice fly to Tyler Bugner, cutting the lead to 11-5. A chopper to left by Colton Welker scored Anderson, but Jose Gomez was thrown out at third, although it appeared his swim move on the slide avoided the tag. Roberto Ramos singled up the middle, putting runners on the corners with two out for Fernandez, who struck out.
Four more runs scored in the eighth, started by Diaz’s home run to right. Four walks by two Ogden relievers helped GJ’s cause, and Bugner drove in one run with a base hit to right. Ramos grounded into a run-scoring fielder’s choice after Welker walked in a run, making it 12-10. Fernandez walked to load the bases, but Diaz popped out to leave the bases loaded.
In the ninth, though, Ogden reliever Chris Mathewson struck out the bottom third of the order to preserve the victory.
On the mound
It was a forgettable night for the Rockies’ pitching staff until the late innings. Starter Alejandro Requena struck out five, but allowed six runs on six hits and walked four in only four innings. He faced 23 batters, throwing 94 pitches (60 strikes).
Grotz was pitching for an independent club in Pennsylvania when he was signed last month by the Dodgers and assigned to Ogden for the stretch run. He’s 4-0 with a 0.50 ERA with Ogden. He faced 22 batters, throwing 71 pitches (52 strikes).
The Raptors made it 10-1 in the fifth when Jefry Valdez, added from the Dominican Summer League Rockies last Friday, watched his first pitch in the U.S. leave the park, a towering home run to right field by Cody Thomas. He also gave up a two-run home run to Mitchell Hansen in the inning.
Reid Humphreys gave GJ a chance by striking out the side in the top of the ninth.
Gomez was the only GJ player selected to the Pioneer League end-of-season All-Star team. Idaho Falls catcher Meibrys Viloria was voted the league MVP, with Great Falls right-hander Aron McRee the pitcher of the year. ... Jordan Patterson, who played for Grand Junction in 2013, was called up to the major league club Tuesday, his first appearance in Denver. Patterson, who can also play first base, spent this season at Triple-A Albuquerque, hitting .293 with 24 doubles, seven triples and 14 home runs. He drove in 61 runs and was a Pacific Coast League All-Star. Pitcher Eddie Butler, who has split time between Denver and Albuquerque, was also recalled, bringing the total of former GJ Rockies on the current active roster to seven, three outfielders and four pitchers. Relief pitcher Scott Oberg is out for the season with an arm injury.
Ogden at Grand Junction, 7:05 tonight, Suplizio Field
Starting pitchers: Nolan Long, Ogden (2-3, 5.27 ERA) vs. Riley Pint, GJ (1-5, 4.59 ERA)
Radio: 100.7-FM (KKVT)
TV: Ch. 16 (KGJT)
— Patti Arnold, The Daily Sentinel