Orem rallies to top GJ Rockies

OREM, Utah — The Grand Junction Rockies liked their chances Wednesday night in Orem with Eddie Butler, winner of his last four starts, on the mound.

They liked them even more after a three-run first inning, but they couldn’t hang on in a 7-4 loss to the Orem Owlz.

The loss drops the Rockies to 3-8 in the second half, five games back of the Owlz with 27 games to play. Their overall record (24-25) dropped below .500 for the first time since July 17.

For the first time in the series, the Rockies struck first with three runs in the first inning.

The first five batters reached base, including David Dahl, who doubled in the Rockies’ first run to extend his hitting streak to 21 games, but Orem answered immediately.

“I was real pleased with the way we started the game,” Rockies manager Tony Diaz said. “We were aggressive and really took it to them, we just couldn’t keep it going.”

Butler entered Wednesday’s game with only four walks in 152 batters faced, but the first two batters in the bottom of the first inning reached on walks.

The Owlz tied the game with three runs. Jonathan Walsh doubled in the first run and Wendell Soto tripled home the last two, but the Rockies regained the lead with one run in the second inning to make it 4-3.

Orem tied it at 4-4 with one run in the fourth inning, which finished Butler’s night. He allowed four runs on six hits in four innings, but he walked four and struck out six.

“Butler just didn’t have good command tonight,” Diaz said. “That will happen, but you have to give Orem credit for taking advantage.”

Brian Rike threw a scoreless fifth inning, but the Owlz took the lead for the first time by scoring a run against Patrick Johnson in the sixth They added two insurance runs in the eighth inning to make it 7-4.

Grand Junction didn’t have a base runner after the sixth inning, and didn’t score a run after the second. Correlle Prime was 0 for 4, ending his nine-game hitting streak.

The Rockies travel north to Ogden tonight, looking for their first win at Lindquist Field this season in the first game of a three-game series.

Matt Carasiti is scheduled to pitch for Grand Junction against Ogden’s Matt Laney. Laney faced the Rockies on Saturday night at Suplizio Field and was knocked out in the second inning in the Rockies’ 11-inning loss.


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