Pitching helps GJ Rockies sweep Billings
Grand Junction scored all three of its runs in the third inning, and that was all the Rockies’ pitchers needed to complete a three-game series sweep Friday in Billings, Mont.
Winning pitcher Peter Tago pitched the first six innings and combined with relief pitchers Scott Firth and Dylan Stamey to blank Billings over the final six innings in the Rockies’ 3-2 victory.
Tago limited Billings (11-17) to four hits and two runs, one earned, and he walked four batters and struck out three. Firth pitched two innings, allowing one hit and one walk, to earn his fourth hold of the season, and Stamey threw a hitless ninth for his fourth save.
After Billings starter Luke Moran retired the side in order in the first and second innings, Grand Junction (18-10) got to him in the third. Robbie Perkins and Cole Norton opened the frame with singles, and after Dom Nunez flew out to left field, Raimel Tapia hit a run-scoring double to extend his hitting streak to 19 games. Norton and Tapia scored on the next at-bat after Emerson Jimenez’s ground ball was deflected by Moran, allowing both runners to race home.
Moran allowed only one base runner in his next three innings. The Rockies’ Miguel Dilone singled with one out in the fourth inning, then was erased from the base paths when Perkins followed by grounding into a 3-6-1 double play.
Billings threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth when Robert Ramirez walked with one out, and pinch runner Phil Ervin went to second base on a wild pitch. Stamey, however, coaxed a groundout and a flyout to close the game.
Tapia finished with two of the Rockies six hits, and Jonathan Reynoso collected three of the Mustangs’ five hits. Jon Mathews got on base three times with a hit and two walks and stole three bases for Billings.
Grand Junction was thrown out on all three of its attempts to steal bases and left only one runner on base in the contest.