Rockies’ bats go silent

Grand Junction manages only five hits in loss to Helena

Grand Junction starter Matt Carasiti allowed only five hits in 5 1/3 innings Wednesday night, but took the loss as the Rockies fell to Helena 3-2.

HELENA, Mont. — In 10 previous outings, Helena pitcher Tyler Wagner was winless with an ERA approaching seven, but Wednesday night he found his groove.

Wagner shut down the Grand Junction Rockies’ bats, tossing seven innings, allowing only two hits and two unearned runs earning his first win of the year in a 3-2 Brewers win at Kindrick Legion Field.

The Rockies had the tying run in scoring position in both the eighth and ninth innings, but Mike Francisco stranded both runners, notching his first save of the season in Helena’s first win over the Rockies this season.

Helena grabbed a 2-0 lead when Chris McFarland hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the third, but the Rockies chipped away with an unearned run in the fourth, and an unearned run in the fifth to tie the game.

In the sixth, however, it was the Rockies’ defense that let them down, allowing Helena to regain the lead. Two errors by Matt Wessinger and one by Ben Waldrip loaded the bases and Paul Eshleman’s single drove in the go-ahead run.

“You can’t give a team six outs in an inning,” Rockies manager Tony Diaz said. “Those are plays that those guys usually make, and I have no doubt they will make those plays the next chance they get.”

Matt Carasiti was tagged with his third loss of the season. He threw 5 1/3 innings and allowed only two earned runs, but the home run he allowed to McFarland is the fourth he has given up in his past three starts, after having only one against him in his first eight starts.

“I was proud of the way Carasiti was able to work out of trouble,” Diaz said. “He didn’t deserve to get a loss.”

Jason Stolz and Wessinger combined for four of the Rockies five hits. Jeff Popick had the other. Wednesday night was the first time the Rockies were held without an earned run in a game.

The loss drops Grand Junction to 12-11 for the second half, and 33-28 overall. It is only the Rockies’ seventh defeat in 23 games against a North Division opponent.

Tonight, the Rockies will play the third game of their four-game series in Helena. Ryan Warner will take the mound in search for his first win as a starter. He’ll be opposed by right-hander Preston Gainey. First pitch from Kindrick Legion Field will be at 7:05.


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