Solid pitching, hitting lift Rox past Osprey

Grand Junction’s Juan Ciriaco is taken out at second base by Missoula’s Tosbel Gutierrez on Friday night as he tries to complete a double play in the Rockies’ 10-1 victory.

Matt Carasiti picked up his first win of the year Friday, pitching six shutout innings as the Grand Junction Rockies defeated Missoula, Mont., 10-1 in Pioneer League play at Missoula.

Carasiti allowed three hits, no walks and struck out two as the Rockies (12-13) won their second road series of the season, taking two of three from the Osprey (13-12) after dropping the opener.

After a 15-minute rain delay pushed the start to 7:20 p.m., Carasiti set Missoula’s lineup down in order in three of the six innings he pitched.

“He did a nice job of getting ground balls,” Rockies manager Tony Diaz said. “He just had command of his fastball.”

Ashley Graeter, who was signed earlier this month, was 3 for 5 with two RBI. The third baseman hit a two-run double in the third inning, then hit a leadoff double in the Rockies’ seven-run sixth inning.

Graeter is 7 for 12 in three starts this season.

And so Diaz said it wasn’t a hunch that made him decide to stick Graeter in the lineup.

“He just works his butt off,” Diaz said. “He’s a good kid. He’s swinging the bat. It was just giving him an opportunity.”

In the Rockies seven-run sixth, Ryan Garvey, who had a solo home run in the second inning, scored on a single by Jose Briceno, who was 2 for 4.

Jason Stolz and Wilfredo Rodriguez walked to load the bases. That’s when Juan Ciriaco hit a line-drive single to left field, scoring two runs.

Two batters later, Graeter got his second hit of the inning with an RBI single and the Rockies led 10-0.

After cranking five home runs in the first two games of the series, the Rockies (12-13) poured on the offense with just only round-tripper.

“It was good to see the guys hit the ball to all parts of the field,” Diaz said. “Just doing the small stuff, all the little things right, such as getting runners over.”

The Rockies next play at Billings for a four-game series, beginning with a 7:05 p.m. game today.


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