Billings 6, Grand Junction 1
Thursday at Dehler Park
Grand Junction 13-14, Billings 10-17
On the mound
Eris Filpo had another rough start, giving up five runs in the second inning. He walked only one and struck out four, but threw 49 pitches in his two innings, forcing the Rockies to again go deep into the bullpen. Jesse Lepore threw 2 1/3 hitless innings, walking two and striking out three, giving way to Michael Agis in the fifth.
Grand Junction's bullpen, with Reagan Biechler throwing the final two innings, allowed only one run. Rockies pitchers struck out 13 for the second straight night, tying their season high.
At the plate
When the Rockies lost the lead, they also seemed to lose their offense, mainly because of the Mustangs' bullpen. From the final out of the fifth inning through the end of the game, 12 straight Grand Junction hitters were retired by Billings pitching, 11 on strikeouts, including eight in a row. In all, GJ struck out 17 times, a season high.
Only No. 9 hitter LJ Hatch did not strike out; Reese Berberet had the "golden sombrero," striking out four times. Hatch and Coco Montes walked to break up the consecutive out streak with two out in the ninth, but Cristopher Navarro grounded out to end the game.
In the field
Niko Decolati went high against the wall in right-center to rob Reshard Munroe of a base hit in the second inning.
The key inning
When Billings manager Ray Martinez was tossed in the second inning for arguing balls and strikes, the Mustangs came to life, scoring five runs off Filpo to erase a 1-0 deficit. With a pair of runners on, Martinez, who had been chirping at home plate umpire Ethan McCranie the entire game, argued a strike call against Mike Spooner and was tossed.
Spooner, playing in only his fifth game, responded with an RBI single to right, his first hit as a professional. Filpo struck out Nadir Ljatifi, but a wild pitch allowed him to reach and another run to score. Three of the next four batters singled home runs before Filpo worked his way out of the inning.
Around the diamond
The loss ended Grand Junction's season-high four-game winning streak. The Rockies have 11 games remaining in the first half of the season and are four games out of first place in the South Division. ... Grant Lavigne's 11-game hitting streak ended.
Grand Junction at Billings, 7:05 tonight, Dehler Park
Starting pitchers: Wander Cabrera, GJ (1-1, 6.48 ERA) vs. Mac Sceroler, Billings (0-2, 5.02 ERA)
— Sentinel Staff