Hillsboro's Ben Eckels has become a consistently good pitcher of late and last night's effort was more of the same. In his longest outing of the season the 19-year-old right-hander went 8.1 innings allowing just a single run on 6 hits. In his last 5 starts Eckels has surrendered 5 runs in 32+ innings, which is about a 1.40 ERA over that stretch. He hasn't been overtly bad at any point in the season with a 3.04 ERA in June and a 3.98 ERA in July. But he's really finding his groove down the stretch. He's pitching at a reasonably high level for his age and is definitely headed for full-season ball next year where he'll get stretched out to 100-120 innings versus the 90-100 or so he'll finish with this year. Just another pitching prospect in the Dbacks' pitching-rich system.
3 Stars: Ben Eckels, Hillsboro 8.1 IP, 6 H, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 ER, W (6-5)
2 Stars: Anderso Bolivar, Missoula 4 for 5, 2 R, DBL, HR (1), 2 RBI
1 Star: Rudy Flores, South Bend 3 for 3, 1 R, DBL, HR (17), 3 RBI
0 Stars: Blake Perry, South Bend 3.2 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 2 K, 7 R, 4 ER
Triple A: Reno 1 @ Fresno 3. For whatever reason Joe Paterson got the start and faced one batter before being removed. Charles Brewer took over and had a pretty good start until a Tyler Bortnick error led to 2 unearned runs. The offense came up with just 4 hits.
Double A: Game 1. Mobile 2 Jackson 3. In the first game of the doubleheader Mobile lost a squeaker as Bo Schultz allowed 2 runs in 3 innings as the starter and Mark Serrano surrendered a game-winning solo homer in the 6th to bet saddled with the loss in spite of striking out 5 in 3 innings. The offense only collected 4 hits.
Double A: Game 2. Mobile 3 Jackson 6. The BayBears lost the second game of the doubleheader when Bradin Hagens got roughed up to the tune of 5 runs over 5 innings. Nick Evans went 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI, and Ender Inciarte went 2 for 4 with a double, 2 runs scored and his 41st stolen base.
High A: Visalia - Off Day
Low A: South Bend 2 Bowling Green 7. Blake Perry didn't have it and he got knocked out in the 4th inning after allowing runs in every inning. The offense had 13 hits and 2 walks but left 11 on base. Rudy Flores had a big game going 3 for 3 with a double and his 17th home run. Socrates Brito and Michael Lang also had 3 hits each.
Short Season A: Hillsboro 2 @ Spokane 1. Ben Eckels was brilliant going 8+ innings while allowing just a single run to improve his record to 6-5. He struck out 3 and walked none. The typically slight Hops offense was at it again but they scratched across 2 runs in the 2nd off a Denver Chavez double to give Eckels all the support he would need. Jose Jose got the final 2 outs for his 2nd save since being dropped back down to Hillsboro after struggling some in South Bend.
Rookie: Missoula 8 Orem 9. Felipe Perez got roughed up again allowing 5 runs (4 earned) in 5+ innings. Perez finds himself in a bit of a tailspin and hasn't had a good start since his complete game 2-hitter back on July 18. The offense saved him from the loss when it scored 7 runs in the first 2 innings but that still wasn't enough to avoid defeat when the bullpen also cratered allowing 4 runs in the 7th and 8th innings. Andreso Bolivar had a nice ofnesive game going 4 for 5 with a double and his first home run. Stryker Trahan added a triple and his 7th home for 3 RBI.
AZL Rookie: Dbacks 6 Angels 9. Miguel Montero made his 3rd start for the rookie league team and is probably on the verge of being recalled from his injury stint. He went 1 for 3 with a double and an RBI. Willie Bloomquist also started for the time in ages going 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI. Dallas Newton got bounced around allowing 6 runs (5 earned) in 5+ innings. The offense battled back with 6 runs on 12 hits including 6 doubles but it wasn't enough. Matt McPhearson went 2 for 4 with a double and Henry Castillo went 2 for 5 with a double.