After a disaster in his last outing Braden Shipley returned to form with a very good 8-inning start in which he held Tacoma to 2 runs and didn't walk a batter. Shipley's not racking up the strikeouts like many prognosticators like to see in prospects but his walk ratio has been very low. So even though he's only struck out 68 in 107 innings, he's only walked 18 for a very good 4/1 K/BB ratio. It remains to be seen if those numbers will play out at the major league level when Shipley gets his shot late this year or next. The concern is that he may not have a put-away pitch that all good starters need to be successful at the next level. But then this is the PCL where in many parks curve balls don't curve and sliders don't slide. So we won't get overly concerned about that just yet.
3 Stars: Braden Shipley, Reno 8 IP, 8 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 2 ER, W (7-4)
2 Stars: Hemry Castillo, Visalia 2 for 5, 2 R, 2 HR (7), 3 RBI
1 Star: Ryan Atkinson, Missoula 5 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 R, 0 ER
0 Stars: Mason McCullough 2/3 IP, 3 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 3 ER
AAA: Reno 6 Tacoma 3. Braden Shipley held Tacoma at bay for most of the night and 5 early runs from the offense made this an easy win. Shipley went 8 innings and while he allowed 2 runs on 8 hits he didn't walk a batter and struck out 2. Kyle Jensen got the scoring started with a solo home run in the 2nd, his 10th of the year. Carlos Rivero tacked onto the lead with a home run in the 6th. Ed Lucas had 2 hits and Gabriel Guerrero drove in 2.
AA: Mobile 7 Pensacola 3. Ryan Kussmaul made his first start in the Dbacks organization since being signed recently and he paid dividends with a nice 5+ inning outing allowing 1 run on 5 hits with 6 strikeouts. The 29-year old career-reliever spent all of his time in the minors with Florida and made one start in 5 years. The offense made it easy on him with 5 runs in the first 5 innings. Kevin Cron hit a 2-run homer in the 3rd and Ildemaro Vargas had 4 hits to lead the way.
A+: Visalia 7 @ Lancaster 9. The Rawhide has spent most of the year making improbable comebacks but had the tables turned on them in this one. They had a 7-3 lead heading into the 7th before relievers Yuhei Nakaushiro, Yency Solis and Bud Jeter got pummeled for 6 runs in the 7th and 8th. Joel Payamps started and got dinged for 3 runs early but he kept things in check through the 6th and looked poised for the win before the bullpen blowup. Henry Castillo hit 2 home runs as part of a 14-hit attack and Marty Herum drove in 2 on 2 hits.
A: Kane County 6 @ Peoria 7. This is another game that looked to be in the bag until Mason McCullough and Drew Muren couldn't hold a 3-run lead in the bottom of the 8th. Sam McWilliams allowed 3 runs in 4 innings on 7 hits and 3 walks. Kirby Bellow and Carlos Hernandez held things together for a couple of innings but that wasn't enough. Fernery Ozuna drove in 3 runs on 2 hits and Austin Byler had a double and a triple in the loss.
A-: Hillsboro 7 Tri-City 3. Both starters struggled early with 3 runs produced by each squad in the first 2 innings. The Hops blew it open in the 4th with 4 runs while starter Jeferson Mejia settled down and got through 5 innings without further damage. The bullpen was stellar with 4 subsequent shutout innings as the win was secured. Sergio Alcantara went 3 for 4 and drove in a pair while Anfernee Grier drove in 2 of his own on a couple of singles.
R: Missoula 9 @ Great Falls 7. Ryan Atkinson made his first professional start a good one allowing one unearned run in 5+ innings while striking out 6. Unfortunately he was robbed of the win due to yet another bullpen meltdown when Rafael Pulhols got tagged for 5 runs in the bottom of the 8th. Luckily Jose Herrera homered leading off the top of the 9th to tie the game and send it to extra innings. Billy Endris set things right with a solo homer in the top of the 11th after Logan Soole scored on a wild pitch making a winner of Erbert Gonzalez who pitched 3 shutout innings and struck out 6. Endris went 3 for 7 as did Jasrado Chisholm who tripled and doubled twice while driving in 3.