Dust Devils back at home to kick off a three-game homestand against the Yakima Bears.
Tri-City needs a win after dropping four straight up in Vancouver.
There's been a lot of player movement at the lower levels over the last couple days. Most notably Dust Devils first baseman Jordan Ribera and shortstop Joey Wong, who both move up to Low-A Asheville (N.C.). Pitcher Roberto Padilla, who has been impressive in two starts, was called up to High-A Modesto after the Nuts used seven pitchers in an 18-inning, 7-6 win Saturday.
Tri-City also added to the roster, getting first baseman Miguel De Leon from Grand Junction (Colo.) — the Rockies new rookie affiliate in the Pioneer League — and adding OF Kyle Von Tungeln, a 13th-round draft pick out of TCU.
RHP Ryan Arrowood (0-0, 0.00 ERA), who made a strong debut in a his first pro start against Everett a week ago, will get the start for the Dust Devils. He'll go against Yakima RHP Blake Perry (0-0, 0.00), a former 6th-rounder in 2010 out of Danville, Ky.
Perry gets in hot water right away, giving up back-to-back singles to Charlie Blackmon and Dillon Thomas.
Then Tom Murphy, the Rockies' third-rounder out of Buffalo University, makes him pay, teeing off on a 3-2 fastball over the heart of the plate. Murphy took it over the Rick's Custom Fencing sign in left field, meaning some lucky fan will win $100.
More importantly, it put the Dust Devils up 3-0 in the first inning and gave Arrowood some early breathing room.
Arrowood showing good control of his curveball. He's dropped in a few nasty ones, including one on a 1-2 count to left-hander Steve Rodriguez, who watched it dip down onto the inside corner for strike three.
There's another one he just delivered to right-hander Danny Poma for strike three. Just froze him at 2-2 right in his tracks.
When I talked to Arrowood before the season, he told me his curve had 12-to-6 action on it, but it looks like there's a little side-to-side as well.
He's definitely finding his groove. He walked the leadoff batter in the first on eight pitches but has retired 9-of-10 batters since then. He threw 19 pitches in the first, 17 in the second and now just 10 in the third.
Dust Devils still lead 3-0 after 2 1/2.
Arrowood must be on a 60-pitch limit, because he's coming out after 57. He gave up a leadoff double in the fourth to Shaun Cooper but then got Jacob House to fly out to right and caught Joe Loftus looking at a 2-2 changeup. But that was it for the 6-3 righty out of Rutherfordton, N.C. He was relieved by Trent Blank, who I'm sure is eager to erase the memory of his first pro appearance last week, when he gave up three runs in a 5-3 loss at Vancouver.
New pitcher for Yakima, and no this is not a typo. LHP Jose Jose, a native of San Pedro De Macoris, Dominican Republic, will relieve Perry to open the fifth inning. He's a lean lefty who went 2-3 with a 2.41 ERA in the Dominican Summer League last season.
You don't see that too often, though. It's probably even more rare than the palindrome. I can't think of any time I've seen that phenomenon before.
For your pleasure, though, here's a list of some of the crazy names in sports history.
For my money, though, it's tough to beat the Northwest League's own Roderick "Rock" Shoulders, who will visit Gesa Stadium when the Boise Hawks come into town for a three-game series beginning June 1.
Yakima scores its first run in the top of the fifth, but it could have been more if not for a smart defensive play by shortstop Patrick Hutcheson.
Mark Ginther hit a one-out double for Yakima, and Danny Poma followed with a hard ground ball that bounced over the glove of third baseman Matt Argyropoulos. But Hutcheson stayed on the ball, tracking it down deep in the hole, and caught Ginther leaning toward third. Ginther was thrown out in the ensuing rundown as Poma headed to second. Poma later scored on a single by Kevin Medrano, but if Hutcheson doesn't make that play, that's probably another run.
Dust Devils lead 3-1 after 4 1/2.
Murphy just picked up his second hit of the game, hustling down to first for an infield single with one out in the fifth. But now team trainer Andy Stover is checking him out at first base. Looks like he might have pulled something. Sure enough, Anthony Aguilera is heading in from the bullpen to replace Murphy as a pinch runner.
All you can do is hope it's nothing serious. Muscle pulls happen all the time, but they're never anything to rush along. I'm sure the Rockies will play it safe with their third-rounder.
With Ribera being promoted to Asheville, Murphy was the top run producer on the team, and he was off to a very good start at the plate.
Now, what was already a thin position gets even thinner with Richard Pirkle still out with a bad shoulder.
(Johnny Bowden, Johnny Bowden, please report to the front desk)
Yakima evens the score at 3 in the top of the seventh, as Poma comes up with a runner on base and drills a 2-1 fastball from Trent Blank and it leaves the park in a hurry.
Tri-City missed a big opportunity in the bottom of the 10th, when Derek Jones blooped a leadoff double to left and the team strands him on the basepaths. There's no reason a professional club shouldn't drive in a run in that situation.
But the Dust Devils come up short.
Francisco Sosa did a good job bunting Jones over to third, but Matt Argyropoulos — Jones' former college teammate at Washington State — couldn't get the job done. Argyropoulos swung at the first pitch from Bears reliever Victor Capellan and grounded it to Ginther at third, which is the last place you want to put it in that situation. That allowed Ginther to hold Jones and make the throw to first.
Then De Leon struck out looking to end the 10th inning.
In the next inning, disaster.
Tri-City reliever Chris Dennis retires the leadoff batter but gives up back-to-back singles to Ginther and Pomm, then walks Medrana to load the bases. Josh Parr then unloads the bases, hammering a 3-1 pitch from Dennis off the groundskeeper's shack in left for a 7-3 Yakima lead.
That's it. The Dust Devils go down 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the 11th and lose their fifth straight, 7-3.
Incredibly, at 3-8, they're only three games behind Yakima in the East Division. If that's not a silver lining, I don't know what is.