Thursday lineups, Chukars in town and more

The next four games in Missoula will have two teams in chase mode – the Osprey and the Idaho Falls Chukars – playing each other, trying to catch the teams in front of them for first place in the Pioneer League second-half pennant chase. The Osprey enter tonight two games back of Billings in the North Division, while the Chukars are two games back of Orem in the South Division.

The Osprey and Chukars get started around 7:05. Pre-game is set for 6:55 tonight, and will feature an interview with former Osprey player and coach Hatuey “Chewy” Mendoza. We’re on the air on AM 930 KMPT and online at MissoulaOsprey.com.

Also, don’t hesitate to check out the Osprey Online Box Suite, where fans from all over the world can converge and talk Osprey baseball, and other things. Keep in mind, though, that most of those in the room are listening online, so if you are one of the fortunate ones that still has unlimited data on their smartphones, you can be at the game and in the room at the same time. So don’t give anything away …  the radio broadcast is on a 60-second delay to the online listeners, so be respectful of that. Thing is, we want you in the Suite!! And don’t forget to say hi to JAG when you’re in there …

Here are tonight’s lineups and game notes:

Idaho Falls Chukars
Overall: 9-8, 26-29
Manager: Omar Ramirez
No. Player Pos. Avg. HR RBI
32 Carlos Garcia 2B .272 1 15
1 Diego Goris LF .277 5 18
2 Elier Hernandez RF .211 0 28
43 Jin-Ho Shin DH .287 4 21
6 Rainier Bello 1B .256 4 25
22 Parker Morin C .293 2 14
14 Nick DelGuidice 3B .306 1 13
39 Jerico Blanco CF .192 0 7
4 Adrian Martinez SS .193 0 5
12 Clayton Schulz 2-6 7.33 10-9 LHP
Starting Pitcher Stats W-L ERA G-GS
Missoula Osprey
Overall: 11-6, 29-26
Manager: Andy Green
No. Player Pos. Avg. HR RBI
14 Pedro Ruiz SS .306 2 10
35 Evan Marzilli CF .352 0 10
21 Breland Almadova RF .304 1 20
7 Michael Perez C .298 8 47
26 Yosbel Gutierrez DH .294 1 9
9 Danny Pulfer 2B .299 2 20
30 Tyler Bream 1B .265 2 17
17 Ty Linton LF .230 4 19
12 Adam McConnell 3B .318 0 3
24 Ross Gerdeman 3-3 4.40 11-10 RHP
Starting Pitcher Stats W-L ERA G-GS
Umpires: Home Plate Sean Allen
First Base Cody Oakes
The Skinny:
The Osprey start a four-game series with the Idaho Falls Chukars, as both teams are in chase mode in their respective divisions in the Pioneer League – The Osprey are trying to catch Billings in the North Division, while the Chukars are trying to overtake Orem in the South Division standings. Both teams are two games out of first place entering the weekend series.

Last Time Out:
The Missoula Osprey could not take advantage of solid pitching from starting pitcher Jared Ray and the bullpen, as they were held to six hits in a 5-0 loss to the Ogden Raptors on Wednesday at Ogren Park Allegiance Field in front of 2,838 fans. Ray (3-5) retired the first 12 batters he faced before allowing a leadoff double to Ogden first baseman Jesus Valdez. With one out, Justin Boudreaux singled to put runners on first and third, and with two away, Boudreaux advanced to second on a wild pitch. Raptors third baseman Bladimir Franco hit a grounder up the middle that Pedro Ruiz managed to get to, but after he spun around to get into position to throw to first, the throw sailed wide of the bag, allowing two runs to score. Ray would not allow another run, scattering five hits and a hit batsman while striking out seven batters. Relievers Patrick Smith and Chase Stevens combined for two shutout innings of relief. The Osprey were held to just six hits on the night by Ogden starter Jharel Cotton (1-0) and two relievers, including two by Michael Perez. Evan Marzilli, Rudy Flores, Tyler Bream and Ty Linton added base hits for Missoula.

Notes from the Nest:
The Osprey are without Jake Lamb at the moment, who is away from the team while tending to a family situation. Lamb is expected to be back with the Osprey on Friday … The Osprey were shut out for the fourth time this season on Wednesday, and have been involved in a total of eight shutouts (The O’s shutout record is 4-4). Helena has been involved in nine, including getting shut out eight times this season – which is the most for any team in the Pioneer League since at least 1999 … Ty Linton is currently on a nine-game home hitting streak.

On the Mound Tonight:
Missoula will send right-hander Ross Gerdeman to make the start, as he looks to get back into the win column. Gerdeman (3-3, 4.40) has not won in his last two starts, a no-decision against Helena (8/5) and a loss to Billings (8/10). Prior to that, Gerdeman had won two straight decisions, at Orem and against Helena, in which he allowed just two earned runs in 13 innings pitched. Gerdeman is also looking to better his efforts at home, where he is 1-2 with a 4.76 ERA. As a starter this season (Gerdeman has made one relief appearance), the product of Bowling Green State University is 3-2 with a 3.99 ERA.

The Chukars will go with left-hander Clayton Schulz, who is looking to continue his improvement shown in the month of August. Schulz (2-6, 7.33) has a 0-1 mark and a 5.59 ERA in two August starts, although he pitcher better on the road (5.2 IP, 7H, 3R-2ER) than at home (4 IP, 6H, 4ER) against Orem in those starts. In July, Schulz struggled to a 2-3 mark with an 8.87 ERA in five July outings. Normally, Schulz is better at home (1-3, 5.11) than on the road (1-3, 9.82). Schulz signed with the Kansas City Royals as a free agent in 2011, and went 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA, allowing just three unearned runs in 16 2/3 innings pitched, allowing nine hits and two walks while striking out 17 batters.

Pitching Probables
Friday, August 17
MIS RHP Chris Thomas (1-1, 3.38) vs. IDF RHP Zeb Sneed (2-1, 6.41)

Saturday, August 18
MIS RHP Karl Triana (4-4, 4.70) vs. IDF RHP Alec Mills (1-3, 3.06)

Sunday, August 19
MIS RHP Yoimer Camacho (2-4, 3.27) vs. IDF RHP Ali Williams (2-3, 4.20)

Aug. 20-23
Osprey at Ogden

Aug. 24-26
Osprey at Idaho Falls

About the Chukars:
Idaho Falls ranks fourth in the league in pitching (5.06) and is second in defense, but has struggled a bit at the plate. The Chukars are hitting .265 as a team, which ranks seventh in the league, just four points behind Helena.

By The Numbers:

Current Streak:

L2

Extra Innings:

4-3

Team Hitting:

.283

First Half:

18-20

Lead After 5:

20-4

PL Rank:

4th

Second Half:

11-6

Tied After 5:

7-2

Team Pitching:

4.16

June:

7-6

Trail After 5:

2-20

PL Rank:

3rd

July:

13-15

One-run games:

8-7

Longest Winning Streak:

5 games

August:

9-5

Two-run games:

3-4

Longest Losing Streak

6 games

September:

0-0

Three-run games:

6-1

HR total at home:

16

Score First:

19-8

+3-run games:

12-14

Pitching K total:

487

Score Last:

13-7

Shutout Record:

4-4

Pitching K/9IP Ratio:

8.78

Reaching 11-hit Mark:

18-1

 

Peanut Inning Success:

14/30

D-backs Minor League Report/Osprey Alumni Update:

AZL D-backs Alumni Briefing: Justin Bianco (2011-12) went 1-for-5 on Tuesday as the AZL D-backs lost to the AZL Giants, 10-3.
Record: 20-23
Ends season Aug. 29

 

DSL D-backs Update: The DSL D-backs are a game and a half back of the DSL Rockies for first in the Baseball City Division.

 

Record: 35-26
Ends season Aug. 25

 

SS-A Yakima Alumni Briefing: Josh Parr (2011) had three hits, including a double, plus scored twice and stole a base in the Bears’ 3-2 win at Vancouver on Wednesday.
Record: 9-13, 30-30
Next: vs. Spokane

 

Class A South Bend Alumni Briefing: Chris Ellison (2011) doubled and drove in Roidany Agulia (2009-11) with South Bend’s lone run of the game as the Silver Hawks lost to West Michigan on Wednesday, 7-1. Eric Groff (2010-11) and Tom Belza (2011) each added a base hit. Conrad Flynn (2011) pitched three scoreless innings of relief.
Record: 25-25, 60-60
Next: vs. West Michigan, with JR Bradley (2010) getting the start for the Silver Hawks
Class A Advanced Visalia Alumni Briefing: Keon Broxton (2009) had three hits and a stolen base, Ender Inciarte (2009) added a pair of hits, while Jon Griffin (2011) hit a three-run home run, his 22nd of the season, as the Rawhide lost to Modesto on Wednesday, 10-7. Raywilly Gomez (2009) added a double and a RBI. The pitching – which included Andrew Chafin (2011), Raymond Hernandez (2011), Diogenes Rosario (2009), Blake Cooper (2010), Heremy Erben (2010) and Patrick Schuster (2009-10) – could not hold off the Nuts, who overcame a 7-4 deficit.
Record: 26-25, 57-64
Next: vs. Modesto
Double-A Mobile Alumni Briefing: Chris Owings (2009) had another two-hit game, plus scored a run and drove in another during a four-run eighth inning, as the BayBears beat Pensacola on  Wednesday, 4-2. David Nick (2009) added two hits. Eric Smith (2009) pitched two innings of scoreless relief to pick up the win on the mound, while Eury De La Rosa (2009) pitched the final three outs to collect his fifth save of the season.
Record: 21-31, 61-61
Next: vs. Pensacola
Triple-A Reno Alumni Briefing: Adam Eaton (2010) had a 2-for-5 night with a new running mate hitting behind him in the order – Taylor Harbin (2007), who went 1-for-4 – but it wasn’t enough for the Aces as Round Rock rolled to a 14-1 win on Wednesday. Charles Brewer (2009) was rocked for nine runs in 3 1/3 innings pitched to take the setback.
Record: 71-54
Next: vs. Round Rock

Former Osprey with the Arizona Diamondbacks:

Paul Goldschmidt (2009) .295 BA, 17 HR, 62 RBI, .885 OPS Gerardo Parra (2006) .277 BA, 6 HR, 30 RBI, .748 OPS
Miguel Montero (2002-03) .287 BA, 14 HR, 70 RBI, .863 OPS Jake Elmore (2008) 0-1 (PH flyout in debut on Saturday)

TEAM: 58-58, 3rd in NL West, 6.5 GB … 6 GB in wildcard

 

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