Earlier with this than usual … but we’re trying to get the docket cleared so that we can focus on more stat analysis, and other things of note.
So … on with the show ….
|The Skinny: The Osprey, who have won five in a row, seven of eight and eight of their last nine at home, continue a three-game series with the Idaho Falls Chukars, who had a three-game win streak snapped on Monday by Missoula. The Osprey also will attempt to clinch the Pioneer League North Division First-Half title with either a win or a Billings loss.
Last Time Out: The Osprey were glad to see Brian Peacock leave the game on Monday night at Ogren Park Allegiance Field, and celebrated with a four-run seventh inning to beat the Idaho Falls Chukars, 4-1, and clinch at least a tie for the Pioneer League North Division First-Half title. The 2,021 fans in attendance watched quite the pitcher’s duel for six innings, as Peacock – who had held Missoula hitless for a 10-inning stretch in two appearances, spanning two seasons – was at it again on Monday, baffling Osprey hitters to the tune of allowing just four hits and a walk while striking out seven. Taylor Siemens nearly equaled his left-handed counterpart, allowing just two hits and a walk in five innings of work, but Darian Sandford hit a bloop single to lead off the third inning, stole second base, moved to third on a fly ball and scored on a wild pitch to give the Chukars (15-19) a 1-0 lead.
That score held up until the home half of the seventh, when the Idaho Falls bullpen was called upon to hold the Osprey in check. Stephen Cardullo induced a leadoff walk from reliever Robert Penny (1-4), moved to second on a ground ball and scored on Ty Linton’s RBI single to knot the game at 1-all. Linton then rode home on Fidel Pena’s two-run home run to deep right field, giving the Osprey the lead for good. Missoula would add a run on a double steal by Josh Parr and Chris Ellison. Parr scored when Chukars catcher Edul Escobar threw off target to third base, allowing Parr to score and give the Osprey the 4-1 lead.
Conrad Flynn (3-1) pitched three innings of two-hit relief, striking out a pair of batters along the way to pick up the win, while DJ Johnson pitched around a two-out walk in the ninth to collect his second save of the season.
The streak continues … : Eric Groff extended his current hitting streak to 13 straight games with a double in the bottom of the second inning, then added another double in the fourth. During the 13-game streak, Groff is 23-for-53 at the plate (.434), with seven doubles, a triple, six home runs and 15 RBIs. Groff has also collected seven multi-hit games during what is now his longest career hitting streak. Groff put together a 10-game streak from June 23-July 6 earlier this season.
On the Mound Today: Missoula will send out right-hander Dexter Price, to the mound as they look to clinch the Pioneer League North Division First-Half title. Price (1-0, 6.26) has been splendid since giving up seven runs in a July 4 start at Billings. In three appearances since, including one start, Price has allowed just three runs in 11 innings of work (2.45 ERA), allowing just four hits and two walks while fanning 11 batters. Price will be followed by Raymond Hernandez, who held the league lead in ERA until he fell out of qualifying – and teammate Taylor Siemens (1.95) took over the lead following his start on Monday. The Chukars counter tonight with left-hander Brennon Martin, who is still trying to recover from a rough outing on July 9 at Orem, in which he allowed 10 runs (seven earned). In two starts against Helena, Martin went 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA, winning his road start in his latest outing. He has the capability to go deep into a game – in two June starts (1-0, 3.21) Martin pitched seven innings in each outing.
Stat of the Day: Former Osprey infielder Emilio Bonifacio (2003) is currently enjoying a 23-game hit streak for the Florida Marlins. Florida did not play on Monday. Bonifacio is hitting .386 (34-for-88) during the hitting streak, which is the third-longest in Marlins history, and the second-longest hit streak in the Major Leagues this season (Andre Ethier, 30 gms.).
Osprey Alumni Update/Minor League Report:
The DSL D-backs (18-30) beat the DSL Twins on Monday, 11-1. Alan Santiago (2009) was held hitless, but still drove in a run, his 19th of the season. Santiago has tailed off a bit at the plate, as his average has fallen to .237 on the season.
Yakima (13-25) dropped a 9-3 decision to Tri-City on Monday. Westley Moss (2011), Raul Navarro (2010) and David Narodowski (2009) each had a base hit for the Bears.
South Bend (12-18, 46-53) lost to Kane County on Monday, 4-2. Matt Helm (2009-10) homered in the setback for the Silver Hawks, while Kable Hogben (2009) and Eury De La Rosa (2009) combined for three shutout innings of one-hit relief.
Visalia (12-20, 43-58) fell to San Jose, 8-6, on Monday. Chris Owings (2009) had two hits and a run scored, while Bobby Borchering (2009) hit a three-run homer in a five-run, ninth-inning rally that fell short. David Nick (2009) added a hit and a RBI, while Rossmel Perez (2008) and Keon Broxton (2009) added base hits for the Rawhide, who also received two scoreless innings of relief from left-hander Mike Belfiore (2009).
Mobile (22-8, 60-40) had an off-day on Monday. The BayBears start a five-game series at Mississippi on Tuesday.
Reno (61-41) was rocked by Sacramento on Monday, 10-1. Tom Layne (2007) surrendered eight runs on nine hits and four walks in six innings of work to suffer the loss.