August 3, 2013 - California League (CalL) - Modesto Nuts
MODESTO, CA - Making his much anticipated California League debut, new hurler Jonathan Gray tossed five superb scoreless innings to lead Modesto to a 5-0 shutout win over the Ports on Friday night at John Thurman Field.
Gray (1-0), the Rockies' first-round pick in the 2013 draft (number three overall), flashed his potential as a future ace with a high 90's fastball that routinely peaked at 99 miles per hour on the stadium radar gun. The power-righty came right out of the gate by challenging the Ports, racking up strikeouts to five of the first six batters. Gray would cruise through five innings, allowing only two scattered singles and no walks, while striking out seven on only 59 pitches.
Stockton's James Simmons was equally impressive at the start of the night, retiring his first 10 in a row before giving up a solo home run to Brian Humprhies to break the game open. That would be enough run support for Gray, who moved in line for his first win in professional baseball.
Niko Gallego added a 2-out RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to make it 2-0, and Modesto finished off Simmons in the seventh after striking for three more runs.
Trevor Story opened the inning with a double, and quickly scored on a single from Will Swanner. Harold Riggins followed with a titanic 2-run homer to center-field, staking Modesto to a 5-0 lead.
Simmons (7-6), who was previously unbeaten against Modesto in three starts this year, took the loss after giving up five earned on six hits.
Newly added reliever Ryan Arrowood also impressive in his debut, tossing two perfect innings behind Gray. He struck out three of the six batters he faced.
Will Rankin worked around a single over two scoreless innings to finish off Modesto's fifth shutout of the year.
The Nuts will go for a series win over the Ports on Saturday night, with RHP Tyler Gagnon (9-9, 5.28) set to take the hill for Modesto. Stockton is expected to counter with RHP Tanner Peters (10-5, 3.99). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.