Raptors Rally Past Rockies
GRAND JUNCTION, CO - Tuesday night in Colorado Springs, the Ogden Raptors put a run on the board in the first inning for the first time in 11 days. They didn't get to see the fruit of their early labor, as a sudden onset of lightning forced the suspension of the game in the fourth inning.
Wednesday, the Raptors kicked off a series with the Grand Junction Rockies and again plated a run in the first - and this time it helped them to a win, 5-3, in the opener of a four-game series.
Despite scoring first, Ogden saw Grand Junction come from behind for a lead entering the middle innings. In the sixth, however, the Raptors rallied to score twice and tie the game. An eighth inning wild pitch and two-out clutch hit put them in the lead, and three relievers shut down the Rockies in the game's final four frames.
In the first, Andy Pages worked the count full before drawing a walk against Anderson Amarista, who had thrown six scoreless innings his last time against Ogden. Zac Ching also walked, and when Sauryn Lao smashed a double to straightaway center Pages scored easily to get the Raptors on the board. Ching, however, was thrown out at the plate, which kept the visitors from a bigger rally.
Antonio Hernandez pitched a perfect first inning, but the first hitter of the second launched a solo home run to tie the game. A base hit, sacrifice bunt and double plated another for a 2-1 Rockies lead.
The hosts added another in the fourth thanks to a leadoff double and one-out single.
Amarista held Ogden off the board from the second through the fifth, but Pages greeted reliever Ever Moya with a double to start the sixth. Ching promptly lined a two-bagger to right-center to score Pages, drawing the Raptors within one. Lao reached on a hit to right with Ching going to third, and with one out a Jon Littell grounder made it through the infield to tie the game.
The eighth inning began with Ching falling behind in the count but shooting a broken-bat single down the right field line. Lao singled to left to put two on with no one out, and Jimmy Titus laid down a sacrifice bunt to put both runners in scoring position. With two out, Andrew Shaps stepped in. The second pitch to Shaps squirted past the catcher, scoring Ching for a Raptors lead. Shaps then lined a single to left and Lao stepped on the plate for the final tally.
Mark Mixon earned the victory by pitching perfect innings in the sixth and seventh with two strikeouts. Nick Robertson struck out two after a leadoff four-pitch walk in the eighth, and Reza Aleaziz also K'd a pair of batters in the ninth to convert his fifth save.
The Raptors and Rockies play game two of their series at 6:40 PM Thursday.
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