Tag: Jose Gomez

Rockies’ rally makes Chukars’ playoff chase tougher


One swing of the bat in the bottom of the eighth inning led to a two-game swing in the Pioneer League South Division standings for the Idaho Falls Chukars on Monday night.

Moments after the Chukars rallied to take the lead with a four-run seventh inning, Colton Welker reached on a third strike passed ball and Hunter Melton followed with a two-run homer to right-center to lift the Grand Junction Rockies to a 5-4 win at Sam Suplizio Field.

The loss dropped the Chukars 4.5 games behind the Rockies in the South Division second-half standings.

Get him outta here

Idaho Falls bats were invisible over the first six innings against Grand Junction starter Bryan Baker. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound right-hander, whose ERA is hovering near 6, limited the Chukars to three hits and two walks while striking out six in six scoreless innings.

But the Chukars pounced when Baker hit the showers, scoring four runs on four hits and a walk against relievers Ryan Luna and Heath Holder in the seventh. Alex Luna did his job in the sixth and seventh, allowing just one hit while striking out three to give I.F. the lead entering the bottom of the eighth.

Idaho Falls reliever Cole Way got Vince Fernandez to line out leading off the inning, and appeared to have the second out with a strikeout of Welker. But Nick Dini, making a return to the Chukars lineup on his way back to Advanced-A Wilmington following an injury, let the pitch get by him and sending Welker to first. Melton followed with his fifth homer of the year.

Matt Dennis worked a perfect ninth inning to close out the win.

Dini, a member of Idaho Falls 2015 Pioneer League championship team, went 2 for 4 with a run to lead the Chukars. Meibrys Viloria added a two-run double for Idaho Falls.

Up next

The Chukars (30-29, 8-13 second half) and Rockies (28-30, 12-8) wrap up their four-game series tonight in Colorado. Idaho Falls then hits the road for two games in Orem beginning Wednesday.

Sunday’s game

ROCKIES 10, CHUKARS 6: At Grand Junction, Colo., Jose Gomez belted a pair of home runs and Grand Junction held off Idaho Falls in a game that featured five round-trippers.

David Edwards hit his seventh and eighth home runs of the season, but the Chukars couldn’t keep up. After taking a 2-0 lead in the top of the second, Grand Junction scored three runs in the third and three in the fourth. Idaho Falls kept chipping away, but couldn’t catch up.

Edwards finished 2 for 4 with two runs and three RBIs to lead Idaho Falls. Ricky Aracena went 2 for 4 with a triple, a run and an RBI while Rudy Martin was 2 for 5. The Chukars were hurt by four errors. Igol Feliz took the loss after giving up six earned runs on eight hits in four innings.

Gomez was 4 for 5 with three runs and four RBIs while Tyler Bugner went 2 for 4 with four runs scored for the Rockies.

Rockies overcome Chukars’ furious rally, win 14-13

The Idaho Falls Chukars could taste a third straight walk-off win. This one would’ve been the most thrilling.

The third time was not the charm.

Grand Junction designated hitter Colton Welker hit a two-strike, two-out RBI single in the top of the ninth inning. It proved to be the winning run in the Rockies’ 14-13 victory Saturday at Melaleuca Field, and it negated I.F.’s seven-run comeback.

Tragedy of errors

The Chukars went into Saturday’s game leading the Pioneer League with 35 errors. They did more than enough to maintain that lead Saturday.

I.F. piled up six errors, all through the first seven innings. Six of Grand Junction’s 14 runs were unearned.

Weirdly enough, those errors didn’t loom as large as one Grand Junction error in the bottom of the seventh.

With runners on second and third and two outs, Chukars right fielder Tanner Stanley hit a ground ball to the shortstop. Jose Gomez scooped it up and fired to first. The ball dove into the dirt, and Hunter Melton couldn’t handle it. Both runs scored to cut the Rockies’ lead to 13-10.

Two batters later, Yeison Melo hit a two-run double to tie it at 13-13. It capped a seven-run inning in which the Rockies committed both of their errors. Luckily for Grand Junction, the two miscues didn’t lead to a loss.

Viloria’s eventful night

I.F. catcher Meibrys Viloria caused some controversy Thursday night. In the bottom of the ninth, Viloria made a wide slide that clipped Jose Gomez on a double play attempt. Gomez dropped the ball, which allowed Colton Frabasilio to score the game-winning run.

Viloria hit his second home run of the season in the fourth inning Saturday, and he knew it right away. Viloria flipped his bat as soon as the three-run shot began its flight over the right field wall.

Viloria’s next plate appearance came in the bottom of the sixth. Heath Holder’s first pitch nicked Viloria in the back, and home plate umpire Steven Hodgins immediately ejected the right-hander.

Viloria and hitting coach Andre David, among other Chukars, lobbed angry words toward Grand Junction, but tensions cooled down after that.

Player of the game

Rockies first baseman Hunter Melton

Melton went 3 for 5 with a double, a walk and a two-run home run. The performance raised his batting average from .063 to .190.

Up next

The Chukars (8-7) and the Rockies (7-7) wrap up their four-game series at 4 p.m. Sunday. I.F.’s Arnaldo Hernandez is scheduled to face fellow righty Bryan Baker.

Chukars earn second straight walk-off win over Rockies

Chukars shortstop Angelo Castellano tags out Cole Anderson, of the Grand Junction Rockies, on Friday at Melaleuca Field. (Pat Sutphin / psutphin@postregister.com)
Chukars shortstop Angelo Castellano tags out Cole Anderson, of the Grand Junction Rockies, on Friday at Melaleuca Field. (Pat Sutphin / psutphin@postregister.com)

The Idaho Falls Chukars walked off winners against the Grand Junction Rockies for the second straight night.

Friday’s walk-off wasn’t quite as odd as Thursday’s (more on that later), but it was almost as rare. Nick Heath hit a two-run triple in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Chukars a 5-4 win at Melaleuca Field.

“It’s a great feeling,” Heath said.

Heath’s walk-off

The center fielder Heath came to the plate with one out and runners on first and second in the bottom of the ninth. Grand Junction led 4-3. Heath fell into a 1-2 hole, but he turned on the next pitch and lined it down the left-field line.

The outcome of the play came down to a footrace, which the Chukars won easily. The ball rolled so far into the corner that Manny Olloque, who started the play at first base, scored standing up.

“I kinda knew I was gonna get an offspeed down-and-in, some type of pitch inside,” Heath said. “That’s what I was geared up for, and I was able to put a barrel on it.

Right-handed pitcher Jace Vines is the highest 2016 MLB draft selection on the Chukars roster, and the fourth-rounder made his first start for I.F. on Friday. But he was completely overshadowed by the 18-year-old who started for Grand Junction.

That 18-year-old was Riley Pint, a right-hander who was selected No. 4 overall in last month’s MLB draft.

Pint retired the final six batters he faced after a leadoff infield single by Luke Willis. He struck out two and walked none, mixing a mid-90s fastball with a big breaking curveball. He was relieved after two innings due to a pitch limit.

“I had to get all the nerves out of the way before I started pitching, but it was great,” Pint said. “I was finally glad to get on the mound.”

Thursday’s game under protest

The Chukars walked off in strange fashion Wednesday, and the Rockies were not happy with a crucial non-call.

With runners on first and second, Willis hit a ground ball to second baseman Jonathan Piron, who turned and threw to shortstop Jose Gomez. Gomez dropped the ball and got hit in the knee by a sliding Meibrys Viloria. Gomez writhed in pain as the ball rolled away, allowing Colton Frabasilio to score and give I.F. a 7-6 win in 10 innings.

Angelo Castellano, of the Idaho Falls Chukars, breaks his bat during a line drive in the second inning against the Grand Junction Rockies on Friday at Melaleuca Field. (Pat Sutphin / psutphin@postregister.com)
Angelo Castellano, of the Idaho Falls Chukars, breaks his bat during a line drive in the second inning against the Grand Junction Rockies on Friday at Melaleuca Field. (Pat Sutphin / psutphin@postregister.com)

The Rockies are protesting the game, arguing that Viloria’s slide was outside of the basepaths. But manager Frank Gonzales doesn’t expect the result to change, he said Friday. The umpires told Gonzales that the non-call on Viloria’s slide was judgment call, which cannot be overturned by a protest.

Roster moves

The Chukars lost one outfielder and gained another on Friday. Jose Sanchez was moved to Burlington (the Kansas City Royals’ other Rookie-level team), and Leland Clemmons moved up to I.F. from the Arizona League.

Sanchez hit .438 with a .938 OPS in 16 at-bats for the Chukars this summer. Clemmons, who the Royals signed as an undrafted free agent in 2014, hit .083 with a .646 OPS and one home run in 12 at-bats for the Royals last month. He has 11 home runs in his three-year career.

Player of the game

Chukars center fielder Nick Heath

Heath finished 2 for 4 including the walk-off triple.

The Chukars (8-6) will face another first-round pitcher on Saturday at Melaleuca Field. The Rockies (6-7) will start righty Mike Nikorak, the 27th overall pick in the 2015 MLB draft. I.F. will send lefty Matt Portland to the hill. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.

Chukars fall 6-5 to Rockies in 10 innings


The Idaho Falls Chukars erased an early five-run deficit only to give it away in extra innings, falling to the Grand Junction Rockies 6-5 in 10 innings Monday night in Colorado. That gave the Rockies a split of their four-game home series against the Chukars and left the teams tied with 6-4 records.

Tough start

Idaho Falls starting pitcher Matt Portland got off on the wrong foot Monday, starting with a walk to leadoff man Manuel Melendez. That was followed by a single, a sac fly, a single, another sac fly and a single before Luis Brito sent a ball over the fence in right for a three-run homer.

The Chukars’ lefty settled down after that, allowing just one more hit over his next four innings while finishing with seven strikeouts. Idaho Falls closed the gap with two runs in the second and one in the third, and forced extra innings with single runs in the eighth and ninth innings.

Big finish

The Rockies escaped a jam in the top of the 10th inning when David Edwards led off with a single. After Manny Olloque struck out, the threat ended on a strikeout and caught stealing. In the bottom of the 10th, Melendez led off with another walk, moved to second on Jose Gomez’s sac bunt and scored on Jonathan Piron’s single to right.

Player of the game

Chukars DH Meibrys Viloria

Viloria, a 5-foot-11, 175-pounder from Cartagena, Colombia, continued his torrid start of the season with another big night Monday. Viloria doubled (his ninth of the season) and homered (his first of 2016) in a 3-for-4 night, scoring once and driving in two runs. He bumped his batting average to .548.

Up next

The Chukars (6-4) head north to begin a three-game series against the struggling Ogden Raptors (1-9) at 7 tonight.

Sunday’s game

CHUKARS 18, ROCKIES 7: At Grand Junction, Colo., Idaho Falls pounded out 10 doubles and 23 hits overall in a thrashing of Grand Junction.

The Chukars led 4-0 after two innings, 6-1 after three, 7-1 after four and 13-1 after five.

Catcher Meibrys Viloria added to his hot start, going 3 for 6 with two doubles, two runs and two RBIs. Viloria is hitting .519 with eight doubles in seven games. Yeison Melo was 2 for 6 with two doubles, a run and four RBIs, Angelo Castellano was 2 for 3 with two doubles, four runs and three RBIs and Ricky Aracena went 2 for 6 with two doubles, a run and an RBI.

Alex Luna was the beneficiary of all of those runs, allowing two earned runs on five hits and three walks while striking out nine in 5.2 innings to earn the win.