The Idaho Falls Chukars continued their downward slide out of playoff contention Wednesday night, as the Greybirds dropped their fourth game in a row with a 5-2 loss to the Grand Junction Rockies at Melaleuca Field. The Chukars once again left the potential winning run on base several times over, with six men left standing in scoring position.
The lost opportunities started early as the Chukars got their leadoff man aboard in each of the first three innings, but failed to plate any while leaving four men in scoring position. The only Chukars run actually came when a man wasn't in scoring position, as first baseman Jared Schlehuber blasted a two-run homer off the left field scoreboard with Elier Hernandez on first base to cut the Idaho Falls deficit to 4-2.
Schlehuber finished the game 2-4 with a homer, a double and those two RBI. The rest of the Idaho Falls squad would only combine for seven more hits, including just one for extra bases.
The lack of offense gave IF starter Clayton Schulz (4-7) yet another loss, with the southpaw allowing three runs on eight hits over hit five innings pitched. Schulz was actually his own worst enemy for most of the start, with four walks including one with the bases loaded in the fourth to plate the first run of the game for Grand Junction.
Rockies starter Jayson Aquino continued his flawless transition to the Pioneer League from the Dominican Summer League, as the lanky lefty threw six shutout innings on just four hits, no walks and five strikeouts. Reliever Scott Oberg earned his league leading 13th save of the season with his scoreless ninth.
With their fourth straight loss the Chukars (14-16) fall four games out of first place while the Rockies (17-13) stay just one game back.
The Greybirds will now hit the road for a six game trip, starting Thursday night in Ogden with a 7:00 pm first pitch.