BILLINGS, Mont. -- The Billings Mustangs (9-5, 24-28) shut out the Grand Junction Rockies (7-6, 26-25) 6-0 on Monday in front of 1,959 at Dehler Park in the opening game of their four-game series.
The game stayed scoreless until the bottom of the seventh inning thanks to outstanding starts from both sides. Miguel Medrano went six shutout innings on the mound for the Mustangs, giving up three hits, two walks and striking out two. It was just the second time this season a Billings pitcher has thrown six complete innings and the first time a Billings pitcher has gone six shutout frames.
In a 0-0 tie going to the bottom of the seventh, the Mustangs cracked the game open with four runs on three hits and two walks. After a strikeout to start the inning, four straight batters reached beginning with the double of Quincy McAfee. With the bases loaded and one out, TJ Hopkins singled in two runs to deep right to break the scoreless tie. Two batters later Eric Yang doubled in another two runs to give Billings a 4-0 lead after seven innings of play. Hopkins finished the game 2-for-5 with one run scored, two RBI and a stolen base while McAfee was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored.
That lead expanded in the eighth after another three straight reaches for Billings. Reyny Reyes doubled to left-center to score two and make it a 6-0 advantage for the Mustangs.
Ryan Dunne (2-3) and Frainger Aranguren combined for three innings of shutout relief for the Mustangs, giving them their sixth shutout victory of the season.
The Mustangs and Rockies will play in game two of their four-game series Tuesday, Aug. 13. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. MDT at Dehler Park.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.