Chukars Win 3-1 on Well Pitched Game
By: Tyson Whiting
The Idaho Falls Chukars got 6 great innings from Rito Lugo as well as 3 shutout innings from the bullpen as they defeat the Grand Junction Rockies 3-1 at Suplizio Field on Sunday afternoon.
The Rockies took a 1-0 lead in the 2nd inning on a Niko Decolati solo home run to right field. It was Decolati's 10th home run of the year. It was the only run allowed by Lugo and the only run scored by the Rockies offense.
The Rockies left the bases loaded in the bottom of the 5th. They also missed an opportunity in the 6th inning as Hunter Stovall hit a leadoff triple. He was left at 3rd as Rito Lugo struck out 2 with a groundout back to him in between. Lugo struck out 8 and didn't walk any batters in the game. He has 24 punchouts and 0 walks in 3 starts for Idaho Falls this year.
The Chukars big inning offensively was the top of the 5th. Jose Caraballo led off the inning with a walk. With 2 outs, Jesus Atencio hit a single, advancing Caraballo from first to third. Caraballo scored on a balk by Rockies pitcher Jesse Stinnett. Atencio scored later that at bat on a Julio Gonzalez double to right-center. Gonzalez went 2 for 2 after replacing Angel Medina at 3rd base in the 4th inning.
The Chukars pitched up a key insurance run in the 8th inning on a Kyle Kasser fielder's choice to make it a 3-1 game.
The Rockies were down to their last out in the 9th but Decolati reached on an error by shortstop Offerman Collado. Daniel Montano hit a single on a diving stop by Kasser, who threw the ball away, allowing Decolati to go to 3rd and Montano to 2nd. Jose Miguel Ramirez came in to replace Jordan Floyd, who allowed only 1 hit, 0 runs in 2.2 innings. Ramirez got Javier Guevara to groundout to 1st baseman Reed Rohlman, who tagged Guevara out for the win.
With the win, the Chukars go to 2.5 games behind the Rockies. Idaho Falls has 11 games left. Grand Junction has 10 games remaining. Game 3 of the big 4 game series is Monday night. 6:40 pm first pitch. RHP Jon Bowlan goes for the Chukars. He's opposed by RHP Cayden Hatcher.
Chukars notes: The Chukars had 6 hits in the game. Nate Eaton, Jesus Atencio and Julio Gonzalez each had 2 hits. All 3 of those players had 1 double in the game. Lugo has allowed 2 runs in 18 innings for the Chukars. Both are on a solo home run. It's the 3rd quality start for Lugo, who was signed by the Royals to a minor league contract on July 4th, 2018. Jose Caraballo scored on a Rockies balk in the 5th inning. It was the 7th balk by Rockies pitchers this year. Caraballo reached on a walk in the 5th inning. That was the only walk issued by either team in the game. The game was delayed because of a 40 minute lightning delay. Time of game: 3:00. Attendance was 1,991.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.