BILLINGS, Montana - The Billings Mustangs (13-10) dropped the opener of their three-game series against the Grand Junction Rockies (9-14) 12-7 in front of 3,024 on Wednesday at Dehler Park in Billings.
The Rockies wasted no time building an early lead, putting three runs on the board in the first and scoring in each of their first five trips to the plate. Casey Golden hit a three-run homerun in the top of the first inning, his first of two homeruns and three extra-base hits in the game. He would finish 3-for-5 with six RBI.
Jeter Downs and Miles Gordon hit back-to-back doubles in the bottom of the first as the Mustangs managed a pair of runs to open as well. Gordon's double scored Downs and he would later score on an Alejo Lopez sacrifice fly. Lopez collected a single in the fifth to extend his hitting streak to nine games, the longest by a Mustang hitter this year.
Grand Junction starter Anderson Amarista (1-0) would struggle finding the strike zone at times, walking five and allowing six runs, but his offense would provide some backing. The Mustangs were walked a season-high eight times in the loss while allowing just two.
Trailing 8-2 going to the bottom of the fourth, the Mustangs would mount a four-run rally that would get them within two, the closest they would get the rest of the game. After a run was walked in, Miles Gordon hit his second double of the day to score three.
The first three Mustangs pitchers of the night each gave up three or more runs before Connor Bennett and Miguel Aguilar threw scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth to close the game.
The Mustangs did not hit a homerun in the game. It was the first time in two weeks they have failed to hit one in a game.
Billings and Grand Junction will now face off in the second game of their three-game series Thursday at Dehler Park. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.