Late Rally Falls Short in Series Opener

Osprey rally within a run, but fail to overcome grand slam

(Patrick Record)

By Missoula Osprey | August 8, 2017 1:23 AM ET

GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. - Representing the tying run, Gabriel Maciel was stranded at second base to end the ballgame on Monday night, as the Missoula Osprey (1-5 | 20-24) fell to the Grand Junction Rockies (4-3 | 22-23) by a final score of 8-7 at Suplizio Field.

Following a pair of innings in which Osprey starting pitcher Edgar Martinez worked around baserunners, the Rockies broke through for a pair of runs in the third, seizing a 2-0 advantage.

Two frames later, the Osprey busted out of their recent struggles at the plate, plating a trio of runs to take a 3-2 lead. Juan Araujo led off the fifth with a single, followed by a one-out single by Francis Martinez two batters later. The next hitter, Ernie De La Trinidad, tripled to the right field wall, scoring both runners and tying the game. Maciel then laced a double down the left field corner, scoring De La Trinidad and offering Missoula its first lead since Friday's win over Orem.

In the subsequent half inning, Grand Junction tied the ballgame on a solo home run by designated hitter Pedro Gonzalez. The homer was the final blemish on Edgar Martinez's resume, as the right-hander turned in a solid five-inning start in which he allowed just three runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks, while striking out three. Despite exiting with a lead, Martinez was relegated to a no-decision.

Tied 3-3 entering the sixth, Missoula lurched back in front on a triple by Juan Araujo, followed by an RBI-single from Jose Caballero. Matters turned sour for the Osprey in the bottom of the sixth, however, as the Rockies rallied for five runs against relievers Rafael Pujols and Pierce Romero, using a bases-loaded walk and a grand slam by Jeff Moberg to sink the Osprey to an 8-4 deficit.

Over the final two innings, the Osprey nibbled at Grand Junction's lead, first using a two-run homer by Andy Yerzy in the eighth to cut the score to 8-6. De La Trinidad laced his second triple of the night to lead off the ninth, scoring on an infield single by Maciel to pull the Osprey within one run. After moving up on a wild pitch with two outs, Maciel was stranded at second to end the ballgame.

In the defeat, Joey Rose doubled in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 17 games, the longest active mark in the league. Only one streak has gone longer in the Pioneer League this season-Gabriel Maciel's 18-game run that ended on Sunday.

The Osprey return to action on Tuesday evening, for the second installment of their three-game series at Grand Junction with first pitch scheduled for 6:40 p.m.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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