OGDEN -- It's been a hot month in the Top of Utah, and the Ogden Raptors turned up the heat even more Thursday night.
Ogden starting pitcher Zachary Bird tossed six scoreless innings, Dillon Moyer, Brandon Trinkwon, and Jesmuel Valentin each homered, and the Raptors toppled Grand Junction 8-3 to cap a four-game sweep of the Rockies.
Bird (1-3) struck out a career-high nine batters en route to his first career victory - scattering six hits in the outing - and Ogden (2-0) ran its winning streak to a season-best five games.
"It was good to kind of let myself go a bit and play with a little more emotion than I'm used to," Bird said. "I just went out there and pitched and let my talents do the work for me."
Moyer kicked off the scoring in the bottom of the second inning, cranking a three-run blast off the left field scoreboard to give the Raptors an early 3-0 lead.
Bird pitched his way out of jams in the third and fourth innings, as Ogden turned a pair of double plays to end both innings. The Rockies (0-2) stranded 10 runners on the night.
"The defense really picked me up a few times," Bird said. "Our infield is really strong, and I think of myself as more of a ground-ball pitcher, so that helped out for sure."
The Rockies picked up a pair of runs in the top of the seventh inning, but Ogden responded with three more of its own in the bottom half of the frame, fueled by a leadoff homer from Brandon Trinkwon. Raptors catcher Kyle Farmer chipped in an RBI bloop single and eventually scored on a passed ball to put Ogden up 6-2.
Jordon Patterson's solo homer in the top of the eighth inning narrowed the margin to 6-3 for Grand Junction, but once again, the Raptors struck back as Jesmuel Valentin parked a two-run insurance homer in the bottom of the inning.
Everyone in the starting lineup reached base safely for the Raptors, while Ogden piled up 14 hits, including two each from Moyer, Trinkwon, Valentin, Hank Yates and Gerson Nunez.
Grand Junction starter Devin Burke (4-1) took his first loss of the year, giving up three runs in five innings.
The Raptors now turn their attention to Idaho Falls, where they will begin a two-game series with the Chukars at Lindquist Field Friday night. Ogden then hits the road for its longest road stint of the season, an eight-game tilt.