The Ogden Raptors answered Saturday’s lifeless, 5-1 loss by similarly taking the life out of Rocky Mountain’s bats Sunday afternoon for a 5-1 victory.
Raptors starter Jeronimo Castro gave up two hits across six innings and the visitors claimed the series three games to one at UCHealth Park in Colorado Springs.
With two outs in the first inning, Zac Ching doubled and was driven in on a Jimmy Titus single, putting Ogden (37-10, 6-3) in the driver’s seat throughout the contest.
The victory continues a remarkable run in which the Raptors have only lost consecutive games once, that coming on June 19-20 as part of the 5-4 start to the season. Ogden is 32-6 since.
Castro threw only 64 pitches in his start, striking out zero, walking zero and hitting two batters. Carlos Rodriguez singled to lead off the bottom of the first for the Vibes (21-26, 4-5), then Castro retired seven straight batters. After Luis Avila singled in the third inning, Castro did not allow a hit in the final 13 batters he faced.
For a while, Ogden needed Castro’s performance as the game entered the fifth at 1-0. That’s when Ogden outfielder Andy Pages tripled to score Cesar Mendoza, then the throw to third glanced off Pages’ helmet and out of play, resulting in Pages being rewarded home for a 3-0 lead.
Andrew Shaps doubled in the sixth to score Jimmy Titus, followed by a wild pitch plating Jon Littell for a 5-0 lead.
Ogden took the shutout into the ninth, where Nick Robertson surrendered two hits and a sacrifice fly to put Rocky Mountain on the board.
Castro moved to 3-0 and lowered his ERA to 3.18. Mitchell Tyranski gave up one hit in 1 2/3 innings to relieve Castro. Ogden pitchers allowed six hits.
Shaps led Ogden hitters, going 3 for 4. Six other Raptors totaled one hit each.
The Pioneer League now pauses for the All-Star break, with teams taking Monday and Wednesday off. The Pioneer League/Northwest League All-Star Game is at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Boise, Idaho.
Pages and pitcher Kevin Malisheski are scheduled to start, while fellow Raptors Littell, Corey Merrill, Sam McWilliams and Brandon Lewis will join them as All-Stars.
The season resumes Thursday when the Raptors open an eight-game homestand by hosting Idaho Falls.