Printed on: July 24, 2013

I.F. roughs up Osprey ace

Chukars pound out six doubles and 15 total hits

By MICHAEL LYCKLAMA
mlycklama@postregister.com

Missoula starting pitcher Felipe Perez entered Tuesday as one of the best in the Pioneer League. The Chukars paid no attention to that reputation, roughing up Perez and the Osprey 12-7 at Melaleuca Field to secure their ninth win in the past 12 games.

Perez led the league in innings pitched, WHIP and batting average against entering Tuesday, and his ERA of 2.47 was second best. The workhorse owned two complete games and one complete-game shutout in six starts, matching the league's totals in both categories for the past two years combined.

He held the Chukars (15-17) off the scoreboard through two efficient innings. But Idaho Falls found success in its second trip through the lineup and tagged the 19-year-old right-hander for season highs in hits (10) and runs (10) before he exited in the fifth inning with his shortest outing of the year.

Chukars designated hitter Frank Schwindel said the team noticed Perez bounced a couple of curveballs in the dirt early and switched to sitting on his two-seam fastball.

"As we've seen throughout the league, he's been effective," Schwindel said. "We just tried to get good pitches to hit early in the count. We jumped a couple fastballs and did pretty well tonight."

Idaho Falls held a 2-1 lead entering the fourth inning until an error from shortstop Humberto Arteaga led to four unearned runs for Missoula (13-19). The Chukars bounced back in the bottom half of the fourth and scored four runs themselves to take a lead they held the rest of the night.

"That's what we've been doing lately -- they score and we score," Chukars manager Omar Ramirez said. "We never give up. We've got the bats to come back."

Idaho Falls second baseman Adrian Bringas roped a double that one-hopped the left-field wall in the fourth, his second double of the night. But he aggravated a hamstring injury that kept him out the past 14 games and was forced to leave.

Every Chukar in the lineup except catcher Zane Evans had at least one hit as the team racked up 15 hits. Third baseman Hunter Dozier ripped two more doubles, bringing his league-leading total to 17, while Cody Stubbs and Daniel Rockett also doubled.

The win gains the Chukars a game in the standings on Grand Junction (20-12) and brings them two games under .500 for the first time since a 1-3 start. Idaho Falls trails the Rockies by five games with six left to play in the first half of the season.

The Chukars take today off and then start a four-game series in Grand Junction on Thursday.

Up next

Chukars at Rockies, 7:05 p.m. Thursday / 980 AM, 105.1 FM