After a 2017 season in which he was sidelined by some bizarre injuries -- including one that occurred when he helped a fellow plane passenger by lifting her bag into the compartment above the seats -- left-handed reliever Ben Bowden is reaffirming his elite status as a closer.
Bowden, the Rockies 2016 second-round draft choice and the 45th player taken overall, has dominated in the ninth inning for Double-A Hartford this year. He leads the Eastern League with 12 saves -- four ahead of Aaron Barrett of Harrisburg who is second. Bowden, the closer for Vanderbilt's 2016 national championship team, has compiled a 1.72 ERA, issuing four walks and giving up six hits in 15 2/3 innings.
Bowden was ranked the 17th best prospect in the Rockies season in the off-season.
In Wednesday's Games:
AAA Albuquerque (20-20) was off. The Isotopes open a five-game series at home against El Paso (Diamondbacks) on Thursday night.
AA Hartford (21-19) won 2-1 at Portland (Red Sox). Bowden worked a perfect ninth inning, striking out two, for the save. Brandon Gold (4-2, 4.03) allowed one run on six hits and two walks, striking out three in 5 2/3 innings. Vince Fernandez (.273) hit his eighth home run of the season in the first inning, and Ryan Metzler (.193) singled home a run in the second inning.
High A Lancaster (22-18) lost 18-8 to Rancho Cucamonga (Dodgers). Garrett Schilling (2-2, 5.40) allowed allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits and a walk, striking out three in three innings. Rancho Cucamona scored five runs in the fifth and six runs in the sixth against the JetHawks bullpen. Luis Castro (.399) drove in three runs with a triple. Ryan Vilade (.277) hit his first home run. Austin Bernard (.274) was 2-for-3 with a home run.
Low A Asheville (14-24) lost 5-1 at Rome (Braves). Colton Schmidt (0-2, 4.00) allowed four runs on nine hits, striking out six in six innings. Willie MacIver (.271) singled to drive in Asheville's only run.