Sometimes being No. 2 is okay.
Grand Junction, the Rockies Rookie League affiliate, clinched the second playoff spot in the Pioneer Southern Division on Tuesday night, claiming a second-place finish in both halves of the Pioneer League season. The Rockies won a 7-5 decision at Rocky Mountain (Brewers) for the clinching victory. The two teams finish the regular season with four more games before the Pioneer League playoffs will tentatively open on Sunday.
Grand Junction won 10 of 11 games en route to clinching the post-season spot.
The Rockies are scheduled to host first-place Ogden (Dodgers) in the opening game of the best-of-three series Sunday with the series then moving to Ogden for the rest of the games.
Grand Junction (18-15, 37-34) scored five times in the second inning of its Tuesday game in Colorado Springs. Colin Simpson (.305), Todd Issac (.295) and Ronakier Palma (.208) all drove in runs during the rally. Issacs and Palma both went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Palma had a double in addition to a single. Simpson was 1-for-2 with two walks.
The Pioneer League is the only minor league that is not scheduled to open the playoff season on Wednesday.
AAA Albuquerque (60-80) finished in last place in the Pacific Coast League South Division.
The opening round of the Pacific Coast League Playoffs will feature a Bay Area Battle -- Giants Affiliate Sacramento (73-67), the Pacific North divisional champion, hosts A's affiliate Las Vegas (83-57), the Pacific South champion. In the other PCL playoff, Cubs affiliate Iowa (75-65), the American North champion, plays at Astros affiliate Round Rock (84-56), the American South champion.
AA Hartford (36-36, 73-66) finished in third place in both halves of the Eastern League Eastern Division.
Phillies affiliate Reading (80-59), which finished first in the Eastern Division in the second half, hosts first-half champion Yankees affiliate Trenton (76-62) in the opening game of the first round of the Eastern League Playoffs. In the Western Division, Tigers affiliate Erie had the best overall record (77-61), but Orioles affiliate Bowie (second half champion) and
Nationals affiliate Harrisburg (first-half champion) will meet in the first-round of the playoffs.
Advance A Lancaster (34-36, 68-70) finished in third the South Division of the California League in both halves of the season.
Dodgers affiliate Rancho Cucamonga (81-57), which won both halves in the South, will play Padres affiliate Lake Elsinore (73-65), which finished second in both halves, in the first round of the California League playoffs. In the Northern Division, Arizona affiliate Visalia (83-53), which won both halves in the Northern Division, will play Giants affiliate San Jose (66-73), which finished second in both halves.
A Asheville (39-31, 68-72) finished second in the second half in the Southern Division of the South Atlantic League, but sixth in the first half with a 29-41 record.
Giants affiliate Augusta (72-61) claimed the second half in the Southern Division and will play Royals affiliate Lexington (68-70), which finished first in the first half. Orioles affiliate Delmarva (90-48) won the first half in the Northern Division and will play Rangers affiliate Hickory (83-52), the second half champion in the Northern Division.
Short-Season A Boise (27-49) finished in last place in the South Division in both halves, and overall was 21 games out of first.
Rangers affiliate Spokane (45-31) won both halves in the North Division and will play Padres affiliate Tri-City, which finished second in the division at 38-38. Giants affiliate Salem-Keizer (46-30), the first-half division champion, will play Diamondbacks affiliate Hillsboro (48-28), the second half champion.