Pat Valaika was the odd man out on Saturday when the Rockies recalled Kyle Freeland from Triple-A Albuquerque to fill the fifth slot in the Rockies rotation. Sent back to Albuquerque to make room for Freeland, Valaika didn't take the allowed three days to report. He rejoined the Isotopes in El Paso on Sunday, and made his presence felt in Albuquerque's 12-3 win.
Valaika went 5-for-5 with two home runs and six RBI. Surprised? Don't be. He hasn't missed a beat when he has had regular playing time for the Isotopes. He has appeared in 45 games with Albuquerque this season and has hit .356 with 13 doubles, 18 home runs and 45 RBI.
In Sunday's Games:
AAA Albuquerque (40-54) won 12-3 at El Paso (D-backs). In addition to Valaika, Dom Nunez (.259) was 3-for-4 with two home runs, and Yonathan Daza (.376) was 2-for-6 with a home run. Pat Dean (3-9, 7.24) earned the win, allowing one run on six hits and two walks, striking out four in six innings.
AA Hartford (11-12, 48-42) won 6-3 against New Hampshire (Blue Jays), the Yard Goats 16th win in 23 games with New Hampshire this season. Heath Holder (5-2, 2.37) allowed seven hits, three runs (on three home runs) and struck out four in five innings. Scott Burcham (.212), Bret Boswell (.202), Mylz Jones (.212) and Brian Serven (.187) each hit a home run. They were all solo shots except for Boswell, who had a man on base.
Advance A Lancaster (14-11, 48-45) lost 5-3 against San Jose (Giants). Matt Hearn (.315) extended his hitting streak to 14 games with his first career home run. Antonio Santos (3-6, 4.35) allowed four runs on nine hits and a walk, striking out five in 4 2/3 innings.
A Asheville (12-12, 41-53) won 4-3 against Augusta (Giants). Ryan Feltner (6-6, 5.46) won his third start in a row, allowing three runs, one earned, on five hits and two walks, striking out seven in six innings. Jake Bird (3.15) worked three hitless innings for his second save, allowing one walk and striking out three. Terrin Vavra (.328) was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a double.
Short-season A Boise (14-16) lost 6-0 against Eugene (Cubs). Trevor Boone (.257) was 3-for-3 with a double. Zak Baayoun (0-3, 5.28) allowed one run on four hits, striking out five in five innings.
Rookie Grand Junction (14-14) lost its third game in a row, a 6-4 decision against Billings (Reds). Ever Moya (0-1, 3.29) suffered the loss in relief, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk in one inning. Jared Horn (0.00) started and allowed one unearned run on four hits, striking out four in four innings. Colin Simpson (.344) was 3-for-4 with his team-high fifth home run with a man on base in the first inning.