Modesto Nuts

Modesto Nuts’ Patterson earns promotion to Double-A New Britain

Modesto Nuts outfielder Rosell Herrera, shown batting last season against Visalia, was 4-for-4 Monday in an 8-2 loss to San Jose and now has 12 hits in his last 18 at-bats.
Modesto Nuts outfielder Rosell Herrera, shown batting last season against Visalia, was 4-for-4 Monday in an 8-2 loss to San Jose and now has 12 hits in his last 18 at-bats. Modesto Bee

Modesto Nuts outfielder Jordan Patterson went 0 for 4 during Monday night’s 8-2 loss to visiting San Jose. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound native of Mobile, Ala., is hitless in his last 12 at-bats and has just one hit in his last 17 trips to the plate.

And he probably couldn’t care less.

Patterson learned after the game the Colorado Rockies promoted him to Double-A New Britain (Conn.) of the Eastern League. He was to use Tuesday’s off day to fly to the East Coast, where he’ll become the newest member of the Rock Cats. Modesto pitcher Harrison Musgrave was promoted last week.

“It’s a good feeling, knowing they realize how hard you’ve worked,” said Patterson, who played right field for the Nuts. “It’s just another step, and I’ve got to try to be consistent and stay with what I do best.”

Patterson perhaps was the Nuts’ steadiest hitter this season and was 13 for 29 (.448) in a seven-game stretch before his slump. He leaves leading the California League in triples (12) and extra-base hits (48). For the season, he’s batting .304. But Patterson didn’t reach base against San Jose pitching – all part of the roller-coaster ride that is a baseball season.

“You play 140 games in a season, and that’s just how it works,” Patterson said. “They made good pitches, and I just didn’t execute like I had been. It’ll make you a better player when you figure it out and get yourself out of that.”

The Nuts squandered several scoring opportunities Monday, leaving a runner on base in eight of nine innings, as San Jose completed the three-game sweep. In the second-half standings, the Giants and Nuts are tied for second in the California League’s North Division, two games behind first-half champ Visalia.

The Nuts will play three games in Bakersfield starting Wednesday night before returning home Saturday for four against Lake Elsinore.

Rosell Herrera remained the bright spot for the Nuts offensively. After going 3 for 4 Sunday, the center fielder was 4 for 4 with a double Monday. The switch hitter has 12 hits in his last 18 at-bats (.667), a turnaround from the previous week, when he was in a 2-for-27 (.074) slump.

“We’re going to need his bat going forward, with Jordan going to Double A,” Nuts manager Fred Ocasio said.

The Giants got off to a quick start Monday with two runs in the first. After Jeff Kobernus led off with a single, Juan Perez caught the Nuts napping and bunted for a single down the third-base line. After Ryder Jones struck out, Angel Villalona drove in two with a double to right.

San Jose added two in the fourth. With one out, Daniel Carbonell caught the Nuts off guard and bunted up the third-base line for a single. After Carbonell stole second, he had to hold and was unable to score on Tyler Horan’s bloop double in front of Herrera. Both runners scored on Brian Ragira’s single, making it 4-0.

Modesto cut the deficit to 4-1 in the fourth. Third baseman Ryan McMahon walked, moved to second on a single by first baseman Correlle Prime, went to third on second baseman Michael Benjamin’s sacrifice bunt and scored on a groundout by catcher Ashley Graeter.

The Giants blew the game open with four runs in the sixth.

McMahon scored the Nuts’ final run in the sixth when he singled and scored on Benjamin’s double.

Notes – Left fielder Raimel Tapia, who played Sunday in the MLB Futures Game in Cincinnati, had his return flight delayed and was not in the lineup for Monday’s series finale. When “Tap” returns, he’ll try to extend streaks of hits in eight consecutive official at-bats and reaching base in 11 consecutive plate appearances. Tapia singled in his last at-bat Wednesday against Inland Empire, then went 4 for 4 with a walk in five plate appearances the next night against the 66ers. In the series finale Friday, Tapia was 3 for 3 with two walks in five plate appearances. Tapia is hitting .326, second in the California League, with eight home runs, 50 RBIs and an OPS of .835. He leads the league in hits (114) and ranks third in steals (18). …

Musgrave, who had won his previous 10 decisions with Modesto, lost his first start for New Britain. He gave up four hits, two walks and three earned runs while striking out four in five innings in a 4-2 loss to New Hampshire. Musgrave was 10-1 with a 2.88 ERA for the Nuts. His 10 victories still lead the Cal League. ...

Saturday at John Thurman Field is “What Could Have Been Night,” when the Nuts will wear Modesto Dusters uniforms. The Dusters nickname was the runner-up to Nuts when the franchise held a name contest before the 2005 season, its first as a Colorado affiliate. The Dusters jerseys will be auctioned off and presented to winning bidders by the Modesto players.

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