BILLINGS — A six-run seventh inning gave Billings a cushion and the Mustangs held off a Grand Junction rally to beat the Rockies 8-5 Wednesday night in front of 2,359 fans at Dehler Park.
The win was the third straight for the Mustangs, who will look for a four-game sweep of the Rockies Thursday when the teams play again at 6:35.
Carlos Carreno (4-5) allowed four hits and one run in five innings, and Alec Byrd (two scoreless innings), Frainger Aranguren and Jake Stevenson finished up. The quartet combined to give up 11 hits, but just one of Grand Junction’s runs was earned. In their last 16 games, Mustangs pitchers have allowed more than three earned runs just twice, and the team entered Wednesday’s contest with the second-best ERA in the league at 4.05.
Billings led 2-1 after six innings when the Mustangs broke the game open in the seventh. Reyny Reyes had an RBI single, and TJ Hopkins and James Free each drew a bases-loaded walk. A wild pitch and a passed ball plated two more Mustangs runs, and Eric Yang closed the scoring in the inning with a run-scoring single for an 8-1 lead.
Yang finished with two hits and two RBIs, and Reyes also drove in two runs for the Mustangs (11-5, 26-28).
Brenton Doyle and Todd Isaacs hit eighth-inning home runs for the Rockies (7-8, 26-27), who scored three runs in the inning and added another in the ninth of Stevenson.