Cartersville’s Sam Howard ran into a bit of a rough patch in the fifth inning Tuesday night in his fourth start for the Modesto Nuts of the Class A-Advanced California League. The Visalia Rawhides struck for three runs, including a two-run, two-out homer by Rudy Flores off the 23-year-old southpaw. Howard, a third year pro in the Colorado Rockies’ organization, allowed four runs on six hits and a pair of walks in five innings pitched at Visalia. Howard struck out six. He left the game with the score tied 4-4 to receive no decision, but Modesto lost to the division leading Rawhides 5-4 in the tenth inning.
For the season, Howard is 1-0 in 20 and 1/3 innings pitched. He has 25 strikeouts and a 3.10 ERA. Modesto, trailing Visalia by four games in the standings, continues a three-game series with the Rawhides April 27 and 28. Howard’s next start in the Nuts’ rotation will likely come at home early next week against the Lake Elsinore Storm, an affiliate of the Angels organization.