The Sky Sox and Cubs were scheduled to play two and round out their series with a doubleheader, however Mother Nature interfered again and allowed the teams to only play one. The Sky Sox broke out the big sticks, pitched well, and used timely defense to take down the Cubs 4-3 Sunday Morning at Principal Park in Des Moines.
The Cubs jumped out to the early 2-0 lead in the first inning against Tyler Cravy thanks to three straight hits and an RBI groundout. Cravy would settle into his first start and completed 3 2/3 innings. The Sky Sox’s offense started to roll in the 4th inning thanks to Orlando Arcia’s solo homer with two outs. Will Middlebrooks followed suit with a three-run bomb in the 5th which put Colorado Springs in front for good. The Cubs made some noise against Damien Magnifico in the 7th and final inning scraping across a run, but the righty closed out his fifth save of the season.
The Sky Sox powered up and had another multi-homer game and capped off the road trip with 12 dingers and now have 16 as a team this season. Three of the four Sox hits went for extra bases (2 homers, 1 triple).
Manny Pina had the lone multi-hit game for the Sox and went 2-for-3 with a triple and run scored. Pina has two triples this season – he came into this season with three triples in 735 career games (minors and majors combined. The catcher is also hitting .382/.414/.618 with 9 XBHs and 13 RBI in 15 games with the Sky Sox this season.
Orlando Arcia hit a solo homer in the fourth and got the Sky Sox on the board with his third homer of the season. He’s now a two-run homer shy of hitting for the homer cycle this season as he has hit a three-run homer and grand slam.
Will Middlebrooks hit a three-run homer in the 5th inning and hopefully propelled the proverbial monkey off of his back as that marked just the fourth hit in 10 games with Colorado Springs. The corner infielder last homered with the El Paso Chihuahuas on September 3, 2015 against the Las Vegas 51s.
Tyler Cravy started his first game of the 2016 season after making 6 relief appearances, five with the Brewers and one previously with the Sox. He pitched into the 4th inning and just gave up the two runs in the first, 4 hits, 1 walk, and 6 strikeouts.
Damien Magnifico weaseled his way out of too much trouble in the 7th and limited the Cubs to just one run on a hit, walk, and strikeout. He ended the game and left the game-tying run at second with a strikeout of Ryan Kalish, the league’s best hitter.
Play of the game:
With the Sky Sox trailing 2-1 in the fifth, Will Middlebrooks stepped in with two on and nobody out against Cubs’ starter Drew Rucinski. With a 3-1 count in his favor, Middlebrooks crushed a go-ahead, three-run homer to left and put the Sky Sox up 4-2, a lead they would not relinquish. It was just the 4th hit in 10 games for the corner infielder.
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Damien Magnifico:
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,