The Sky Sox starting pitchers are making a bad habit out of giving up runs over the first few innings and it happened again last night. Jorge Lopez gave up four runs to the 51s in the blink of an eye. To give Las Vegas credit, they are the PCL’s second-best team average-wise so this should come as no surprise, but it’s still not the best thing to happen night in and night out. Thursday night, Colorado Springs scored six-unanswered runs to tie the game before falling 7-6, however Friday they would score 14 unanswered and take a 10-run lead on the way to the 14-6 victory. The comeback began in the bottom of the first with a pair of runs for Colorado Springs.
A run in the second and third innings tied the game 4-4 before the Sox took the lead for good with a 7-run fifth inning, in which they sent 12 men to the plate against Las Vegas’ Stolmy Pimentel and Jeff Walters. Andy Wilkins began the scoring with an RBI single that plated Orlando Arcia to give the Sky Sox the 5-4 lead. Pitcher Jorge Lopez connected for an RBI single in the frame, Yadiel Rivera hit a two-run triple, and Arcia chipped in with an RBI single of his own in the eight-hit attack.
Lopez would battle back from a shaky first and finished six innings, aligning himself for his first Triple-A victory, and the offense insured he would get it with three more runs in the eighth. Shane Peterson drove home a pair with a two-run triple and later scored on Nate Orf’s RBI single which made it 14-4 and completed the 14 unanswered runs notched by the Sox. T.J. Rivera connected for a two-run homer down the line in left against Jaye Chapman in the 9th, but that was all she wrote.
Hitting Notes –
The Sky Sox set season highs in runs with 14, hits with 19, and triples with 4. It was the fourth time in franchise history that they knocked out four triples and had it not been for Nate Orf missing third base on what should have been an RBI triple for Eric Young, Jr. in the sixth, the Sox would have established a team-record five triples.
10 different Sky Sox scored runs, 9 had base hits, and 7 had multiple-hit games in the win. Michael Reed was the lone Sky Sox held from the starting lineup held without a base hit.
Orlando Arcia went 3-for-5 with a triple, 2 RBI and 2 runs scored. He extended his hitting streak to a season-high 11 games, one game shy of Keon Broxton’s team-high streak of 12. The 21-year old shortstop has his average up to .315 in his first Triple-A season.
Andy Wilkins had another big night at the plate and extended his hitting streak to seven games with a 3-for-4 performance. He tallied one of the team’s four triples, the fifth of his career, drove in a run and scored two in the win. His average is up to a season-high .256 and dating back to the third game of the New Orleans series, Wilkins has 12 hits and 8 RBI over the six-game stretch.
Manny Pina was once again Manny Pina and tallied a three-hit game of his own with a 3-for-5 night at the plate. He drove home a pair, collected a double, and scored a run. He’s got his average back up to .347 which is good enough to be tied for 6th in the PCL.
Jorge Lopez gave up four runs in the first, but made up for that not only on the mound, but at the plate with a 2-for-2 night. He laid down a sacrifice and even picked up an RBI. He now has 10-career hits and 5-career RBI.
Yadiel Rivera chipped in with a 2-for-5 night as he had one of the four triples and three runs batted in. He’s now hit safely in all four games he’s played in with the Sky Sox since being optioned from Milwaukee on the 14th.
Pitching Notes –
Jorge Lopez truly did it all for the Sky Sox and settled in after the first inning to finish six and put himself in line for the win, his first in Triple-A. After the four-run first, Lopez shut the 51s out over the next five and limited them to just four baserunners of his own, three hits and a walk. His final line was 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, he threw a season-high 91 pitches and 57 for strikes. He improved to 1-2 with the victory and snapped an eight start winless stretch, dating back to October 4, 2015 with Milwaukee.
Jaye Chapman was tagged for the T.J. Rivera two-run homer in the 9th, but limited the damage to just that.
Play of the Game –
In a 14-6 blowout there are many candidates for Play of the Game, however the play of last night’s tilt was more of an oddity than anything. Eric Young, Jr. stepped in to pinch hit in the 6th for Jorge Lopez. He hit a ball to right that snuck by Travis Taijeron to the wall for extra bases. Nate Orf was on base and got the green light to head home around third. He scored and EY ended up at third with an RBI triple. However, Las Vegas appealed to third, expressing that Orf never touched third. The appeal was upheld and Orf was called out to end the inning. Young, Jr. was credited with just a single, a night after he had a hit taken away from him thanks to a ball that escaped the bullpen. The scoring of the play goes SINGLE for EY – Orf out at third 1-5 on the appeal.
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and former Sky Sox Nevin Ashley –
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,