The Sky Sox took an early 2-0 lead in the second inning last night, but as well all know those don’t last in the Pacific Coast League. The River Cats came back to tie it in the fourth and the back and forth affair was on. Sacramento plated six runs across innings 3-7 and led 6-5 heading to the final two innings. As they have done all season, with their backs against the wall, the Sky Sox bounced back to notch four runs in the eighth inning and held on to win 9-6 in game two of the four-game series. Shane Peterson had a MONSTER night against his former team with four hits, five times on base and four runs scored. Taylor Jungmann turned in a serviceable outing and the bullpen was solid again and afforded the offense an opportunity to come back yet again.
You can find more on last night’s game below in the Quick Hits section of this blog.
Today’s game will see the righty Jorge Lopez for the Sky Sox and the right-hander Clayton Blackburn of the River Cats. Lopez has considerably improved over his last three starts, lowering his ERA from 8.84 to 6.11 with 17.0 solid innings, he earned his first Triple-A win last time out against Las Vegas. Blackburn is in his second season with Sacremento, still looking for his first call to the bigs. He’s 1-03 with a 5.51 ERA in 8 outings with the River Cats. The Sky Sox went 2-2 against the River Cats last year, are 71-111 overall, and 33-62 on the road against them. Both teams are off to slow starts as the Sky Sox enter play at 19-22 and the River Cats come in with a league-worst 18-28 record.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (19-22) at Sacramento River Cats (18-28) – 1:05 p.m. – Raley Field – West Sacramento, California
Pitching Matchup: RHP Jorge Lopez (1-2, 6.11) at RHP Clayton Blackburn (1-3, 5.51)
Sky Sox Pitcher: RHP Jorge Lopez looks to build off of his first Triple-A win and gets the start against the River Cats today in his 9th turn in the rotation. The righty’s last 17 innings have been great as he’s allowed 6 runs on 13 hits, 9 walks (4 his last two starts combined), and 8 strikeouts. His BAA has dipped with his ERA, down from .358 to .296. Lopez struggled out of the gate and currently leads the league in walks allowed, however he has curtailed the free passes as of late. It seems as though Lopez’s focus has been more around the plate and strike zone, pitching to contact if you will, rather that striking everyone out which has worked in his favor. Lopez is 1-2 with a 6.11 ERA allowing 25 runs (24 earned) on 42 hits, 27 walks, and 28 strikeouts through his first 35 1/3 Triple-A innings. The righty does have big-league time and is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 10 innings with the Brewers.
Last Time Out: 5/20/16 vs. Las Vegas – Lopez struggled out of the gate against the league’s second-best offense and allowed four runs in the first inning. After Jungmann’s poor outing the night prior, it felt like deja vu all over again, but Lopez settled in after the first and did not allow a run over the next five innings. He allowed the 4 runs on 7 hits, 2 walks, and 2 strikeouts in 6 innings of work. He threw a season-high 91 pitches, 57 for strikes.
2016 Game Log:
River Cats Pitcher: RHP Clayton Blackburn gets the nod and will make his ninth appearance and seventh start today against Colorado Springs. The 10-game winner from a year ago is off to a slow start, compiling a 1-3 record and a 5.51 ERA allowing 24 runs (20 earned) on 46 hits, 5 homers, 10 walks, and 23 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings crossing his eight outings. Blackburn hails from Amarillo, Texas and was selected by the Giants in the 16th round of the 2011 draft out of Edmond Sante Fe in Edmond, Oklahoma. He’s made one career start against the Sky Sox and did not record a decision allowing 2 runs on 5 hits, 3 walks, and 1 strikeout in 3 2/3 innings of work at Security Service Field on May 30, 2015. The righty is in his 6th season within the Giants organization and is 34-24 with a 3.10 ERA in 108 appearances, 97 of which have been in the starting role.
Last Time Out: 5/19/2016 at Nashville – Blackburn came out of the bullpen to relieve last night’s starter Matt Lujan in the ballgame against the Sounds. The righty pitched one scoreless inning and allowed two hits in the process. He threw 16 pitches, 9 for strikes. It was the second time that Blackburn has pitched out of the bullpen. Both times he has pitched just one frame.
2016 Game Log:
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 27th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he will have the call of tonight’s game from Raley Field at 1:05 p.m. I’ll get Sky Sox Warmup gets all fired up at 12:30 MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Quick Hits from Last Night – Full Recap Here
Hitting Notes –
Shane Peterson led the charge offensively for the Sky Sox and tallied four hits, including a double and homer, an RBI and scored four runs against his former team. Peterson filled the six-hole in the lineup and continues to remain red-hot since coming off the disabld list. He’s notched a hit in each of the four games and is 9-for-17 (.529) with two homers and five RBI.
Nate Orf filled the eight-hole nicely with a 2-for-3 performance. He reached three times and delivered a run-scoring single in the 2nd, which made it 2-0, and the game-tying single in the 8th which knotted it up at 6-6.
Jake Elmore, like Peterson a former River Cat, delivered the other multi-hit game for the Sky Sox in the second game of the series. Elmore tallied a run scored as well.
Andy Wilkins and Garin Cecchini filled the role of pinch hitter and did it to perfection. Wilkins hit an RBI single and Cecchini delivered the big blow with a two run, go-ahead double in the four-run 8th.
Manny Pina went 1-for-4 with a solo homer and a walk int he 9-6 win. The homer got the scoring going in the second inning and gave the Sky Sox an early 1-0 lead.
Orlando Arcia did not record a hit for the first time in 15 games. Bummer, man.
Pitching Notes –
Taylor Jungmann started for the Sky Sox and went the requisite five innings, but allowed four runs on 6 hits, 5 walks, and 2 strikeouts. He allowed a homer to Mac Williamson, and threw 91 pitches, 45 for strikes in his fifth outing with Colorado Springs. The righty departed the ball game down 4-3, but was bailed out by the bullpen and offense and lowered his ERA to 12.76.
Jaye Chapman allowed a run on two hits and a walk in his inning of work, but brought home the victory, his third in seven outings with the Sky Sox.
Damien Magnifico turned 25 yesterday and as a gift to himself he turned in his 9th save of the season with a perfect ninth, in which he struck out two. The 9 saves pulls Magnifico even with three others at the top of the PCL.
Play of the Game –
With the game tied 6-6 in the eighth Garin Cecchini stepped in with two on and one out. The pinch hitter laced a double down the line in right, which plated Jake Elmore and Nate Orf, gave the Sky Sox the lead 8-6, and they didn’t look back.
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Sky Sox Catcher Manny Pina:
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,