The Sky Sox have found the Big Easy to be the Big Queasy for their offense across the first two games of the series. Yesterday afternoon the Sox were blanked by the same 3-0 margin they saw in the rain-shortened tilt on Saturday night. It marked just the ninth time Colorado Springs had been shutout in back to back games in franchise history. The last occurrence was in a doubleheader at Iowa on June 12, 2015 when they lost the opener 2-0 and the nightcap 1-0, mustering just seven hits in the process.
Last night’s game was started in perfect fashion by Corey Knebel in his first of two rehab performances with the team and third overall. The righty was easily hitting the mid-90s with his fastball, threw 13 pitches and struck out a pair. Jorge Lopez took over and was greeted in the second by a Tomas Telis one out solo homer. The righty pitched solidly over 5 2/3 with the homer the only real blemish on his line as the Zephyrs manufactured single runs with the good ol’ ABCs of baseball in the sixth and seventh innings. The offense for the Sox was nonexistent as they were silenced by Dylan Axelrod for the second time this season. The best chance to score came in the fourth when Will Middlebrooks doubled to center with Andy Wilkins at first and two outs. Wilkins got on his horse and tried to score, but was thrown out at the dish 8-6-2. Other than that, not much happened for the Sox O. The New Orleans righty has now tossed 11 2/3 scoreless against the Sox this season.
The Sky Sox managed a season-low two hits on Saturday night and five hits on Sunday marking the second time this season they’ve been limited to that mark and first since April 8-9 against Memphis.
They have not scored a run since the fourth inning of Friday’s game marking 18-scoreless innings in a row.
Michael Reed collected the only multiple-hit game for the Sky Sox and went 2-for-3 with a double in front of his family that was on in attendance. The outfielder is now hitting .225 and has reached base safely in his last 10 games.
Orlando Arcia stepped into his final plate appearance without a hit and with his hitting streak on the line, but he turned around an offering from Cody Ege in the ninth for a single which extended his hitting streak to 10 games. He’s batting .309 through his first 50 games and has hit safely in 24 of his last 26. I think it’s remarkable that he has played in all but three of the Sky Sox contests this season.
Will Middlebrooks continues to climb his average and had one of the Sox two extra-base hits with a double in the fourth. He’s up to .225 and has collected a hit in 7 of 9 and has 6 multi-hit games during that stretch.
Josmil Pinto collected the other hit for Colorado Springs.
Corey Knebel joined the Sky Sox and made the start in his third rehab appearance. He was very good and pitched a perfect inning, striking out a pair, one swinging and one looking. He threw 13 pitches and 8 for strikes. He has not made any appearances in the BIGS this year as he went on the DL with a strained left oblique prior to the season.
Jorge Lopez took over in the second and gave up the home run to Telis, but settled in and pitched into the seventh inning. He did allow two manufactured runs to cross the plate in the sixth and seventh innings, but pitched well. He limited the damage to 3 runs on 5 hits, 2 walks, and 5 strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. He threw 94 pitches, 57 of which were strikes.
David Goforth walked a pair and gave up a hit over the final four outs on the bump.
Play of the Game
Andy Wilkins drew a walk with two down in the fourth and Will Middlebrooks hit a rope to center for extra bases and it looked like the Sox were going to tie the game at 1-1, however the defense had different plans. Isaac Galloway in center fired it to the shortstop Robert Andino, who completed the perfect relay home to nab the tying run and end the inning.
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Pitching Coach Fred Dabney – Part 3 –
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