The Sky Sox looked to be on the way to their third straight shutout loss as they entered the top of the ninth down 1-0, but after a little good fortune and some timely hitting the Sox plated a pair in the final frame and held on to win 2-1. The two runs ended Colorado Springs’ 26-inning scoreless streak, which became the third longest streak in team history, and it put an end to the threat of being shutout in three-straight games for the first time in franchise history. Garin Cecchini sparked the late-inning rally with a leadoff walk. Two batters later it was Manny Pina that drove him in from second with a double. Michael Reed picked Pina up and broke the tie with a double of his own. Sam Freeman made his first appearance in a save situation and locked it down, stranding runners at the corners to end the tilt.
It was truly a tale of two games as the Sky Sox and Zephyrs opened battle with five hitless innings. The combination of Corey Knebel, Drew Gagnon, and Hiram Burgos held the Zephyrs hitless until the sixth when Austin Nola reached on a bunt single, while former Brewer Chris Narveson went seven scoreless and did not allow a hit until Will Middlebrooks’ single in the fifth. New Orleans jumped out to a 1-0 lead with two outs in the 7th on a triple and single. The Sky Sox loaded the bases with one out in the next half inning, but could not score. With Keon Broxton at the plate, the entire Sky Sox dugout took exception with a called strike (as they had done a few times throughout the night) and home plate umpire Stu Sheurwater had enough. He ejected both Fred Dabney and Orlando Arcia after the questioned pitch marking his second and third ejections in the series as he tossed Rick Sweet on Saturday night. Read the Full Recap Here
The Quick Hits portion of this blog can be found below today’s pitching matchup.
Colorado Springs needs a win in this morning’s tilt to capture a series split with the Zephyrs. In hopes of doing just that the Sox will trot the human pitch clock, lefty Brent Suter to the hill. New Orleans will counter with righty Jose Urena and have a bullpen game prior to the league-wide off day. Suter is coming off six scoreless against Omaha, while Urena hasn’t pitched for New Orleans since April. With this series 2-1 in favor of New Orleans, the season series has the Sky Sox out in front by the slimmest of margins 4-3 across the first seven, with nine meetings remaining. The two teams first squared off in the four game set from May 10 – May 13. The Sox won the final three of the series and went on to win five in a row during that stretch. Colorado Springs has fared well against the Zs and are 85-68 all time and 46-35 on the road.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (26-27) at New Orleans Zephyrs (25-31) – 10:00 a.m. – Zephyr Field – Metairie, Louisiana
Pitching Matchup: LHP Brent Suter (1-2, 4.28) at RHP Jose Urena (1-1, 6.30)
Sky Sox Pitcher: LHP Brent Suter gets the call for the Sky Sox this morning in the series finale against New Orleans. The southpaw is a specimen on the mound. He works quickly, throws strikes, and keeps his defense engaged behind him. Suter will make his 12th appearance and 7th start of the season with the Sky Sox. He’s 1-2 with a 4.28 ERA in his first 11 outings, allowing 23 runs on 58 hits, 6 walks, and 36 strikeouts across 48 1/3 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting the lefty at a .312 clip. He faced New Orleans out of the bullpen on May 12 and tossed two scoreless innings with a hit, walk, and two strikeouts. The last time out Suter started and earned the win over Omaha with six scoreless innings. The lefty was selected by the Brewers in the 31st round of the 2012 draft out of Harvard University. In 103 minor-league tilts he has compiled a 30-28 record with a 3.44 ERA.
Last Time Out: 6/1/16 vs. Omaha – Suter started game two of the doubleheader against Omaha and cruised through six innings with relative ease. He scattered six hits over the start, walked one and struck out one. The best stat of the day was the fact that he initiated four double plays off the bats of the Storm Chasers including three from Christian Colon. He threw just 71 pitches, 48 of which went for strikes.
Last 10 appearances:
Zephyrs Pitcher: RHP Jose Urena will get the spot start in what the Zephyrs have deemed as a bullpen game in the series finale. Urena made three starts with New Orleans in April before getting the call to Miami where he made 16 relief appearances before he was again optioned on June 1. In the three starts with the Zephyrs he compiled a 1-1 record with 10 innings of work, in which he allowed 7 runs on 9 hits, 6 walks, and 10 strikeouts. In 16 appearances with the Marlins, the righty went 1-1 with a save and a 7.52 ERA allowing 19 runs (17 earned) on 26 hits, 10 walks, and 12 strikeouts in 20 1/3 innings. The righty’s PCL appearances have come twice against Omaha and once against Iowa. He was signed by the Marlins out of the Dominican Republic in July 2008. In 137 outings with the Marlins minor-league clubs he’s 51-39 with four saves and a 3.54 ERA and 2-6 with a save and a 5.82 ERA in 36 games (9 starts) in the big leagues.
Last Time Out: 5/30/2016 vs. Pittsburgh – Urena went an inning against the Pirates and allowed four runs on three hits and a walk. Gregory Polanco hit a grand slam off the righty in the 8th. He threw 27 pitches, 14 for strikes in the 10-0 blowout loss. In his last two outings he gave up a total of 7 runs on 6 hits, 2 walks, and 2 strikeouts in two innings, one against the braves and the other against the Pirates.
2016 Game Log w/New Orleans –
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 27th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he will have the call of tonight’s game from Zephyr Field at 10:00 a.m. I’ll get Sky Sox Warmup all fired up at 9:30 MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Quick Hits from Monday’s 2-1 Win –
The Sky Sox did not score over the first eight innings which extended their scoreless streak to 26 2/3 innings which is the third longest streak in team history. They narrowly avoided being shutout in three straight affairs, which would’ve been the first time in team history.
Michael Reed picked up another two hits and drove in the game-winning run with his double in the 9th. Reed has reached safely in his last 11 games, hit safely in his last three, and been on base five times in the series thus far.
Manny Pina collected the first run-scoring double in the ninth and went 1-for-4 at the plate. He continues to exceed expectations and is hitting .345, good enough to be tied or fourth in the PCL.
Will Middlebrooks picked up the other hit for the Sky Sox and now he’s hit in his last four and 8 of his last 10.
Orlando Arcia went 0-for-3 at the plate prior to his ejection and thus his 10-game hitting streak came to an end as well.
Pitching Notes –
The Sky Sox used the law firm of Knebel, Gagnon, Burgos, Magnifico, and Freeman to complete the ballgame. They combined to allow 1 run on 4 hits, 6 walks, and 5 strikeouts.
Corey Knebel started for the second straight night and completed his fourth rehab assignment with 1 2/3 innings of perfect ball. He struck out one and threw 21 pitches, 12 of which were for strikes. In his four minor-league appearances he tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings, allowed 2 hits, 1 walk, and struck out 9. He threw 89 pitches 56 of which were strikes.
Hiram Burgos threw five innings in relief and allowed 1 run on 3 hits, 4 walks, and 3 strikeouts. He was outstanding and threw 75 pitches before he was lifted, 46 for strikes. He’s lowered his ERA to 4.28 and batting average against to .278.
Sam Freeman came on in the ninth and locked down his first save in a Sky Sox uniform with a scoreless inning. He gave up a hit, walked one and stranded the tying run at third and the game-winning run at first.
Damien Magnifico earned the win with a scoreless eighth. It’s the first win of his season, he’s now 1-4 with a 1.78 ERA.
Play of the Game
In the bottom of the sixth inning with the game scoreless, the Zephyrs loaded the bases with one out against Hiram Burgos. The righty buckled down and induced a grounder to short, which Orlando Arcia fielded and flipped to the covering second baseman, Yadiel Rivera, who shoveled it on to first for the inning-ending double play, keeping the game 0-0. Arcia continues to impress on so many levels, but his defense is incredible night in and night out.
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Corey Knebel –
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,