It was déjá vu all over again as the Sky Sox trailed 3-0 after five and a half innings, but notched a pair in the sixth, five more in the seventh and another one in the eighth, en route to the 8-6 win over New Orleans, Saturday night at Security Service Field. The win marked the fifth straight for the Sox (second time that’s happened this season) and put them three games above .500 for the first time since April 8, 2014. The previous five game win streak (5/11-5/15) also included three wins against the Zephyrs.
Wily Peralta started and gave up a run in the first and another in the fourth before his night came to a close. Michael Kirkman was tagged by Xavier Scruggs for a solo homer in the fifth which put the Sox down 3-0. On the other side of the bump is was Dylan Axelrod taming Colorado Springs for the third time this season. The righty did not allow a hit through the first five innings and entered the sixth up 3-0. Nate Orf, Yadiel Rivera and Josmil Pinto altered the course of the game with three straight singles to open the sixth. Michael Reed cut the deficit to 3-2 with an RBI single against the starter before Axelrod retired the next two Sox to end the sixth.
It was the bottom of the order yet again that came through and sparked a two-out rally in the seventh. Eric Young, Jr. began the inning with a single, and with two outs Yadiel Rivera had a 2-2 count against him when one of the oddest moments of the season occurred…Tyler Kinley was on the mound and one strike away from ending the inning without any damage done, but rain began to fall and he stalled, hoping for a delay. He threw two brand new baseballs from the home plate umpire out of play and was granted a delay by crew chief Thomas Newsom. The teams were dismissed from the field, much to the chagrin of everyone else on the diamond and the game entered a delay…For 3 minutes. The shower passed and the game continued…Rivera would reach on an E5, Pinto would tie the game with another single, Wren and Reed walked which gave the Sox a 4-3 lead and Manny Pina stepped in with the sacks packed. Previously 4-for-4 with the bases loaded, Pina smacked a first pitch double to the left-centerfield gap which cleared the bases and put the Sox up 7-3. A run in the 8th made it 8-3, and three in the ninth against Magnifico made it 8-6.
Hitting Notes –
The Sky Sox got their eight runs on eight hits and took advantage of a timely miscue and shoddy New Orleans pitching to plate their runs over the final three offensive trips to the plate. Two Sox had multi-hit games and both were late-inning substitutions.
Josmil Pinto entered the game defensively at first base as part of a double switch in the sixth inning, but turned in quite the effort. He went 2-for-2 with two RBI singles in the back end of the game and upped his average to .352.
Eric Young Jr. Pinch hit for the pitchers spot in the seventh inning and began the five-run rally with a single. He would score in the inning and single and score another run in the eighth. He tallied the second two-hit game for the Sox.
All-star catcher Manny Pina entered the game a perfect 4-for-4 with 11 RBI with the bases loaded and left a perfect 5-for-5 with 14 RBI with the bases loaded. His first pitch 3-run double capped off the five-run seventh and was his lone his of the day.
Michael Reed went 1-for-3 with two RBI and a walk. His 47 walks put him in a tie for third place among all PCL hitters behind two Cubs, John Andreoli (54) and Dan Vogelbach (49).
Kyle Wren’s season and team-high 15 game hitting streak came to an and with an 0-for-3 performance. Over the 15-game stretch he went 28-for-55 (.509) with 19 runs scored, 5 XBHs, 8 RBI and 11 walks to 8 strikeouts. His OBP was .591.
Pitching Notes –
Wily Peralta started, but again, couldn’t make it out of the fourth inning. He threw 3 2/3 innings and allowed 2 runs on 6 hits, 1 walk and 2 strikeouts. He did not factor into the decision, thanks to the offense, and threw 60 pitches, 40 of which were for strikes. His ERA came down over a run and a half from 10.97 to 9.42.
Michael Kirkman was the first out of the pen and he gave up a run on the Xavier Scruggs solo homer in the fifth.
All-star reliever Damien Magnifico was tagged for three runs (two earned) on two hits in hims team leading 32nd appearance. He walked one and struck out one.
Play of the Game –
Manny Pina’s three-run double –
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Pregame Interview with Dan Acheson and New Orleans lefty Craig Breslow (pt 1) –
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,