The Sky Sox tied a season-high win streak with their fifth straight last night at Security Service Field. New Orleans jumped out to a 3-0 lead and it looked like it was going to be enough as Dylan Axelrod tossed five hitless innings and increased his season total to 16 2/3 scoreless innings against the Sox in three starts. That all came to a screeching halt in the sixth as the Sky Sox picked up three straight singles and a run to begin the inning and notched another to cut the deficit to 3-2. In the seventh, Colorado Springs bounced back for five more runs against the New Orleans bullpen, the big blow being Manny Pina’s three-run double with the bases loaded. New Orleans responded with three runs of their own in the ninth, but Damien Magnifico got the third out and preserved the 8-6 victory. The win put the Sox three games above .500 for the first time since April 8, 2014.
Tonight, the Sky Sox and Zephyrs get ready to square off in the finale of the four-game series and homestand at Security Service Field. The Sky Sox are three games above .500 (41-38) for the first time this season and the first time since April 8, 2014 when the Sox took game one of a doubleheader over Round Rock to improve to 4-1. They can get to four games above .500 for the first times since July 25, 2013 when the Sox held a 54-50 record. In hope of winning their sixth straight and getting to the four games over .500 mark, the Sky Sox will send rookie lefty Josh Hader to the hill against veteran right-hander Jeremy Guthrie. Hader is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in four starts with the Sox, while Guthrie is 1-0 with a 7.20 ERA in one starts with New Orleans and 4-5 with a 6.65 ERA in 12 PCL starts between El Paso and the Zs. The Sky Sox are 7-4 against New Orleans this season 89-69 all time against the Zephyrs and 42-33 at home.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (41-38) vs. New Orleans Zepyhrs (37-43) – 7:05 p.m. – Security Service Field – Colorado Springs, Colorado
Pitching Matchup: LHP Josh Hader (0-2, 4.50) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (4-5, 6.65)
Sky Sox Pitcher: LHP Josh Hader is set to make his fifth Triple-A start, his third within the lines of Security Service Field, and his 16th overall between Double-A Biloxi and the Sky Sox. Hader has dropped two of his first four Triple-A starts which have come against Omaha, Memphis (2x), and Round Rock. Last time out the lefty went five scoreless innings against the Express while striking out 8. Hader is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA allowing 10 runs on 19 hits, 11 walks, and 26 strikeouts in Triple-A. He allowed 2 runs on 1 hit, 4 walks, and a season-high 9 strikeouts against Memphis in his Triple-A debut on June 12. In 15 starts combined, Hader is 2-3 with a 1.87 ERA and has allowed 17 runs (16 earned) on 57 hits, 30 walks, and 99 strikeouts in 77 innings of work. The 22-year old is in his 5th professional season after originally being selected by the Orioles in the 19th round of the 2012 draft out of Old Mill High School in Millersville, Maryland. The Astros sent RHP Bud Norris to the Orioles in exchange for Hader in July 2013 and the Brewers acquired him from the ‘Stros in the Jul 30, 2015 deal that sent Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers to Houston for Hader, Adrian Houser, Brett Phillips, and Domingo Santana. What a haul that trade garnered the BrewCrew. The lefty is 23-19 with five saves and a 2.76 ERA in 105 career outings, 73 of which have been starts in four-plus professional seasons.
Last Time Out: 6/27/16 at Round Rock – Hader bounced back from the worst performance of his career (6 ER allowed vs. Memphis) and shut down the Express to the tune of no runs, 3 hits, 2 walks, and 8 strikeouts. He threw a season-high 102 pitches, 61 for strikes in a game the Sky Sox won 3-2 in 14 innings.
Last 10 games with the Sky Sox:
Zephyrs Pitcher: Veteran right-hander Jeremy Guthrie will take his second turn in the Zephyrs rotation tonight at Security Service Field. Guthrie began the season with the El Paso Chihuahuas and made 11 starts for the Puppies before being released by the Padres on June 2. The Marlins picked up the righty on June 25th and he made his debut in the organization against Memphis at AutoZone Park on June 28. In total he is 4-5 with a 6.65 ERA in 65 innings combined and 1-0 with the Zephyrs. He most recently pitched in 30 games with the Royals in 2015 and went 8-8 with a 5.95 ERA. Guthrie was originally drafted by the Indians in the first round of the 2002 draft. He finds himself with his sixth organization having pitched for Cleveland, Baltimore, Colorado, Kansas City, San Diego, and Miami. The former Rockies pitcher has logged 12 big-league seasons and compiled a 91-108 record with 4.37 ERA in 305 games and is 44-41 with a 4.60 ERA in 114 minor-league games.
Last Time Out: 6/28/2016 at Memphis – Guthrie earned the win in his Marlins debut with five innings against the Memphis Redbirds. He gave up 4 runs on 7 hits, 1 walk and 5 strikeouts. The righty tossed 94 pitches, 59 for strikes in a game the Zephyrs won 8-7.
Last 10 Games with El Paso and New Orleans –
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 27th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he and I will have the call of tonight’s game from Security Service Field at 7:05 p.m. Sky Sox Warmup will get off and running at 6:30 MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,