Home. Sweet. Home. Three words that are taking on more meaning by the game for the Sky Sox. Following the Sox 15-5 win over the Cubs last night at Security Service Field, they are now hitting .324 and have scored 287 runs on 481 hits in 44 games at home. Compare that to the .237 average and 172 runs on 337 hits in 42 games on the road. In the two games this series Colorado Springs has picked up 26 runs on 31 hits, many of which have been productive singles. They jumped all over Iowa’s righty Pierce Johnson to the tune of 4 runs in the first and never looked back. When all was said and done the Sox banged out 18 hits and collected 15 runs en route to their second win of the series. Manny Pina had a huge night reaching five times, going 4-for-5 with a walk, two doubles, and 4 runs batted in and 4 runs scored. Nate Orf reached base four times and scored four runs, while Josmil Pinto and Garin Cecchini combined for four hits and seven RBI in the win. Brent Suter fell an out shy of five innings, thus his successor, Jaye Chapman, earned the win in relief.
Before we dive into tonight’s tilt, the Brewers and Sky Sox have announced the following roster moves:
ADD: RHP Zach Davies reports to Colorado Springs and added to the active roster
DEL: LHP Josh Hader placed on the temporary inactive list
Tonight, the Sky Sox and Iowa Cubs face off in the third of four at Security Service Field, in what is the final series prior to the All-Star Break. The Sky Sox stayed hot with a 15-5 win last night and have taken the first two of the series, while Iowa dropped its fifth straight in the process. Colorado Springs looks to string three wins together against the Cubs and will hope to do so by sending righty Jorge Lopez to the mound in his 16th appearance against Iowa right-hander Michael Wagner. Lopez is 1-6 with a 6.40 ERA and Wagner is 0-1 with a 5.02 ERA in 8 PCL appearances. The Sky Sox are 5-4 against Iowa this season 86-102 all time against them and 50-47 at home.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (43-42) at Iowa Cubs (40-49) – 6:05 p.m. – Security Service Field – Colorado Springs, Colorado
Pitching Matchup: RHP Jorge Lopez (1-6, 6.40 ERA) vs. RHP Michael Wagner (0-1, 5.02)
Sky Sox Pitcher: RHP Jorge Lopez gets the start in the third tilt of the four-game series and homestand and will make his 16th appearance (15th start) of the season. Over his first 15 outings, Lopez is 1-6 with a 6.40 ERA and has allowed 55 runs (50 earned) on 85 hits, 7 homers, 50 walks, 4 hit batters, and 58 strikeouts in 70 1/3 innings of work. Opponents are hitting .300 against the righty from Puerto Rico. Lopez took the hill against the Dodgers at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark and took the loss. He went 4 innings and allowed 6 runs on 9 hits, a homer, 2 walks, 1 hit batter, and 4 strikeouts. He will make his second start against the Cubs. He took the loss home at Principal Park on April 28 giving up 34 runs on 6 hits in three innings. Lopez is 1-1 with a 6.27 ERA at SSF and tonight will mark his 8th appearance at home. Lopez was selected by the Brewers in the 2nd round of the 2011 draft out of the Caguas Military Academy in Puerto Rico. In 105 career minor-league outings he is 31-33 with a 4.33 ERA and 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in two big-league starts, his win coming against the Padres at Petco Park on September 29, 2015
Last Time Out: 7/4/16 at Oklahoma City – Lopez completed four innings and took the loss allowing 6 runs on 9 hits, a homer, hit batter, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts. He gave up the homer to Andrew Toles in the first inning, hit Rob Segedin with a pitch that appeared to be out of frustration with his outing, and balked in a run as well. He threw 76 pitches, 48 for strikes in a game the Sox lost 7-2.
Last 10 Games with the Sky Sox:
Cubs Pitcher: RHP Michael Wagner gets the call for the Iowa Cubs and is set to make his ninth appearance and eighth start for the ballclub and his second against the Sox at Security Service Field. He began the season throwing two relief appearances with the South Bend Cubs of the Midwest League and has also made three relief stints with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. All told, in 13 outings (7 starts) this season, the righty from Las Vegas is 1-1 with a 4.66 ERA allowing 23 runs (20 earned) on 39 hits, 24 walks, and 40 strikeouts in 38 2/3 innings. With the I-Cubs he is 0-1 allowing 19 runs (16 earned) on 32 hits, 21 walks, and 30 strikeouts in 28 2/3 innings. He took the mound against the Sox back on June 14th and went 2 2/3 allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks and 3 strikeouts. Wagner was drafted by the Cubs in the 15th round of the 2013 draft out of the University of San Diego. In his career, which is in his fourth season, Wagner is 7-11 with a 3.79 ERA in 83 outings, 17 of which have been in the starting role. Wagner was the college roommate of Cubs slugger Kris Bryant and filled the closer role as a sophomore for the Toreros, before returning to the rotation in his final year of college.
Last Time Out: 7/6/16 vs. Omaha – Wagner made his first start in four outings and went four innings and allowed 2 runs, 1 earned, on 3 hits, 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts. He did not record a decision and threw 63 pitches, 40 of which went for strikes in a game the Cubs lost 7-5.
2016 Game Log –
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 6:05 p.m. Sky Sox Warmup will get off and running at 5:30 MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,