The Sky Sox gave the Cubs a helping of another late-inning comeback courtesy of an Orlando Arcia three-run go-ahead double in the seventh and looked to be on their way to a third straight victory. That was until the next half inning when the Cubs gave Colorado Springs a taste of their own medicine when Tim Federowicz stepped in and crushed a pinch-hit two-run homer that put the visitors in front for good at 6-5. They would add another two runs in the ninth and won it 8-5. With the victory, the Cubs snapped a five game losing streak and picked up their first win on the series. The Sox dropped back to .500 at 43-43 with the loss. You can fins the Quick Hits portion of this blog below the preview of today’s tilt.
This afternoon, the Sky Sox and Iowa Cubs face off in the finale of four at Security Service Field, in what is the final series prior to the All-Star Break. The Sky Sox fell for the first time in three games last night 8-5, but on the other hand Iowa snapped a five-game losing streak. Heading into the final game before the All-Star break the Sky Sox will send righty Aaron Wilkerson to the hill for the first time in his Brewers career and the Cubs will counter with fellow right-hander Drew Rucinski. Wilkerson is 6-3 with a 2.14 ERA in 17 outings this season and Rucinski is 5-7 with a 6.11 ERA in 17 starts. The Sky Sox are 5-5 against Iowa this season 86-103 all time against them and 50-48 at home.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (43-43) at Iowa Cubs (41-49) – 1:05 p.m. – Security Service Field – Colorado Springs, Colorado
Pitching Matchup: RHP Aaron Wilkerson (Brewers Debut) vs. RHP Drew Rucinski (5-7, 6.11)
Sky Sox Pitcher: RHP Aaron Wilkerson was acquired by the Brewers this past week in the deal that sent Aaron Hill to the Red Sox. He will make his Brewers debut today after going a combined 6-3 with a 2.14 ERA in 17 appearances between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket. With the PawSox he went 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA in 9 games (8 starts) allowing 18 runs (13 earned) on 41 hits, 11 walks, and 54 strikeouts over 48 innings. He went undrafted out of Cumberland (TN) University and played in the Independent leagues in 2013-14 before the Red Sox purchased his contract. In 54 professional games the righty is 22-7 with a 2.52 ERA, all with the Red Sox.
Last Time Out: 7/2/16 vs. Columbus (with Pawtucket) – Wilkerson wrapped up his tenure with the Red Sox by taking the loss at the hands of the Indians Triple-A team. The righty allowed 7 runs, albeit 3 earned, on 7 hits, 1 walk and 5 strikeouts over 7 innings of work. He threw 100 pitches on the dot and dialed up 73 strikes in a game the PawSox lost 7-2.
Last 10 Games with the Sky Sox:
Cubs Pitcher: Righty Drew Rucinski has been one of the mainstays in the I-Cubs rotation this season and he is set to make his 18th start of the season this afternoon. Over his first 17 the Neenah, Wisconsin native is 5-7 with a 6.11 ERA allowing 68 run (64 earned) on 113 hits, 12 homers, 26 walks and 71 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting .301 against the righty this season. In all of those 17 starts Rucinski has yet to face the Sky Sox in 2016. He has faced the Sox twice in his career, one of those stints coming this year. On May 1st he took the loss allowing 4 runs on 3 hits, including 2 homers at Principal Park. Rucinski went undrafted out of Ohio State and signed with the Indians as a free agent in 2011. He has pitched in the Cleveland, Los Angeles (AL) and Chicago (NL) systems. He elected free agency following the 2015 season and was signed by the Cubs 10 days later. Over four-plus seasons. Rucinski is 26-22 with a 4.38 ERA in 92 minor-league games and 0-2 with a 6.82 ERA in 7 MLB games, all of which came with the LA Angels.
Last Time Out: 7/5/16 vs. Omaha – Rucinski took the hill against Omaha his last trip to the mound and took home his 7th loss of the year. He allowed 7 runs on 14 hits, 1 walk, and 3 strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings. He threw 103 pitches, 71 for strikes in a game the Cubs lost 12-4.
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 1:05 p.m. Sky Sox Warmup will get off and running at 12:30 MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Quick Hits from the Sky Sox 8-5 Loss –
Hitting Notes –
The Sky Sox picked up their five runs on seven hits and had two of their hitters in the lineup collect multi-hit games.
Orlando Arcia went 2-for-5 with a double, a triple, and three runs batted in. He stepped in with the bases loaded and two out int he bottom of the 7th inning and ripped a double to left that snuck by Matt Murton and got to the wall allowing the three runners on base to score giving the Sox a 5-4 lead.
Garin Cecchini continues to play well and added another two hits to his season total with a 2-for-4 night. He picked up a two-bagger and scored a run.
Kyle Wren put the Sox on the board and gave them a 2-1 lead with a 2-run single in the second inning. He also scored on Arcia’s double in the seventh.
Pitching Notes –
Jorge Lopez started the game and pitched decently in his eighth home start. He went five full innings and faced two hitters in the sixth, but could not record an out. He allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts. Two of the 7 hits were solo home runs. He’s now allowed 7 homers in his last four outings. He threw 102 pitches, 60 for strikes.
Austin Ross was outstanding and kept the Sox in it with two scoreless innings. He walked a pair and struck out a pair as well.
Tim Dillard faced two hitters in the eighth inning and gave up two hits, but was helped out on an 8-4-5 put out at third base on Kristopher Negron’s double.
Damien Magnifico entered in the eighth with a save opportunity presented to him and he gave it up. He allowed the go-ahead homer to Federowicz and gave up three runs in his outing on four hits, one walk and one strikeout.
David Goforth pitched the final third of an inning.
Play of the Game –
Orlando Arcia’s three-run double
Pregame Interview with Iowa Pitching Coach and Former Sky Sox Rod Nichols –
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,