The Sky Sox are looking to get off the schnide in the second half after dropping the first two games of the series against Tacoma. Friday night the Sox had the tall task of facing Felix Hernandez and the King came out on top as the Rainiers took home the 4-1 win. Manny Pina got the scoring going with a solo home run in the top of the third inning against fellow Venezuelan Hernandez, but that would be the lone run tallied by Colorado Springs. Tyler Smith countered Pina’s homer with a two-run shot in the fifth inning and the Rainiers never looked back. D.J. Peterson cashed in some insurance with a two-run single in the eighth and the Sox had no answer. Wily Peralta pitched very well, but took home the loss, while Hernandez picked up the win in his second rehab appearance.
This evening, Colorado Springs and Tacoma face off in the third game of four at Cheney Stadium in what is the first series of a two-part, eight game road trip. The Sky Sox fell for the second time in the second half with a 4-1 loss at the hands of Hernandez and the Rainiers and dropped back to a game below .500 at 44-45. Heading into tonight’s tilt, the Sky Sox will send righty Aaron Wilkerson to the hill for the second time in his Sox career and the Rainiers will counter with former Sky Sox and journeyman right-hander Jarett Grube. Wilkerson pitched four-scoreless in his debut last Sunday and is 4-2 with a 2.25 ERA in AAA this season, while Grube is 0-1 with Tacoma in five games and 0-3 with Columbus in 11 International League games. The Sky Sox are 0-2 against Tacoma this season 169-169 all time against them and 73-104 on the road.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (44-45) at Tacoma Rainiers (51-40) – 8:05 p.m. – Cheney Stadium – Tacoma, Washington
Pitching Matchup: RHP Aaron Wilkerson (0-0, 0.00) at RHP Jarrett Grube (0-1, 4.87)
Sky Sox Pitcher: RHP Aaron Wilkerson was acquired by the Brewers last week in the deal that sent Aaron Hill to the Red Sox. He will make the second start of his Brewers career after tossing four scoreless against the Iowa Cubs Sunday, prior to the All-Star break. He is a combined 6-3 with a 2.06 ERA in 18 appearances between Double-A Portland, Triple-A Pawtucket, and Colorado Springs. 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 55 professional games the righty is 22-7 with a 2.48 ERA, between the Red Sox and Brewers.
Last Time Out: 7/10/16 vs. Iowa – Wilkerson began his brewers career with three perfect innings before the Cubs loaded the bases to begin the fourth. The righty escaped the jam and finised his outing with four-scoreless innings. He threw 62 pitches, 40 for strikes in a game the Sky Sox won 7-4.
Last 10 Games for Wilkerson:
Rainiers Pitcher: Right-hander Jarrett Grube is set to toe the slab for the sixth time in a Tacoma uniform tonight against the Sky Sox. With the Rainiers he is 0-1 with a 4.87 ERA and 0-4 with a 4.57 ERA in 16 games between Tacoma and the Indians’ top affiliate, the Columbus Clippers. In 20 1/3 innings with Tacoma he’s allowed 11 runs on 18 hits, 6 homers, 6 walks and 22 strikeouts. He was released by Cleveland on June 8 and signed by the Mariners on the June 9. The righty was originally drafted by the rockies in the 10th round of the 2004 draft and appeared in 13 games with the Sky Sox in 2009. Grube went 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA in 18 innings. In 12-plus pro seasons he’s made 377 minor league appearances and has compiled a 74-61 record with 2 saves and a 4.32 ERA. He’s made one appearance in the bigs with the Angels on 5/31/2014 and pitched 2/3 of an inning and allowed a run on a solo home run to Yoenis Cespedes.
Last Time Out: 7/10/16 at Sacramento – Grube came out of the pen and tossed two scoreless innings against the River Cats. He gave up a hit and struck out three, threw 30 pitches, 21 for strikes in a game the Rainiers won 8-2.
Last 10 games –
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 27th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he will have the call of tonight’s game from Cheney Stadium at 8:05 p.m. I will get Sky Sox Warmup fired up and running at 7:30 MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,