It was a long time coming for the Sky Sox, that is for sure. After dropping the first eight games of the second part of the season (all on the road), Colorado Springs was VERY overdue for a victory, and boy, did they get one. After notching 20 runs on 53 hits over the road trip, the Sox busted out for 10 runs on 19 hits and breezed pass the Express with an eight-run, 10-2 victory Friday night at Security Service Field. Lefty Brent Suter, like Tim Dillard a jack-of-all-trades, took the hill and did nothing but toss six scoreless innings and was backed up by Sam Freeman who earned a save with three innings of relief. Offensively the Sky Sox fell one hit shy of a season-high 20. Manny Pina led the offensive charge early with RBI singles in the first and third against righty Chi Chi Gonzalez, which gave the Sox a 2-0 lead. An RBI double from Garin Cecchini and a single from Michael Reed had the home team in front 4-0 after three. Two more in the sixth and another four in the seventh, culminating with an Eric Young, Jr. two-run homer had the Sox up 10-0.
Hitting Notes –
The Sky Sox jumped all over Chi Chi Gonzalez and the Express early. The righty would pitch into the sixth, but he was tagged for 6 of the 10 runs and 12 of the 19 hits the Sox pounded out in the opener. Everyone in the starting nine reached at least once with a hit and eight of the nine batters picked up multi-hit games.
Manny Pina paced the offense with one of two three-hit games. He has the two RBI singles early and finished the tilt 3-for-5 with 2 RBI and a run scored. He upped his average back up to .341 which would be tops in the league had the catcher accrued enough plate appearances.
Keon Broxton had the other three-hit game for the Sox as he went 3-for-4 with a triple, RBI, and two runs scored. Broxton’s certainly heating up overall, but his last two games at home have been great with five hits, 2 triples, a home run and three RBI. He’s got his average back up to .277 for the first time since June 5 when it was .282.
Kyle Wren got back to his on-base ways with a 2-for-4, 2 RBI, and a run scored game. After not reaching base in Thursday ‘s finale, Wren turned it right around with the two singles, one of which plated a pair in the sixth inning. Not only is his OBP .457 but his batting average is .360 over the first 41 games of his time in Colorado Springs.
Eric Young, Jr. got into the mix with a 2-for-4, 2 RBI night as well. The outfielder got the start in right and did not disappoint. He beat out an infield single and then hit a rocket to right that was barely fair and gone for a two run home run to complete the Sky Sox scoring on the night in the seventh inning. The blast was his third of the season and first since June 19 when he left the yard against Omaha.
Garin Cecchini had a pair of doubles and an RBI in the win. On his second double, the corner infielder came up a little bit gimpy, but continued to run the bases and scored on Broxton’s triple in the seventh before departing.
Nate Orf reached base three times with two hits and a walk and also scored twice in the 10-run attack.
Orlando Arcia had a single, a double, and another OUTSTANDING defensive gem in the field, taking an RBI single away from former Sky Sox Doug Bernier in the third.
Yadiel Rivera picked up a 2-for-4 night with an RBI and two runs scored. Both of his hits were singles and it was his first multi-hit game with the Sky Sox since his 3-for-5 night on June 24 against Memphis.
Michael Reed delivered and RBI single and went 1-for-5 at the plate in the Sox triumphant return to Security Service Field.
Pitching Notes –
Brent “The Stopper” Suter got it done. I’m not sure most people can explain how he got it done, and he’ll probably tell you that it was the defense behind him that was the biggest part of it, but regardless he was outstanding. The lefty turned in six-scoreless innings and limited the Express to 4 hits, 1 walk, and struck out 4. He threw 75 pitches on the dot (which seems to be his limit these days) and passed 53 of them for strikes. In his last 8 outings Suter has limited the opposition to 3 runs in 25 innings…Not too shabby. His home numbers are also unreal as he is 4-2 with a 3.52 ERA in 53 2/3 innings within the lines of Security Service Field.
Sam Freeman was called upon in the seventh and turned in a scoreless frame. Joey Gallo said hello with a solo homer in the eighth and back-to-back doubles for Justin Ruggiano and Kyle Kubitza put another run on the board against the lefty, but that was all. He earned the three-inning save allowing the 2 runs on 5 hits, while striking out 2. He threw 37 pitches and 25 dotted the strike zone.
Play of the Game –
To be honest, there was a lot to choose from, but the true play of the game didn’t come in the game and it wasn’t really a play. It was Manager Rick Sweet taking one for the team and shaving off his majestic mustache. The skipper showed up with a fresh cut and fresh face in hopes of stopping the eight-game slide and as Brent Suter said in his postgame interview, Rick Sweet was the Real MVP last night.
Pregame Interview with Dan Acheson and Sox Athletic Trainer Aaron Hoback (Part 1) –
Thanks for Reading – See you on the radio,