The Sky Sox needed a victory to end the trip to Nashville. Rick Sweet said this was one of his few MUST-WIN games of the season and his troops did just that, and it wasn’t easy. Josh Hader climbed the hill and gave up a pair of runs in the first inning, just like his previous start against the Express, and then he went on to finish his outing with multiple scoreless innings, just like his previous start. The Sox offense was silenced again to start the game, by veteran righty Jesse Hahn and looked to be on their way to another road loss, but Yadiel Rivera had his say in the seventh. Garin Cecchini and Eric Young, Jr. began the rally with back-to-back, one out singles and two batters later it was the third baseman’s turn. Rivera stepped in and took the first pitch he saw from the righty and crushed it over the wall in left-center for a three-run shot, his first homer of the season. The Sky Sox used Michael Kirkman, David Goforth, and Damien Magnifico to get the final six outs and they truly had to earn them. Goforth pitched out of a bases loaded no-out jam in the 8th and Magnifico started a 1-5-4 double play on a bunt in the ninth and the game was soon over.
Hitting Notes –
The Sky Sox managed just five hits, one by hitters 5-9, and one extra-base hit, the homer by Rivera. They were out hit 7-5 and managed 9 runs on 25 hits in the four game road trip.
Yadiel Rivera was the obvious hero and star of the night for the Sky Sox as he picked the perfect time to connect for his 1st homer of 2016. The three-run shot was the 34th of his minor league career, he has yet to hit one in 20 big-league games. The three RBI game was his fourth of the year, he now has 28 on the season.
Nate Orf, Garin Cecchini, Eric Young, Jr., and Michael Reed had the other four hits for Colorado Springs, with Orf, Ceech and EY reaching twice in the game thanks to a free pass. Kyle Wren and Garrett Cooper drew walks.
Pitching Notes –
Josh Hader turned in his second solid start in a row. He went the first five innings and allowed the two runs in the first, but no mas. He struck out eight over the first four innings including the side in the second and fourth innings. His final line read 5 innings, 2 runs on 3 hits, 3 walks and 9 strikeouts. The 9 punchies ties a Sky Sox high for the lefty. He threw 88 pitches, 56 for strikes and lowered his ERA to 6.05.
Tyler Cravy was the first out of the pen and was the benefactor of the three-run blast as he picked up the win in relief. He went two scoreless, hitless innings and walked one while striking out two. He improved to 3-2 with the win.
Michael Kirkman gave up hits to the only two men he faced.
David Goforth gave up a lead off single which loaded the bases in the eighth, but battled back to strike out Renato Nunez and induced two pop outs to short off the bats of Matt Olson and Matt McBride to end the threat and preserved the one-run advantage.
Damien Magnifico came on for the ninth and gave up a leadoff single and walk to Joey Wendle and Colin Walsh. The righty battled back and started a 1-5-4 double play off a bunt attempt from Rangel Ravelo. He popped off the mound, fired a strike to Rivera who slinged it across to first to complete the twin killing. Magnifico completed the 13th save of his season by getting Burns to strike out on a foul tip.
Play of the Game –
It’s definitely a toss-up between the three-run homer and the double play in the ninth. Both were game saving, both were outstanding and both deserve the honor of being the play of the game.
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Manager Rick Sweet –
Thanks for Reading – See you on the radio,