It was another night to forget for the Sox Monday night in Round Rock as the Express brought the wood and walloped the visitors 14-0. The Trains scored the 14 runs over three innings with 6 in the third, 3 in the sixth and 5 more in the eighth. Wei-Chung Wang took the loss for Colorado Springs and gave up 6 runs in 2 2/3 innings. Opposing left-hander Victor Payano was outstanding despite his shaky numbers. He went six scoreless and picked up his second Triple-A victory. The Sky Sox three-hit attack was led by Andy Wilkins who had a pair of those knocks.
This evening, the Sky Sox and Express get ready to wrap up their season series with the finale of the four-game set at Dell Diamond in Round Rock. This is the fourth and final series these two teams will play here in 2016. The Sky Sox enter play looking to return to their winning ways and come into Tuesday’s tilt with a road record of 24-36. They are back to one game under .500 at 62-63 and sit in second place, but now are 7.5 games in back of the Dodgers. In hopes of gaining more ground on or keeping pace with OKC, Colorado Springs will send right-hander Aaron Wilkerson to the mound against former Sky Sox righty Austin Bibens-Dirkx. Wilkerson has made four straight appearances at home and is 1-5 with a 6.69 ERA in 8 appearances with the Sox, while Bibens-Dirkx enters tonight at 2-2 with a 4.84 ERA. The Sox are 10-5 against the Express and have taken eight of the last nine games of the season series, here in 2016 and have compiled a 40-43 all-time record against them and are 22-23 at Dell Diamond.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (62-63) at Round Rock Express (64-66) – 6:05 p.m. – Dell Diamond – Round Rock, Texas
Pitching Matchup: RHP Aaron Wilkerson (1-5, 6.69) at RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx (2-2, 4.82)
Sky Sox Pitcher: RHP Aaron Wilkerson is set to make the ninth start of his tenure within the Brewers organization tonight in Round Rock. The righty was acquired by the Brewers in early July in the deal that sent Aaron Hill to the Red Sox. He is a combined 7-8 with a 3.49 ERA in 25 appearances between Double-A Portland, Triple-A Pawtucket, and Colorado Springs. With the Sox he is 1-5 with a 6.69 ERA allowing 31 runs (29 earned) on 52 hits over 39 innings in eight starts. He’s taken loss two of his last three trips to the mound against the Sounds and Isotopes, and has allowed 14 earned runs over his last 14 2/3 innings. This will be his first road start in five outings, he is 0-3 with a 8.16 ERA away from Security Service Field. 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 62 professional games the righty is 23-12 with a 3.03 ERA, between the Red Sox and Brewers.
8/17/16 vs. El Paso – Wilkerson settled down for the first time in three outings his last time out and limited the high-powered Chihuahuas offense to 3 runs on 6 hits, he walked 2 and struck out 10 puppies in six innings. He threw 102 pitches, 66 for strikes in a game the Sky Sox would come back and win 5-3.
Last 10 Games for Wilkerson:
Express Pitcher: Former Sky Sox right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirks gets the call for the Express in the series finale. He was signed by the Rangers on June 17 and has made 14 appearance (11 starts) since his signing. The righty is 2-2 with a 4.84 ERA allowing 37 runs (36 earned) on 73 hits, 22 walks, and 49 strikeouts in 67 innings. Today will mark his eighth appearance (6th start) at Dell Diamond, where he is 1-0 with a 3.28 ERA. The Sky Sox got seven relief outings from the righty back in 2012. He went 1-1 with a 13.89 ERA in 11 2/3 innings of work. Bibens-Dirkx had not pitched professionally since last season with Toronto’s Double-A affiliate the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Originally selected by the Mariners in the 16th round of the 2006 draft, the righty finds himself with his six organization, having pitched for Seattle, Toronto, Chicago (NL), and Washington prior to his signing with the Rangers. In 309 MiLB appearances (134 starts) Bibens-Dirkx is 60-50 with a 4.09 ERA in 998.2 career innings.
Last Time Out: 8/18/16 at Las Vegas – Bibens-Dirks took the hill and the loss against the Las Vegas 51s his last time out. The righty went five innings on the road and was tagged for 8 runs on 11 hits, he walked 5 and struck out just 1. He threw 96 pitches, 53 of which were in the zone in a game the Express lost 8-6
Last 10 Games for Bibens-Dirkx –
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 27th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he will have the call of tonight’s game from Dell Diamond at 6:05 p.m. I will get Sky Sox Warmup off the ground and running at 5:30 MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,