Colorado Springs remains in a must-win situation, but unfortunately they didn’t win last night as the Express engineered a late-inning comeback and pushed past the Sox 3-2. Lewis Brinson began the game with a solo homer against his former team and organization and the Sox took a 2-0 lead in the third, but Brett Nicholas tied it with a two-run homer in the fourth and Drew Robinson brought in the game winner with a double in the 8th. Aaron Wilkerson pitched 6 1/3 solid innings and allowed two runs while striking out seven. Former Sky Sox arm Austin Bibens-Dirkx went six frames and allowed two runs as well.
Tonight, the Sky Sox have made the trip to Oklahoma City and get set to open up the biggest series of the season with the first of five against the first-place Dodgers at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. 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 Wednesday’s tilt with a road record of 24-37. They are back to two games under .500 at 62-64 and sit in second place and now are 8.5 games in back of the Dodgers with their tragic number at 5. In hopes of gaining more ground on OKC, Colorado Springs will send right-hander Drew Gagnon 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 (62-64) at Oklahoma City Dodgers (72-57) – 6:05 p.m. – Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark – Oklahoma City Oklahoma
Pitching Matchup: RHP Drew Gagnon (1-1, 6.50) at RHP Sam LeCure (5-4, 4.20)
Sky Sox Pitcher: Righty Drew Gagnon is slated to get his third start, second in a row, and will make his 30th Triple-A appearance of the year tonight at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Gagnon went four innings against the Chihuahuas his last time to the mound and in two starts has compiled seven frames of work. Overall he is 1-1 with a 6.50 ERA in 27 bullpen outings and the two starts. Across 45 2/3 innings pitched, the righty has allowed 37 runs, 33 earned on 56 hits, 17 walks, and 39 strikeouts. Opponents in the PCL are hitting .304 against the California native. Gagnon picked up the win against Iowa on June 14th at home and took the loss against New Orleans at home on July 3. He has also made 5 appearances with Biloxi, including one start and went 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA down in Double-A. Gagnon was selected by the Brewers in the 3rd round of the 2011 draft out of Long Beach State University. In six pro seasons he is 29-38 with two saves and a 4.70 ERA in 147 games, 108 of which have been starts.
8/17/16 vs. El Paso – Gagnon climbed the hill against the league’s best offense, but was helped out a bunch by his own bats. He lasted four innings and gave up five runs over the first two frames, but his offense gave him nine in response over the first two frames. He allowed the five runs on five hits, didn’t walk anyone and struck out 1. He tossed 59 pitches, 38 for strikes in a game Colorado Springs won 13-5.
Last 10 Games for Gagnon:
Dodgers Pitcher: Right-hander Sam LeCure climbs the hill for the 27th time this season and the fourth against the Sky Sox. Overall he is 5-4 with a save and a 4.20 ERA with Oklahoma City and 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in three games (two starts) against Colorado Springs. He’s allowed 4 runs on 9 hits, 1 hit batter, 2 walks, and 8 strikeouts in 12 innings against the Sox. He earned the win in relief at home on July 6th versus Colorado Springs. LeCure began the season with 10 straight starts and has since made 10 straight appearances out of the bullpen, he made the one start against COS and has made six relief appearances since. As a starter he is 2-2 with a 5.11 ERA and 3-2 with a 2.30 ERA as a reliever. LeCure, originally drafted by the Reds in the 2005 draft elected to become a free agent and left the Reds organization following the 2015 season and was given a minor-league deal and trip to spring training with the D-Backs. That fell through on March 28 when Arizona released him and the Dodgers picked him up and optioned him to OKC on April 7. LeCure has made 250 appearances (10 starts) in the bigs, all with the Reds and compiled a 10-16 record with 1 save and a 3.51 ERA. In the minors, the Missouri native is 57-45 with a 3.90 ERA in 201 games, 133 of which have been starts.
Last Time Out: 8/21/16 at New Orleans – LeCure made his seventh straight appearance out of the pen his last time out against the Zephyrs. He took the loss and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and struck out 1 in one inning of work. The righty threw 21 pitches, 14 for strikes in a game the Dodgers lost 5-3.
Last 10 Games for LeCure –
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 27th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he will have the call of tonight’s game from Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark 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,