It was a grand opening to the Sky Sox final homestand thanks to a six-run first and five-run third put together by Colorado Springs en route to the 13-5 win over the Zephyrs Tuesday night at Security Service Field. Michael Reed helped out with a grand slam in the first frame marking the second time this season he’s left the yard with the sacks packed and a franchise record ninth time the Sky Sox have done it as a team. Aaron Wilkerson ended the scoring with an RBI single in the first and replicated that effort in the third, beginning a five-run frame. Garin Cecchini and Andy Wilkins picked up 2 RBI hits in the inning, the latter of which fell two feet shy of leaving SSF for another grand slam. Wilkerson went five innings and three relievers wrapped up the win on the mound.
Tonight, the Sky Sox and Zephyrs are set to do battle in the second game of a rain-shortened three-game series which makes up the final homestand of the 2016 campaign. This is the fourth and final series these two teams will play here this season. The Sky Sox enter play looking to continue their winning ways and get closer to the .500 mark. They come into the tilt with a home record 39-27. They are back to two games under .500 at 65-67 and sit in second place, 9.0 games in back of the Dodgers with their playoff hopes gone with the wind. In hopes of continuing the final week on the upslope, Colorado Springs will send veteran righty workhorse Hiram Burgos to the bump against 24 year-old right-hander Kendry Flores. Burgos has been outstanding his last four outings and comes in 9-9 with a 4.35 ERA, while Flores is 3-5 with a 4.00 ERA in 17 games with the Zephyrs. Both teams have been eliminated from postseason play. The Sox are 8-5 against the Marlins’ top affiliate and have taken four of the last five games of the season series, here in 2016 and have compiled a 90-70 all-time record against them and are 43-34 at Security Service Field.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (65-67) vs. New Orleans Zephyrs (67-68) – 6:35 p.m. – Security Service Field – Colorado Springs, Colorado
Pitching Matchup: RHP Hiram Burgos (9-9, 4.35) vs. RHP Kendry Flores (3-5, 4.00)
Sky Sox Pitcher:RHP Hiram Burgos will make his 26th trip to the mound for the Sky Sox and 24th from the starting role tonight against the Zephyrs. Through his first 25 appearances, the righty is 9-9 with a 4.35 ERA allowing 70 runs (64 earned) on 143 hits, 53 walks and 105 strikeouts in 132 1/3 innings. He is 4-4 in his last eight outings and has given up 24 earned runs on 54 hits in 57 innings. His last four outings have come in winning fashion against the Omaha Storm Chasers at Werner Park, Albuquerque Isotopes at Security Service Field, the Round Rock Express at Dell Diamond, and the OKC Dodgers at Bricktown. He has combined to give up 3 earned runs on 12 hits over 26 innings in the wins. At home, Burgos is 5-3 with a 4.31 ERA and has held opponents to a .285 batting average against within the lines of Security Service Field. Overall, foes are hitting .283 against Burgos. He was selected by the Brewers in the 6th round of the 2009 draft out of Bethune-Cookman University and has made 155 minor-league appearances to the tune of a 46-46 record with a 3.82 ERA and 6 MLB starts in which he has gone 1-2 with a 6.44 ERA. He has not pitched in the big leagues since 2013.
Last Time Out: 8/25/16 at Oklahoma City – Hiram Burgos continued trending up with his fourth outstanding start in a row, which covered seven innings of shutout baseball. He allowed just one hit, walked one, and struck out four. He threw 86 pitches, 56 of which went for strikes in a game he and the Sox won 5-0.
Last 10 Games for Burgos:
Zephyrs Pitcher: Right-hander Kendry Flores will make his 16th start of the season and 18th overall appearance with New Orleans tonight against the Sky Sox. Flores enters play with a 3-5 record and a 4.00 ERA in 17 games with the Zephyrs and 3-5 with a 3.66 ERA in 19 games total across Hi-A, Double-A, and Triple-A. He also has tossed three scoreless with the Miami Marlins this season. In the PCL, Flores has thrown 87 2/3 innings and has allowed a 44 runs (39 earned) on 96 hits, 36 walks, and 68 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting .282 against the native of Azua, Dominican Republic. Flores climbed the hill against the Sox back on July 1 and took the loss at Security Service Field allowing 7 runs (5 earned) on 10 hits, 2 walks, and 3 strikeouts. He was signed by the San Francisco Giants as an international free agent in 2009 and acquired by the Marlins in exchange for Casey McGehee in December 2014. In 130 career minor-league games Flores is 40-34 with a 3.29 ERA and he is 1-2 with a 4.02 ERA in eight big league games, all with the Marlins.
Last Time Out: 8/26/2016 vs. Round Rock – Flores took the loss against the Express despite pitching seven strong innings. He allowed four runs on nine hits, walked one and struck out five. He allowed homers to Preston Beck and Drew Robinson. Flores threw 111 pitches, 74 of which went for strikes in a game he and the Zephyrs lost 4-2.
Last 10 Games with New Orleans –
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 27th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he and I will have the call of tonight’s game from Security Service Field at 6:35 p.m. Sky Sox Warmup will get off the ground and running at 6:00 MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,