Usually if you score seven runs in any game, home or road, it is enough to win a ballgame. Usually. Last night it was not the case as the Cubs scored the final four runs and won a wild 9-7 affair Thursday night at Principal Park.
The Cubs took the 1-0 lead thanks to a Mark Zagunis solo shot in the second inning, but the Sox manufactured a run of their own in the fourth to tie it up. Colorado Springs took its first lead of the game with a two-run fifth thanks to a Ryan Cordell double and Garrett Cooper infield single. Iowa’s Ian Happ (stud) took Josh Hader deep with the sacks packed for a grand slam in the next half inning and the Cubs lead 5-3.
The Sox rallied back to tie it with two in the sixth and another pair in the seventh and led 7-5 with nine outs to get. The pesky home team would not go away quietly and shaved the deficit to one with a run in the seventh and took advantage of a Yadiel Rivera fielding error to plate three in the eighth. Down 9-7, the Sox went quietly in the ninth.
Hitting Notes –
The Sky Sox banged out 7 runs on 9 hits, while the Cubs scored 9 runs on 7 hits.
Garrett Cooper led the way with a 3-for-4, three RBI night. He upped his average with the three knocks, an RBI single, double, and two-run homer. The two-run shot in the seventh put the Sox in front 7-5 at the time and marked his third dinger of the season. He’s reached in 16 of 18 games to the tune of a .373 OBP and has five multi-hit games this season.
Ryan Cordell chipped in with the other multi-hit game for Colorado Springs. He went 2-for-5 with an RBI double, single, and two runs scored. He’s upped his average to .299 and has seven multi-hit games.
Lewis Brinson went 1-for-5 with a two-run single, and scored a run, but struck out three times.
Eric Sogard tallied a hit in five trips to the plate and has his average at .273.
Brett Phillips tied the game with an RBI single in the fourth, his only hit of the night.
Ivan De Jesus had the other hit for Colorado Springs, a single.
Kyle Wren and Andrew Susac did not get hits, but did score runs.
Kirk Nieuwnehuis made his Sky Sox debut in a pinch-hit role and struck out looking.
Pitching Notes –
Josh Hader gave up five runs (four on one swing) over four and two-thirds innings, but thanks to his offense did not factor into the decision. He allowed the five runs on four hits, walked three and struck out five. He gave up a solo homer to Mark Zagunis and a grand slam to Ian Happ, accounting for the five runs allowed. He threw 88 pitches, 53 of which went for strikes.
Rick Sweet tried to pitch his way through trouble, much like the Nashville series, but it didn’t work out quite as well in the series opener…
Michael Blazek did his job and recorded four outs in scoreless fashion, walking one and striking out two.
Andrew Barbosa got one out, but gave up a run on a hit and two walks.
David Goforth was credited with the loss and gave up two runs (one earned) on a hit and a walk.
Andy Oliver blew the save chance, giving up an unearned run on a hit and struck out one in two-thirds of an inning.
Play of the Game –
Garrett Cooper stepped in with one out and one on in the top of the seventh, and broke a 5-5 tie with a two-run blast against Ryan Williams. The homer was his third of the season and gave the Sox the 7-5 lead.
Also good (w/video) Lewis Brinson’s 2 RBI single –
Pregame Interview with Rick Sweet –
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (12-6) at Iowa Cubs (10-11) – 6:08 p.m. MST
Sky Sox Starter: Hiram Burgos will make back-to-back starts for the first time this season, tonight in Des Moines. He continues to get in a rhythm and routine in 2017 which had been stalled by Matt Garza and Mother Nature. Burgos enters tonight’s contest 0-1 with a 4.35 ERA, allowing 5 earned runs on 12 hits in 10 1/3 innings. The righty is a well rounded veteran pitcher that throws strikes, has a very good curve ball and any team would be so lucky to have him on the roster. He has yet to square off against the Cubs this season and went 0-2 in three starts against them in 2016. Two of the three outings came at Principal Park, he allowed 9 runs on 24 hits in 15 innings.
He is in 9th season in professional baseball, all of which have been in the Milwaukee system. Last season he notched 10 wins, which marked the first time a Sky Sox pitcher got to double digit wins since Alan Johnson won 10 in 2010. He was also proficient at picking runners off of first base, nabbing 13…13! pickoffs in his 27 appearances. He was selected by the Brewers in the 6th round of the 2009 draft out of Bethune-Cookman University and has made 161 minor-league appearances to the tune of a 47-48 record with a 3.84 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 – April 22 No decision vs. Nashville
Burgos turned in the best performance of his season with five innings of one run ball against the Sounds on Saturday afternoon. He gave up the one run on three hits, did not walk a batter and struck out three on 68 pitches, 48 of which went for strikes.
I-Cubs Starting Arm: Right-hander Aaron Brooks gets the call for Marty Peavy’s club in game two of the five-game series. He enters with a 2-1 record and 5.57 ERA through his first four starts, allowing 15 runs (13 earned) on 28 hits in 21 innings. In five career starts against Colorado Springs, all with Omaha in 2014-15, Brooks is 3-0 allowing 9 runs on 23 hits, 3 walks and 21 strikeouts in 27 2/3 innings. He has not faced the Sox since the 2015 season, but overall not a bad resume against Colorado Springs.
The Montclair, California native was originally selected by the Royals in the 9th round of the 2011 draft out of Cal State – San Bernardino. He has pitched in the Royals, Athletics, and Cubs organizations. The Royals traded Aaron Brooks and Sean Manaea to the Athletics for Ben Zobrist in 2015 and the Cubs flipped Chris Coghland for Brooks in February 2016. All told, the righty is 46-34 with a save and a 4.30 ERA in 122 games in teh minors and 3-5 with a 8.38 ERA in 15 MLB games. He made 5 appearances in 2016 due to injury and hasn’t pitched in the bigs since 2015 when he did so for both the Royals and the A’s.
Last Time Out: April 23 – No Decision at Round Rock
Brooks pitched six innings against the potent Round Rock lineup and was tagged for five runs on seven hits. He walked a pair, struck out three, hit a batter and gave up a two-run homer to Ronald Guzman in the third inning. He threw 91 pitches and 55 went for strikes. The six innings marked the longest start of his season and the five earned runs the most he’s allowed in a game this year.
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 28th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he will have the call of today’s game from Principal Park in Des Moines, Iowa at 6:08 p.m. I will get Sky Sox Warmup going at 5:30 p.m. MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,