The Sky Sox have been able to shake off the prior game, especially when it’s a loss, and focus on the next one. Safe to say that’s exactly what they did yesterday for the series and road trip finale against the Dodgers. Following Thursday’s 6-2 loss, Colorado Springs hopped on the board with four runs in the first inning Friday, followed with three runs in the second, and led 13-1 after a six-run third inning en route to the 15-3 mashing of Oklahoma City.
Lewis Brinson and Eric Sogard hit back-to-back doubles to start the game and made it 1-0. Two batters later it was Garrett Cooper with an RBI two-bagger, then Yadiel Rivera with a two-out, run-producing double, and then Kyle Wren polished off the frame with an RBI single and just like that it was 4-0 good guys.
Same story in the second inning, except it was pitcher Brent Suter starting the frame with a single, but three batters later both he and Sogard scampered home on a Ryan Cordell double. Before the inning closed Kirk Nieuwenhuis got into the the two-sack party with a double that plated Cordell and made it 7-0. The Sox then plated six runs, all with two outs, against Tim Shibuya of the Dodgers. Once again Suter sparked the rally with a single, then Brinson singled, Sogard doubled them in, Cordell was hit by a pitch which put two on and two out for Cooper. He said enough with the doubles and, well, doubled his pleasure with a four bagger, a three run blast, which was followed by Nieuwenhuis going deep! Back-to-back jacks for the first time this season! 13-1 Sox. Andrew Susac capped off the Sox scoring with a two-run single in the eighth.
All of the offense was more than enough for Suter who went five innings on the bump and limited the potent Dodgers to two runs on four hits; he walked one and struck out five. The combination of Tyler Cravy, Stephen Kohlscheen, and Michael Blazek locked down the win allowing another run on three hits while striking out seven.
Hitting Notes –
The Sox picked up the season-high 15 runs on a season-high 21 hits. Eight of the starting nine, yes, including Brent Suter, tallied multiple-hit affairs, so we’ll go right down the lineup…
Lewis Brinson went 2-for-5 with a double and two runs scored.
Eric Sogard pushed his average to .295 with a 3-for-6 night. He had two of the Sox seven doubles, scored three runs and drove in three as well.
Ryan Cordell notched yet another three hit game (his third of the season), and had a double, two RBI, and scored two runs.
Garrett Cooper had two hits, a double and homer, and drove in four runs for the third time this season.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis got in the hit column for the first time as a Sky Sox and delivered a three-hit game, including a homer and double, drove in a pair and scored two.
Yadiel Rivera went 2-for-4 with an RBI double and a run scored.
Kyle Wren went 2-for-4 with an RBI and also walked.
Andrew Susac had a two-run single.
Brent Suter went 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
Nate Orf came off the bench and went 1-for-1 with a run scored.
Pitching Notes –
Brent Suter returned to the starting role and was once again outstanding. He limited the Dodgers to two runs on four hits, a walk and struck out five. He improved to 2-1 with the win and sits with a 3.48 ERA on the season.
Tyler Cravy went two scoreless and allowed two hits, striking out three.
Stephen Kohlscheen threw an unblemished eighth and struck out the side.
Michael Blazek gave up a run on a hit and two walks in the ninth.
Play of the Game –
How about Garrett Cooper and Kirk Nieuwenhuis going back-to-back and belly to belly! But for those visually stimulated, here’s a Brinson double:
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Sky Sox Manager Rick Sweet –
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (16-8) vs. Fresno Grizzlies (13-16) – 6:00 p.m. MST
Sky Sox Starter: Right-Hander Paolo Espino readies to open up the eight-game homestand and is slated to pitch tonight against the Grizzlies . The 30-year old has made five starts in 2017 and has compiled a 3-0 record with a 3.03 ERA. He’s allowed 10 runs on 30 hits in 29 2/3 innings. Opponents have tagged him for four homers, he’s walked just two and struck out 29. He has won his last three decisions and is coming off back-to-back solid starts where he has combined to go 12 2/3 innings, allowed 1 run on 8 hits, walked one and struck out 11 against the Sounds and Cubs, one start at home, the other at Principal Park. Through three home starts the righty is 2-0 with a 3.57 ERA and has allowed 7 runs in 17 2/3 innings.
Espino was signed by the Brewers as a free agent in November, marking the fourth franchise he has been with. He was originally selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 10th round of the 2010 draft and spent the first seven years of his career there before joining the Cubs’ franchise late 2013. He was released by Chicago prior to the 2014 season and signed with the Nationals as a free agent where he pitched 2014-16. He has yet to crack the big leagues. Last season saw the 30-year old righty go 8-11 with a 3.30 ERA in 26 Triple-A starts with Syracuse. Espino is 75-63 with a 3.71 ERA in 289 MiLB appearances, 189 of which have been starts.
Last Time Out – May 1 – No decision at Iowa
Espino was stellar again and allowed one run to the Cubs over six innings of work. He scattered four hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out six. He threw 79 pitches, 49 went for strikes. The one run scored on a Jeimer Candelario solo blast in the fourth.
Grizzlies Starting Arm: Righty Mike Hauschild will make his second start for the Grizz since being returned to the Astros from the Rangers as part of the Rule 5 draft agreement. In one start with Fresno he has no record and allowed two runs on three hits in three innings against the Reno Aces on April 30. In four bullpen outings with Texas, he allowed 10 runs on 14 hits in eight innings. Five of the 14 hits were homers; he also walked a pair and struck out seven. They were the first four big-league outings of his career and since Texas did not foresee him being on the 25-man roster all year, he was returned to the Astros and sent to Triple-A. Hauschild went 9-10 with a 3.22 ERA in 24 starts with the Grizzlies a year ago.
He was selected by the Astros in the 33rd round of the 2012 draft out of the University of Dayton. Hauschild will look to return to the Bigs with the team that drafted him, but in in 125 minor-league appearances he is 36-32 with a 3.52 ERA. He took the loss against the Sox on May 27 and allowed 11 runs (4 earned) on 10 hits, two homers, a walk and struck out four, his only career appearance against Colorado Springs.
Last Time Out – April 30 – No decision vs. Reno
Hauschild’s return to the Pacific Coast League lasted three innings against the Aces on the road at Greater Nevada Field. he gave up two runs on three hits, hit a batter, walked one and struck out two. He threw 55 pitches, 35 of which went for strikes.
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 28th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he and I will have the call of tonight’s game from Security Service Field at 6:00 p.m. Sky Sox Warmup will get fired up at 5:30 p.m. MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,