The Sky Sox haven’t been able to catch much of their breath or a break on this road trip, which continued with a 5-3 loss to the Isotopes Saturday night.
Junior Guerra joined the team on an MLB rehab assignment and gave the bullpen a much needed night off as only one reliever had to back him up. The ‘Topes jumped on the board with a run in the first and another in the third to take a 2-0 lead. That was only the surface damage for Colorado Springs. The good news was they didn’t wait until the sixth inning to get a base hit as they picked up three hits over the first three innings. The bad news was that Lewis Brinson was hit by a pitch in the hand in the top of the third and had to come out of the game. We will continue to update you on Brinson’s prognosis when we get it.
The Sox offensive output plateaued with a three-run third inning, sparked by a Brett Phillips inside-the-park home run to right! Now as exciting as that may sound, it was a ball that got lost in the high sky by ‘Topes right fielder, Domonic Brown, BUT it doesn’t matter it was a solo homer regardless and the Sox were on the board trailing 2-1. Nate Orf followed with a single, Yadiel Rivera doubled hime to third and Tyler Heineman tied the game with a sac fly to left. Kyle Wren then knocked Rivera in with a single and the Sky Sox held the 3-2 advantage, the first lead since Thursday. The top of the fourth inning broke a 20-inning scoreless streak by the normally prolific offense.
Guerra pitched with the lead and turned in a scoreless fourth and fifth innings before the ‘Topes tacked on three more over the sixth (against Guerra) and seventh (against Wang). Three straight singled in the sixth tied the game and Daniel Castro’s RBI knock gave Albuquerque the lead for good. Wei-Chung Wang took over in the seventh and allowed a run on a Mike Tauchman single.
Hitting Notes –
The Sky Sox scored their three runs on eight hits. That’s three more runs and five more hits than what they had a night prior.
Nate Orf led the way and went 3-for-4 with three singles and a run scored.
Ivan De Jesus Jr. tallied the other multi-hit game for Colorado Springs with a 2-for-4 nights.
Brett Phillips hit the inside the parker and was on base three times thanks to a pair of walks. The blast was his ninth of the season.
Yadiel Rivera went 1-for-4 with a double and run scored.
Kyle Wren wrapped up the hitting for Colorado Springs and delivered a single and RBI.
Pitching Notes –
Junior Guerra made his sixth start in a Sky Sox uniform, his second as a rehabbing big leaguer and first of 2017. The righty pitched into the seventh inning and allowed four runs, three earned, on 11 hits; he walked two, struck out six and delivered 91 pitches, 55 of which were strikes. He weaved in and out of trouble nicely and had some spots of domination as well. If I had to guess, his next start will be with the BrewCrew.
Wei-Chung Wang went the final five outs and allowed a run on three hits. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out one.
Play of the Game –
Brett Phillips Inside the park homer!
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Ivan De Jesus, Jr. –
Enough already with the losses! The Sox have dropped four of six on the roadie so far and need to take the final two in order to give themselves a split of the eight games. Let’s get to the preview…
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (23-15) vs. Albuquerque Isotopes (23-19) – 1:35 p.m.
Sky Sox Starter: Hiram Burgos will make his second start of the roadie when he climbs the hill at Isotopes Park this afternoon. The righty is coming off an outing in which he gave up 10 runs to the Chihuahuas in four innings. It marked the second highest run total he’s allowed in his career. The highest was his first professional appearance in 2009 when he allowed 11 runs to the Missoula Osprey while pitching for the Helena Brewers. His two wins have come against Fresno and Iowa. 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. In seven appearances, six starts, he is 2-3 with a 6.14 ERA allowing 23 runs on 40 hits in 29 1/3 innings. Opponents are hitting .333 against the right-hander. He has faced the Isotopes on three occasions and is 1-0 allowing 8 runs on 17 hits in 18 1/3 innings. The win was on 8/15/16 at Security Service Field.
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 165 minor-league appearances to the tune of a 49-50 record with a 3.91 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 – May 15 – Loss at El Paso
Burgos had one of the roughest outings of his career as he allowed 10 earned runs on 12 hits in four innings. It’s the second-most runs allowed and the most earned runs allowed in his career. The Chihuahuas took him deep three times, he walked two and struck out two on 86 pitches, 50 of which went for strikes.
Isotopes Starting Arm: Right-hander Jeff Hoffman gets the call to the mound for the eighth time this season in the PCL and 10th overall. The Latham, New York native is 3-2 with a 3.46 ERA in seven starts with the ‘Topes and 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA in two games, one start, in the big leagues. In 39 PCL innings he’s allowed 18 runs on 29 hits and two homers. He’s hit four batters, walked, 14 and fanned 33. Opponents in the PCL are hitting .206 against him. He enters play 0-1 with a 6.55 ERA in two home starts and has faced the Sky Sox once, winning at Security Service Field on August 14, 2016 with five scoreless innings. He’s won his last three starts.
Hoffman was selected by the Blue Jays in the 1st round of the 2014 draft out of East Carolina and was acquired by the Rockies in the deal that sent Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins to the Jays and RHPs Hoffman, Miguel Castro, and Jesus Tinoco to Colorado. After signing in 2014, Hoffman did not pitch professionally until the following season. In 49 MiLB starts he’s 14-16 with a 3.54 ERA and in 10 MLB appearances, seven starts, he’s 1-4 with a 4.97 ERA.
Last Time Out – May 16 – Win at Memphis
Hoffman won his third straight decision with five innings of solid ball. He allowed a run on one hit, hit three batters, walked four and struck out four. He threw 86 pitches, 42 of which went for strikes.
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 28th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he will have the call of today’s game from Isotopes Park at 1:35 p.m. I will get Sky Sox Warmup fired up at 1:00 p.m. MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,