They say age is just a number, and for the Albuquerque Isotopes and starter Barry Enright that was never more true than last night as they combined to three-hit the Sox and won the opener 5-0.
Enright, the 31-year old righty, began the game by retiring the first 17 Sky Sox he faced. Yes, that’s right, the high-octane offense did not have a baserunner until two outs were recorded in the top of the sixth. Now there were some chances for the Sox, but as is usually the case, the defense made some great plays behind their starter. Kyle Wren opened the game with a fly ball to right center that was hauled in by Mike Tauchman on the track for the first out of the game. Tauchman made another great catch against Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the sixth, keeping the perfecto intact.
It wasn’t until Gabriel Noriega stepped up and hit a single to right with two down in the sixth that the Sky Sox picked up their first baserunner. Then Kyle Wren followed with a single, but Enright wrapped up the frame without further damage done.
The same would not be true for the Isotopes’ offense as they lit the fire early with a two-run first. Trevor Story notched an RBI single in his first rehab at-bat and Noel Cuevas hit a single and got into a rundown that allowed Story to score and make it 2-0 against Josh Hader and the Sox.
Enright was alright at the plate too as he helped himself with an RBI single in the fourth. Trevor Story’s solo shot in the fifth upped the advantage to 4-0 and Anthony Bemboom capped off the night with a solo homer in the eighth.
The Sox’s third and final hit came off the bat of Ryan Cordell, a two-out single to the second baseman in the ninth.
Hitting Notes –
Well, there’s not too much to talk about here…The Sox managed just three hits and walked twice in the tilt.
Gabriel Noriega hit a single in the sixth to break up the perfect game bid.
Kyle Wren followed Noriega with a single that put runners at the corners in the sixth.
Ryan Cordell went 1-for-4 with a single in the ninth.
Lewis Brinson and Andrew Susac each walked in the contest.
Pitching Notes –
Josh Hader couldn’t make it through five frames and gave up four runs on seven hits, including one homer. He walked two and struck out five on 92 pitches in 4 2/3 innings, 53 of which went for strikes. He has now allowed 10 homers this season, which is one off his career-high 11 homers allowed in the 2014 season.
Andy Oliver recorded five outs in scoreless fashion, limiting the Isotopes to two hits and a walk, while striking out one.
Tim Dillard returned to form with two innings. He did allow a homer on the Bemboom blast, but scattered two other hits, did not walk a batter and struck out a pair.
Play of the Game –
For Sox fans it’s definitely the Noriega single to break up the perfecto, but for baseball fans we’ll throw in the Trevor Story solo shot in the fifth.
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Rick Sweet –
Enough with the almost no-hitter! One of the great things about this game is the ability to play every day and put the tough losses behind you immediately…so let’s do that and take a look at tonight’s tilt.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (23-14) vs. Albuquerque Isotopes (22-19) – 7:05 p.m.
Sky Sox Starter: Right-hander Junior Guerra returns to the Sky Sox in the form of a rehabbing MLB pitcher as he makes his way back from a strained right calf. He made the Opening Day start for the Brewers in 2017, but was placed on the disabled list April 4 and has made one rehab appearance with Double-A Biloxi since. He holds a 0-0 record with a 6.00 ERA in the big leagues allowing two runs on a hit in four-plus innings, and a 0-1 record with a 3.60 ERA allowing five runs (two earned) on six hits in five innings with the Shuckers. Guerra made five starts with the Sky Sox a year ago, four to begin the year and one rehabbing appearance in August. He compiled a record of 0-2 with a 4.05 ERA in 26 2/3 innings. In 24 MLB appearances, 21 starts, he is 9-3 with a 3.01 ERA and in 78 MiLB games, 22 starts, he is 6-16 with 11 saves and a 3.89 ERA.
Last Time Out – May 15 – Loss vs. Mississippi
Guerra started for the first time since Opening Day in the big leagues and went five frames against the Mississippi Braves of the Southern League. He allowed five runs, two earned, on six hits, walked three and struck out four. Two of the six hits were homers.
Isotopes Starting Arm: Right-hander Matt Flemer gets the nod in teh second game of a four-game set in the Duke City. The righty enters with a 1-3 record and 7.40 ERA after eight starts this season. He has allowed 35 runs, 34 earned, on 61 hits and 8 homers. He’s walked 13 and fanned 24 in 41 1/3 innings. Opponents are hitting .349 against the El Cerrito, California native who has not picked up a win since April 12. He has faced the Sky Sox once out of the pen. He allowed a run on three hits in two innings, hit a batter, walked a pair and struck out one at Colorado Springs on August 13, 2016.
Flemer was drafted by the Rockies in the 27th round of the 2012 draft out of Cal. In three home starts this season he is 0-2 with a 8.22 ERA allowing 14 runs on 26 hits in 15 1/3 innings. In five-plus seasons, the righty is a combined 35-35 with a save and a 4.14 ERA in 120 MiLB games, 90 of which have been starts.
Last Time Out – May 15 – No decision at Memphis
Flemer gave the Isotopes five innings on the mound, but the Redbirds tagged him for four runs on seven hits. He walked three and struck out four on 97 pitches, 60 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 7:05 p.m. I will get Sky Sox Warmup fired up at 6:30 p.m. MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,