Sox Scribbles: Garcia’s Grit Helps Sox Grind Past ‘Topes 3-2…Eight Game Roadie Wraps Up Today!


Rene Garcia tallied the game-winning RBI on a two-strike single in the top of the ninth inning in yesterday’s 3-2 win. (Bobby Stevens/MiLB)

What a weird game yesterday’s was…Two batters in the Sox hit into a double play and it’s as if that was a sign from the baseball gods as to how this one was going to go…SIX double plays were turned, the Sox scored two runs on double plays, AND thwarted Albuquerque rallies by turning two double plays, including one to end the game. All in all it was a good day for Colorado Springs as the three game losing skid came to an end with a 3-2 win on Sunday afternoon.

Albuquerque jumped on the board in the second when Jordan Patterson mashed a two-run homer off of Hiram Burgos.

The lead remained two for the home team until the fourth when Brett Phillips and Nate Orf had back-to-back knocks putting runners at the corners for Yadiel Rivera. With the infield in, Rivera chopped one to the shortstop who fired up a 6-3 DP and Phillips scored to make it 2-1. Same story in the sixth, Ryan Cordell singled, Garrett Cooper and Phillps walked to load the bases for Nate Orf who grounded into the 4-6-3 DP and the game was tied.

The Sox took the lead in the top of the ninth, but it wasn’t routine by any stretch. Phillips reached on a throwing error, Nate Orf singled him to third, but when Rivera chopped one to the second baseman, Phillips was hung up in a rundown and tagged out THEN Orf was out at third trying to advance and in a blink there were two down. Rivera moved to second for Rene Garcia who delivered an RBI single on an 0-2 pitch from Carlos Estevez. 3-2.

The Sky Sox defense was certainly timely and opportunistic. David Goforth was called upon to close it out and gave up a one-out single, but induced a 3-6-1 double play to end the game. That came a few innings after the ‘Topes LOADED THE BASES against Hiram Burgos in the fifth. Brent Suter came on and induced a pop up for out number one and started a 1-2-3 double play to end the inning on a BUNT attempt by Jordan Patterson. Crazy indeed, but the Sox end up on the right side of crazy.

Game Story

Hitting Notes –

The Sky Sox racked up three runs on 10 hits, but only got one RBI thanks to the two run-producing double plays.

Rene Garcia went 2-for-4 with an RBI single, the go-ahead shot in the ninth. His RBI was the only one of the game.

Nate Orf collected another multi-hit game and went 2-for-4 at the dish. He has tallied four multi-hit games on the trip and is hitting .395 over his last 10 games.

Ryan Cordell picked up the other two-hit game for the Sox as he too went 2-for-4 and scored a run.

Brett Phillips isn’t going to want to leave Domonic Brown’s Albuquerque Isotopes! Brown lost a ball in the sky on Saturday that resulted in an inside-the-park homer, and Sunday lost another one that gave Phillips a double, his lone hit of the game and the lone XBH for the Sox.

Kyle Wren, Garrett Cooper, and Hiram Burgos picked up singles in the tilt.

Pitching Notes – 

Hiram Burgos bounced back nicely following his start in El Paso to open the trip. He pitched into the fifth before being lifted from a bases loaded, no out situation. He allowed two runs on six hits, walked three and struck out five. The runs scored on the homer by Patterson in the second. He threw 80 pitches, 44 for strikes.

Brent Suter entered the game with the bases loaded and nobody out and had to face the four and five hitters, but wasn’t fazed. He induced a pop up and started a 1-2-3 double play to get out of the jam. He pitched a clean sixth too and just allowed one hit over two innings.

Andrew Barbosa got into the win column for the first time this season with two unblemished innings, in which he fanned a pair.

David Goforth gave up a hit in the ninth, but locked down his first save of the year.

Play of the Game – 

Oh man…you could pick a number of them, the 1-2-3 DP, the Garcia knock, the 3-6-1 DP to end it. Those are all worthy of being our play of the game, so we’ll call it a three-way tie! And since there’s no video highlights from the game yesterday, we’ll move right along…

Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Albuquerque VP/GM John Traub – 

How about that…Following Sunday’s win, the Sky Sox have the chance to pick up a series split and finish the road trip 4-4 with a win today in the Duke City. It’s also pretty nice that they only have a short bus ride back following the day game! Let’s get to the preview!

Colorado Springs Sky Sox (24-15) vs. Albuquerque Isotopes (23-20) – 12:05 p.m.

Game Notes / Listen Live at 11:30 a.m.

RHP Michael Blazek (0-0, 2.60) at RHP Thad Weber (1-1, 4.50)

Sky Sox Starter: Right-hander Michael Blazek readies for his third start of the season and his second in a row. The Las Vegas native has no record and a 2.60 ERA through his first 12 appearances of the season. He has given up five runs on 14 hits, walked 11 and fanned 15. Opponents are hitting .226 against the righty. He has faced the ‘Topes on four occasions, one start and three ‘pen appearances. He has not recorded a decision and has allowed  7 runs on 11 hits, one homer, 4 walks and 16 Ks. His first start came on April 21 against Memphis. He threw three scoreless and limited the Redbirds to two hits and two walks while striking out three.

Originally selected by the Cardinals in the 37th round of the 2007 draft, Blazek has pitched for both the Cardinals and Brewers organizations. He is 39-42 with 15 saves and a 4.09 ERA in 229 minor league outings, 90 of which have been starts, and 8-5 with a 4.09 ERA in 104 MLB games.

Last Time Out – May 16 – ND at El Paso

Blazek started and went four scoreless innings against the Chihuahuas on May 16. He scattered two hits, walked three and struck out three on 57 pitches, 31 of which went for strikes.

Isotopes Starting Arm: Righty Thad Weber will make his third start for the Isotopes when he climbs the hill today against the Sox. He enters play 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA after allowing five runs on 14 hits in 10 innings. He’s given up two homers, walked two and struck out eight, while opponents are hitting .341 against the Seward, Nebraska native. He finds himself in the PCL for the third time with his second team. He made nine starts with the Tucson in the 2012-13 seasons. He has faced the Sky Sox on two occasions and is 1-0 and allowed eight runs on 13 hits in 12 innings, while walking two and striking out nine.

Weber was originally drafted by the Tigers in the 16th round of the 2008 draft out of Nebraska. In 197 MiLB appearances, 190 starts, the righty has compiled a 63-76 record with a 4.07 ERA. He has 10 MLB games under his belt and an 0-2 record with a 3,79 ERA to his credit.

Last Time Out – May 17 – Win at Memphis

Weber went five frames on the road against the Redbirds and allowed two runs on seven hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out six in the victory on 85 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 12:05 p.m. I will get Sky Sox Warmup fired up at 11:30 a.m. MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.

Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,


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