Throw out the numbers…AGAIN! This ‘Cakes team has come in to Security Service Field and taken the Sox to task, winning 7-2 on Tuesday night and walloping the home team 14-4 Wednesday night…What on earth has gotten into this New Orleans team? Worst record, lowest batting average doesn’t matter New Orleans is rolling.
Wednesday night showed a theme on the scoreboard for the Cakes…124124 over the first six innings, what it didn’t show was how they tallied the runs. Brandon Barnes took Josh Hader deep for a solo shot to get the scoring going in the first and Matt Juengel hit a two-run shot off the southpaw in the second to up the lead to 3-0.
The four -run third came courtesy of a two-run double off the bat of Barnes and another two-run homer, this time off the bat of Destin Hood and in a blink it was 7-0 Visitors. ‘Cakes pitcher Kelvin Marte led off the fourth inning with a solo homer to left-center… Yes, the pitcher took Hader deep too, the fourth homer of the game for New Orleans, but they were far from done.
The Sky Sox trailed 8-0 in the bottom of the fourth, but got on the board thanks to a triple by Brett Phillips and an RBI single by Nate Orf. 8-1.
New Orleans plated two runs in the fifth to make it 10-1 and capped off their big night with a four-run sixth. three of which came on the three-run blast by Hood, his second homer of the game and third of the series.
Colorado Springs scored two runs in the sixth to make it a 14-3 game thanks to an RBI double by Brett Phillips and an RBI groundout by Nate Orf. Ivan De Jesus’ RBI double plated Lewis Brinson in the seventh to wrap up the scoring for the Sox.
Hitting Notes –
The Sox picked up four runs on eight hits, and upped their series total to 6 runs on 17 hits. Certainly not enough to get it done. They have been limited by the good pitching of veterans Stephen Fife and Kelvin Marte.
Ivan De Jesus led the offensive attack with a 3-for-4 night, adding an RBI.
Brett Phillips had the other multi-hit game for Colorado Springs with a 2-for-4 night with an RBI and a run scored.
Nate Orf went 1-for-4 and had a team-high two RBI.
Lewis Brinson returned to the lineup and went 1-for-5 with a run scored.
Tyler Heineman tallied a bunt single.
Pitching Notes –
Josh Hader climbed the hill for the 10th time this season and faltered over three-plus innings. He allowed eight runs on nine hits, four of which were home runs. He walked three, including the final two men he faced and struck out two. He threw 74 pitches 43 went for strikes. He has allowed 14 homers this season, a career-high.
Andrew Barbosa took over and went two scoreless innings allowing five runs on four hits; the southpaw walked two and struck out a pair.
Andy Oliver pitched the sixth and gave up a run on a hit and a walk.
Stephen Kohlscheen pitched two scoreless, allowing one hit.
David Goforth worked a scoreless ninth and allowed a hit and a walk, while fanning one ‘Cake.
Play of the Game –
There wasn’t much for highlights as far as the Sox were concerned, but the folks at MiLB were nice enough to cut Brett Phillips’ leadoff triple.
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Kyle Wren –
Now that we’ve got all of that stuff out of the way regarding last night’s game, it’s time to turn our attention to tonight’s tilt. The Sox look to bounce back in the third of four against the Baby Cakes in what will be a battle of two veterans. (Go figure, another veteran for New Orleans.) Let’s get to the preview!
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (25-17) vs. New Orleans Baby Cakes (17-29) – 6:40 p.m.
Sky Sox Starter: Right-Hander Paolo Espino returns from the BIG LEAGUES(!!) and climbs the hill on a Thirsty Thursday tonight at Security Service Field. He enters play 4-0 with a 2.54 ERA in seven PCL outings and has held opponents to a .241 batting average against. He’s allowed 11 runs on 35 hits, walked five and fanned 40 in 39 innings. Espino is coming off his big-league debut where he went four innings for the Brewers at Chicago, he didn’t record a decision. Opponents have tagged him for five homers, he’s walked just three and struck out 34. He has won his last four PCL decisions and is coming off back-to-back-to-back-to-back solid starts where he has combined to go 22 innings, allowed 2 runs on 13 hits, walked four and struck out 22 against the Sounds, Cubs, Grizzlies, and River Cats with three of the starts at home, the other at Principal Park. Through five home starts the righty is 3-0 with a 2.67 ERA and has allowed 8 runs in 27 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. 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 76-63 with a 3.69 ERA in 291 MiLB appearances, 191 of which have been starts.
Last Time Out – May 19 – No Decision at Chicago (NL) –
Espino made his MLB debut on a cold, blustery day on the northside of Chicago and held the defending champs to three runs, two earned, on five hits, he didn’t walk a batter and struck out three, the first of which was Kyle Schwarber. He threw 71 pitches, 42 went for strikes.
Baby Cakes Starting Arm: Southpaw Adam Conley gets the nod for the ‘Cakes in the third of four tonight along the front range. He has made two starts in a row for New Orleans after beginning the season with seven appearances, six starts, for Miami. In total, Conley is 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA allowing seven runs on 10 hits in 8 2/3 PCL innings. He went 2-3 with a 7.53 ERA in the bigs. He has faced Salt Lake and Las Vegas during his tenure with the ‘Cakes this season, both starts have been at home. He has faced the Sox five times and is 2-3, allowing 13 runs on 23 hits in 28 innings. Only one of the five appearances have been at Security Service Field.
Conley was selected by the, then Florida Marlins in the second round of the 2011 draft out of Washington State University. He has pitched for the Fish the entirety of his career and made his MLB debut on June 10, 2015. In 88 Minor League games he has compiled a 34-23 record with a 3.57 ERA. In 47 MLB games, the southpaw is 14-10 with a 4.28 ERA.
Last Time Out – May 20 – Loss vs. Las Vegas –
Conley took the hill at the Shrine on Airline and couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning for the second straight start. He allowed four runs, three earned, on seven hits; he walked one and struck out a pair of 51s on 93 pitches, 55 of which went for strikes. Opponents in the PCL are hitting .303 against the southpaw from Redmond, Washington.
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 28th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he and I will have the call of today’s game from Security Service Field at 6:40 p.m. Sky Sox Warmup gets fired up at 6:00 p.m. MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,