Finally! The Sox were able to rebound and slice the ‘Cakes 7-6 Thursday night at Security Service Field. It was indeed a one-run game so you know it wasn’t as easy as pie, but Colorado Springs got it done.
For the third game in a row, New Orleans jumped on the board first, this time on a Destin Hood single, his first hit that didn’t leave Security Service Field. Colorado Springs responded with four runs in the second, courtesy of a two run double off the bat of Nate Orf, a fielder’s choice E1 and a Kyle Wren RBI two bagger. 4-1 after two, things certainly looking up for the Sox and they would add another in the third on a sac fly to make it 5-1.
This is where we’d like to say that the Sox had the lead for good, but that certainly wasn’t the case as the ‘Cakes fired back with a four-run sixth against Paolo Espino. The bash brothers of Brandon Barnes and Hood were back at with a leadoff double and two run homer which cut the lead to 5-3. Mike Aviles brought in a run on an RBI triple to make it 5-4 and scored on a sac fly to tie the game. Uh-oh.
The Sox responded with a pair in the bottom of the sixth, the latter of which scored on a balk, and held a 7-5 lead until the eighth when Tomas Telis singled in Ramon Cabrera and brought New Orleans to within one at 7-6.
Tyler Cravy came on for the top of the ninth and it didn’t look good. Destin Hood singled and advanced to second on a passed ball, Moises Sierra walked. Two on, nobody out, go-ahead run at first base. Former Sky Sox Nick Noonan popped a bunt up that was caught by Gabriel Noriega down the line at third, which brought Mike Aviles to the dish…He popped up to the second baseman De Jesus, but Sierra was off of first and De Jesus fired back to the catcher Rene Garcia to nab the runner and end the game. The ol’ 4-2 DP to end it!
Hitting Notes –
The Sky Sox were outhit 14-10, but scored one more run than the ‘Cakes and gosh darn it that’s all that matters!!! Two home team hitters had multi-hit games.
Kyle Wren served as the tablesetter and did a fine job going 2-for-5 with two RBI, an RBI double in the second and an RBI infield single in the sixth.
Garrett Cooper legged out two singles, walked and scored a run for the Sox and was the lone man on three times.
Nate Orf was remarkably productive once again with a two-run double and a sac-fly. He’s upped hit RBI total to 17 and is hitting .295.
Lewis Brinson doubled and scored a run in the third for his lone activity on the base paths.
Brett Phillips, Ivan De Jesus, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and Gabriel Noriega all piled up singles to round up the hitting.
Pitching Notes –
Paolo Espino was very Paolo Espino-esque through the first five innings when he allowed a run on four hits. But then came the sixth inning. He then allowed another four runs on five hits and couldn’t get out of the inning. His final line read five and two-thirds innings, nine hits five runs, one walk and three strikeouts. He fired off 93 pitches, 64 went for strikes.
Wei-Chung Wang earned the win in relief, recording four outs. The seventh was the full frame he pitched in and it began with Tomas Telis lining a rocket off the lefty’s leg. He pitched nicely out of a two-on nobody out jam in the seventh and improved to 2-0.
Tristan Archer gave up a run in the eighth on two hits and a walk.
Tyler Cravy was the beneficiary of a couple of great defensive plays in the ninth and earned his second save of the season with a scoreless frame.
Play of the Game –
Obviously the play of the game was the double play to end it…but since MiLB didn’t deem that highlight-worthy we’ll drop in Lewis Brinson’s third-inning double instead.
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Manager Rick Sweet –
The Sox have gotten into a habit of splitting things lately…They split the series against El Paso and Albuquerque (the road trip) and they have a chance to split the series and homestand with a win tonight in Colorado Springs…Let’s get to the preview!!
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (26-17) vs. New Orleans Baby Cakes (17-30) – 7:00 p.m.
Sky Sox Starter: Left-hander Brent Suter gets the call for Colorado Springs in the final game of the series and homestand. He has been affected by Mother Nature, MLB rehab assignments and extra-curricular circumstances that have led to stop-and-go start to his season. The lefty has pitched 10 times total, five times for the Brewers, five for the Sox. Suter last pitched in relief during the Sky Sox 3-2 win over the ‘Topes on May 21. The Ohio-native began the season in the Brewers bullpen and appeared has appeared in five games. He gave up four runs on nine hits in 7 1/3 innings. Today will be his second appearance of the season at Security Service Field. He went five innings and allowed three runs on seven hits against the River Cats on May 11. In 2016 he was 5-3 with a 3.84 ERA in 65.2 home innings.
Suter had a breakout season last year, earned a call to the big leagues and made 14 appearances with the Brewers to end the season. He went 2-2 with a 3.32 ERA in 21 2/3 innings with Milwaukee. In 26 appearances (15 starts) with Sky Sox he tallied a 6-6 mark with two saves and a 3.50 ERA. In 110 2/3 innings he gave up 45 runs on 129 hits, struck out 75 and walked just 14. He was the most delightful surprise here in 2016. Suter was selected by the Brewers in the 31st round out of Harvard University. In 120 career minor-league outings, the lefty is 37-33 with 4 saves and a 3.39 ERA covering six seasons. He is 2-2 with a 3.72 ERA in 19 MLB appearances, two of which have been starts.
Last Time Out – May 21 – Relief at Albuquerque –
Suter pitched out of the ‘pen in relief of Hiram Burgos and went two scoreless, allowing one hit. He got a huge 1-2-3 DP in the game and fired off 27 pitches, 17 of which went for strikes.
Baby Cakes Starting Arm: Righty Scott Copeland will oppose Suter in the fourth and final game of the series tonight along the Front Range. He is in his first season with the Marlins organization and enters 3-5 with a 5.72 ERA in eight starts with the ‘Cakes. The righty has allowed 27 runs on 50 hits in 39 1/3 innings, while walking 18 and striking out 39. Opponents are hitting .313 against him. He tossed seven hitless innings against the Cubs on April 14, part of the ‘Cakes combined no-no. Tonight marks his first career start against Colorado Springs.
Copeland was originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 21st round of the 2010 draft out of Southern Mississippi and has pitched for the O’s, Blue Jays and now the Marlins. He was released by Baltimore in July 2012 and signed a couple of days later by Toronto. He made his MLB debut for the Blue Jays in 2015 and is 1-1 with a 6.46 ERA in five MLB games, three starts. In 159 MiLB games, 149 starts, Copeland has accrued a 55-57 record with a 4.09 ERA.
Last Time Out – May 21 – Loss vs. Las Vegas –
Copeland pitched five innings against the 51s, but was tagged for seven runs on nine hits. He walked one and struck out six on 84 pitches, 56 of which went for strikes. He’s lost his last two starts.
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 7:00 p.m. Sky Sox Warmup gets fired up at 6:30 p.m. MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,