Bing. Bang. Boom. No that wasn’t the sound of the new video board exploding, but the three solo homers that the Express connected for over the first two innings of last night’s game, one that ended 10-7 in favor of the visitors. Two homers in the first and another in the second, accompanied by a seven-run fourth inning had the Express go from down 4-3 to up 10-4 in a blink. The Sox plated three runs over the fifth and sixth and loaded the bases in the ninth, down 10-7, but couldn’t get any closer.
Andy Oliver made the spot start for Colorado Springs and was greeted by
Drew Robinson and Brett Nicholas connecting on two solo homers in the first five pitches of the game and in a blink it was 2-0, Trains. The Sox, as they do so well, responded and tied the game in the bottom of the first thanks to RBI singles by Lewis Brinson and Nate Orf.
Hanser Alberto opened his rehab time with the Express by hitting a leadoff homer to left in the second, which made it a 3-2 game. After a scoreless bottom of the second and top of the third, the Sox plated another pair and took their first and only lead of the game. How did they manufacture the two runs? The same way as in the first! RBI singles by Brinson and Orf, 4-3 Sox.
Then came the fourth. The seven-run inning. Ouch, that even hurts to type. Tim Dillard was on for his second inning of work and did not retire a Round Rock batter until Peter O’Brien, the eighth man to hit in the inning hit a run-scoring ground out. Before that it was five hits, two walks, and a throwing error that opened up the messy frame. Preston Beck made it 9-4 with an RBI ground out and Alberto picked up his second hit of the inning and made it 10-4 with the RBI knock.
Colorado Springs chipped away at the six-run deficit in the fifth with a run on a ground out off the bat of Brinson and Rene Garcia’s two-run single in the sixth. The lead remained 10-7 in the ninth for the visitors and the Sky Sox put together a rally against closer Preston Claiborne, loading the bases with two outs, but Kirk Nieuwenhuis popped out to short to end the game.
Hitting Notes –
The Sox out-hit the Express 14 to 13, but managed just seven runs on the 14 knocks.
Lewis Brinson led the way with three hits and three RBI. He had a double and two singles in the tilt, while scoring two runs.
Kyle Wren filled the leadoff spot nicely with a 3-for-5 performance. He scored three of the seven runs and tallied a double and two singles.
Nate Orf went 2-for-4 with two RBI from the five hole. He also walked, reaching base three times.
Yadiel Rivera went 2-for-4 too and scored a run.
Rene Garcia drove in a pair with a single.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis tallied his first hit since May 26 in the form of a single in the fourth. He also walked twice and scored a run.
Gabriel Noriega singled in the eighth for his lone hit.
Pitching Notes –
Andy Oliver made the spot start for the Sox, his first of the season and went the first two innings. All things considered, it could’ve been worse as the lefty gave up three runs on four hits (three solo homers), he walked two and struck out three on 39 pitches, 22 of which went for strikes.
Tim Dillard was the first out of the pen and went three innings, unfortunately one of those was indeed the seven-run fourth. In total he gave up seven runs on seven hits, walked three and struck out two on 67 pitches, 40 strikes.
Andrew Barbosa was the MVP on the mound and threw three scoreless innings, keeping the Sox within reach at the end of the game. He allowed one hit and struck out five on 46 pitches, 32 strikes.
Tyler Cravy allowed a two-out single in the ninth, but that was all in his scoreless inning.
Play of the Game –
Rene Garcia’s two-run single in the sixth gets top honors today! Sorry for the lack of video…
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Sky Sox Catcher Tyler Heineman –
Although the Sox lost the opener of the homestand, all was not lost as the brand spankin’ new video board was unveiled and was AWESOME. Seriously, come on out and check it out this week because it is so cool! The Sox and Express get ready for the second of the four game series and Brent Suter takes the hill! Let’s get to the preview!
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (32-22) at Round Rock Express (28-30) – 6:40 p.m.
Sky Sox Starter: Left-hander Brent Suter gets the call for Colorado Springs in the second game of the series against the Express. He is starting to get in a groove now after his season was 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 12 times total, five times for the Brewers, seven for the Sox. Suter last pitched in a starting role against the Dodgers on June 1. He was as steady as they come allowing three runs on eight hits in five innings, while striking out a season-high seven batters. He did not factor into the decision. 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. He enters with a 1-0 record at home, accompanied by a 3.38 ERA as he’s allowed four runs on 10 hits in 10 2/3 innings at Security Service Field. Last season he faced the Express three times and went 1-0 allowing four runs in 11 1/3 innings. His best outing was six scoreless against the Trains on July 22 at Security Service Field.
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 125 career minor-league outings, the lefty is 38-33 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 – June 1 – No Decision at Oklahoma City –
Suter went five innings and allowed three runs on eight hits in his last trip to the hill against Oklahoma City. He walked one and struck out a season-high seven on 92 pitches, 60 of which went for strikes. The Sox won that game, 6-3, with three runs late.
Express Starting Arm: Right-Hander Allen Webster will make his 12th appearance (11th start) of the season and second career appearance against the Sox tonight at Security Service Field. The right-hander enters play at 4-3 with a 6.28 ERA allowing 37 runs on 69 hits in 53 innings. He’s given up 13 homers, hit five batters, walked 18 and struck out 42; opponents are hitting .329 against him. On the road, the righty is 0-2 with a 17.76 ERA allowing 25 runs on 30 hits in four outings away from Dell Diamond. His first start against the Sox came in Colorado Springs while with the Reno Aces. He did not record a decision in the August 17th affair and allowed three runs on seven hits in four innings of work. His last three starts have come at home.
Webster was originally drafted by the Dodgers in the 18th round of the 2008 draft out of Dalton L. McMichael HS in North Carolina. He pitched with the Dodgers from 2008 until he was traded to the Red Sox in 2012. He, along with Sky Sox infielder Ivan De Jesus, was a piece in the blockbuster deal that sent A-Gon, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto to the Dodgers. What a deal to be a part of. He then was traded to the D-backs in exchange for Wade Miley prior to the 2015 season and then to Pittsburgh before the 2016 season, but was released and spent 2016 in Japan pitching for Samsung. In 178 MiLB games (in affiliated ball), 150 starts, he’s compiled a 54-42 record with two saves and a 4.01 ERA. In 28 big league outings he is 7-6 with a 6.13 ERA, with the Red Sox and Arizona.
Last Time Out – June 1 – No Decision vs. New Orleans –
Webster worked five innings and allowed just one run on four hits to the Baby Cakes. One of the four hits was a solo homer. He walked four and struck out seven on 101 pitches, 61 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 Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark beginning at 6:40 p.m. I will get Sky Sox Warmup fired up at 6:00 p.m. MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,