The Sky Sox fell victim to a seven-run fourth inning in Monday night’s 10-7 loss, but one-upped the Express with an eight-run sixth and took the second game of the series 12-8 Tuesday night at Security Service Field. Ryan Cordell had a big night with a home run and a home run robbery in center field, while Gabriel Noriega collected his first three-hit game of the season.
Brent Suter climbed the hill for the Sox and was greeted by Drew Robinson who connected on a leadoff solo homer for the second straight game…It’s just the fourth time in the franchise’s history that an opponent has led off back-to-back games with a home run and the third time it’s been done by the same player. Robinson is locked in and made it 1-0 in a blink.
The Express tallied three more against the southpaw in the third thanks to three doubles, a single and an RBI groundout, giving them a 4-0 lead. Colorado Springs would bounce back in the bottom of the frame with a pair of its own on a two-out, two-run double off the bat of Ivan De Jesus, ending the scoreless gem being tossed by Allen Webster.
Robinson made another bid for a home run in the fourth inning, but was robbed in center by Ryan Cordell who stole a home run, but Robinson was not to be denied a two-homer game…More on that in a bit.
Round Rock would end Suter’s night in the sixth by notching another run and leading 5-2, but it allllll changed in a hurry as the Sox bats came alive in the sixth and built a snowman, giving them the lead for good.
Lewis Brinson began the inning with a single and scored on Ryan Cordell’s two-run homer, a laser beam over the wall in left…5-4 Round Rock. Nate Orf backed it up with a triple, then scored to tie it on Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ single. Yadiel Rivera singled and both runners moved up on a fly ball to get into scoring position for Gabriel Noriega who drove them both in and gave the Sox the lead for good with a two-run single. Brinson connected on a two-run single and Orf capped off the frame with an RBI knock to make it 10-5. Whew. What an inning.
Drew Robinson (yes, him again) got one of the eight back with, you guessed it, a leadoff solo shot in the seventh, but the Sky Sox added two more in the bottom of the eighth, limited the Express to two runs in the ninth, and held on to win 12-8.
Hitting Notes –
The Sox pounded out 15 hits to go along with their 12 runs…They’ve netted 19 runs on 29 hits in two games, both without Brett Phillips, not too shabby.
Lewis Brinson anchored down the three spot in the lineup and delivered another thre-hit performance against his former team. He picked up three singles, scored two runs and drove in another pair on the evening. He’s hitting .400 in the month of June.
Gabriel Noriega picked up his first three-hit night of the season and went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI.
Ryan Cordell broke out the lumber and hit his first home run since May 13, a two-run shot to get the scoring going in the eight-run sixth. He finished with a double and the homer, two runs scored and two RBI.
Nate Orf collected another two hits (ho-hum), a single and triple, and scored a pair of runs while driving home one. His average now sits at .318.
Yadiel Rivera tallied two hits in five trips and drove in a pair.
Kyle Wren had a double, walked twice, and scored two runs from the leadoff spot. He’s not hitting an even .300.
Ivan De Jesus had a two-run double in the win.
Pitching Notes –
Brent Suter was rudely greeted by the Robinson leadoff homer in the first, but it didn’t slow him down too much. He worked five and one-third innings and allowed five runs on nine hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out seven. He threw a season-high 97 pitches, 57 went for strikes.
Tristan Archer was first out of the pen and the beneficiary of the eight-run sixth. He recorded five ours and allowed a run on two hits and a walk and earned his second win of the season.
Tyler Cravy worked a scoreless eighth.
David Goforth had trouble in the ninth and gave up a pair of runs on a pair of hits and a pair of walks.
Play of the Game –
The play of the game was definitely the home run robbery committed by Ryan Cordell on his good buddy Drew Robinson.
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Express Manager Jason Wood –
The series is all squared up at one win a piece and what a couple of slugfests they have been! 37 runs and 56 hits in two tilts. WOW. That’s a lot of offense. Tonight’s pitching matchup features Michael Blazek and Eddie Gamboa…Let’s get to the preview!
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (33-22) at Round Rock Express (28-31) – 6:40 p.m.
Sky Sox Starter: Right-hander Michael Blazek readies for his sixth start of the season, his fifth in a row, and first appearance against the Express. The Las Vegas native has no record and a 1.95 ERA through his first 15 appearances of the season. He has given up seven runs on 24 hits, walked 18 and fanned 31. Opponents are hitting .209 against the righty. He has been outstanding as a starter allowing two runs on 14 hits in 22.0 innings. His last four starts have come on the road. At home he has made just five appearances and holds no record and a 2.45 ERA allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings.
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 4.033 ERA in 231 minor league outings, 92 of which have been starts, and 8-5 with a 4.09 ERA in 104 MLB games.
Last Time Out – June 2 – No Decision at Oklahoma City –
Blazek went the first 5 1/3 innings in scoreless fashion, holding the ever-potent Dodgers offense down to just three hits and four walks. He fanned four and tossed 88 pitches, 44 of which went for strikes.
Express Starting Arm: Right-Hander Eddie Gamboa takes the hill for Round Rock in the third game of the series tonight in Colorado Springs. He enters play 4-5 with a 7.52 ERA through his first 11 starts. The righty has allowed 52 runs (49 earned) on 79 hits in 58 2/3 innings. He’s allowed 10 homers, hit one batter, walked 29 and fanned 34. Opponents are hitting .331 against the Merced, California native. He, like Allen Webster, has had a much tougher time on the road, going 1-3 with a 12.00 ERA in four road starts. He’s allowed 30 runs on 39 hits in 21 innings away from Dell Diamond.
Gamboa was originally drafted by the Orioles in the 21st round of the 2008 draft out of UC Davis and has pitched for the Orioles, Rays and now Rangers organizations. He’s logged 247 MiLB appearances and is 60-61 with 10 saves and a 3.75 career ERA. He made seven bullpen appearances for the Rays a season ago and went 0-2 with a 1.35 ERA allowing 3 runs on 9 hits in 13 1/3 innings. He has never faced the Sky Sox in his career.
Last Time Out – June 2 – Win vs. New Orleans –
Gamboa held the Baby Cakes to three runs on four hits across six innings of work. He earned the win despite walking four and fanned four on 85 pitches, 50 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 Security Service Field 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,