Drew. Robinson. Again. That’s about all you need to sum up last night’s game between the Sky Sox and the Express, which finished 9-3 in favor of the Trains. Round Rock used seven unanswered runs, emboldened by Robinson’s grand slam in the fourth inning, to down the Sox.
Colorado Springs actually held kept the visitors off the board in the first inning for the first time in the series and scored a run in the bottom half on a Garrett Cooper RBI single to make it 1-0. Then, the Express came rolling right through the Front Range.
Drew Stubbs hit a two-out single and Brett Hayes followed with a double to tie the game at 1-1 in the top of the second. In the third it was Travis Snider and Ronald Guzman doubling to make it a 2-1 game and Round Rock never looked back. The fourth inning started single, walk, single against Michael Blazek and then up stepped Robinson. He waited on a 3-2 pitch and hammered it to right field for a grand slam, which made it 6-1. Snider’s RBI single in the fifth upped the advantage to 7-1.
The Sox took advantage of a hit-by-pitch and fielding error in the bottom of the fifth and scored a run on a sac-fly from Nate Orf to make it 7-2. Round Rock added another pair in the eighth and the Sky Sox scored a run in the bottom of the ninth to get it to the final of 9-3.
Knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa earned the win for Round Rock adn went six innings allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits. He walked four, hit a batter and struck out three. First time this season the Sox have faced a true knuckleballer and I am sure they hope not to face another one any time soon.
Hitting Notes –
The Sky Sox had plenty of chances to notch more runs as they scored the three runs on 11 hits, but they left 14 men on base and went 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Not going to get it done on most nights. Most of the production came from the bottom of the order.
Yadiel Rivera filled the eighth spot in the lineup and went 3-for-5, upping his average to .271.
Nate Orf had two hits and two RBI from the six-hole.
Gabriel Noriega tallied two hits.
Garrett Cooper was on base four times with two hits (a single and a double), an RBI, and two walks. He also scored a run.
Lewis Brinson was on base twice with a double and walk. He scored a run.
Kyle Wren hit a triple and walked.
Pitching Notes –
Michael Blazek had the roughest outing in a starting role this season and gave up seven runs on 10 hits, he walked three and struck out six. The grand slam by Robinson was aided by an automatic ball called by the home plate umpire, which made the count 2-2 instead of 1-2. Blazek threw a season-high 100 pitches, 59 for strikes.
Stephen Kohlscheen gave up the other two runs in relief of Blazek. He went two and one-third innings and gave up five hits, walked on and struck out three.
David Goforth pitched an inning and allowed a hit, while fanning one.
Wei-Chung Wang walked one in his scoreless inning.
Play of the Game –
Unfortunately for Sky Sox fans, the play of the game was Drew Robinson’s grand salami in the fourth inning.
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Express pitcher Adam Loewen –
The series is in favor of the Express, two game to one and the Sky Sox must win tonight in order to split the matchup against the trains. How about this…49 runs and 83 hits in three tilts. WOW. That’s a lot of offense. Tonight’s pitching matchup features a pair of righties, Brandon Woodruff for the Sox and Tyler Wagner for the Express…Let’s get to the preview!
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (33-23) at Round Rock Express (29-31) – 6:40 p.m.
Sky Sox Starter: Brandon Woodruff readies for his 12th start 2017, seventh within the walls of Security Service Field when he climbs the hill against the Express. He is 4-2 with a 3.48 ERA at home allowing 16 runs (13 earned) in 33 2/3 innings. He lost his last home start against the Baby Cakes on May 23. In his last start, on the road against the Dodgers, Woodruff pitched into the sixth, but took the loss allowing four runs on five hits. He has lost four of his last five starts. In total the righty has allowed 27 runs (23 earned) on 54 hits; he has walked 17, struck out 59, hit four batters and given up six homers. Woodruff has held opponents to a .235 batting average against and has a 1.33 ground out to air out ratio. He has yet to face the Express in his career.
The righty had a tremendous 2016 season in which he combined to go 14-9 with a 2.68 ERA in 28 starts between High-A Brevard County and Double-A Biloxi. He allowed 51 runs (47 earned) on 121 hits in 158 innings. He walked 40 and struck out a Minor League best 173 opposing hitters. Drafted by the Brewers in the 11th round of the 2014 draft out of Mississippi State, Woodruff has compiled a career record of 25-22 with a 3.09 ERA in 74 outings, 66 starts. He is rated as the 7th best prospect and the labeled as the pitcher with the best fastball in the Brewers organization.
Last Time Out – June 3 – Loss at Oklahoma City –
Woodruff pitched five and one-third innings, but was tagged for four runs on five hits, including a homer by O’Koyea Dickson in the third. He walked a season-high four and struck out a season high nine on 96 pitches, 60 of which went for strikes. He took the loss in the rain-shortened affain which ended 4-0 OKC.
Express Starting Arm: Right-Hander Tyler Wagner is slated to get the start for the Express in the series finale at Security Service Field. It will be his 12 appearance and ninth start of the season. The former Brewers farmhand enters 1-5 with two saves and a 7.71 ERA and is 0-2 over his last four starts. Overall he has allowed 49 runs (44 earned) on 66 pitches in 51 1/3 innings. He’s given up 13 homers, hit three batters, walked 24 and fanned 34. Opponents are hitting .314 against the Las Vegas, Nevada native. He is 1-4 with a away from Dell Diamond and has given up 35 runs on 42 hits in 28 2/3 innings on the road. He has never faced the Sky Sox.
Wagner was originally drafted by the Brewers in the fourth round of the 2012 draft out of Utah. He spent the first four years of his career with the Crew and made his MLB debut with Milwaukee in May 2015 before being traded to Arizona int he 2015 offseason in a deal that sent him and Jean Segura to the D-backs in exchange for Chase Anderson, Aaron Hill, and Isan Diaz. Texas claimed Wagner off of waivers this past offseason. In 107 MiLB outings, Wagner is 37-32 with two saves and a 3.38 ERA, while the righty is 1-2 with a 4.94 ERA in six big-leauge games.
Last Time Out – June 3 – Save vs. New Orleans –
Wagner came out of the bullpen in relief of the rehabbing Tyson Ross and earned his second career save with three scorless innings. He scattered two hits and two walks and struck out two ‘Cakes.
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,