They did it again… The Sky Sox put together two more complete games and took both ends of a doubleheader against the Sounds in resounding fashion, 10-6 and 13-6. You think if your team notches 12 runs combined in a doubleheader things are looking okay, but not when the other team (the Sox in this case) puts up 23 and out scores you by a cool 11 runs. Oh, and they picked up TWO inside the park home runs, one in each game, both to left field, and both equally awesome. Nate Orf connected on the first in the third inning of game one and Mauricio Dubon stroked his in the bottom of the third inning of game two. BUT there was a whole lot of other action in the two tilts, so let’s dive in.
Game one saw Nashville jump out to a 2-0 lead in the second against Taylor Jungmann and the Sox. He walked a man with one out, gave up a single then threw a wild pitch, which allowed the first run to score. Melvin Mercedes cleaned up the frame with an RBI single, but was thrown out trying to advance, which ended the inning. Colorado Springs took advantage of an error and wild pitch at the start of the bottom of the second, which put Brett Phillips into scoring position, and cut the deficit in half on Jett Bandy’s RBI single. 2-1.
Then came the third. Ohhhh the third. The Sounds sent the minimum to the plate in the top half, while the Sky Sox sent 13 men to the plate in the bottom half, scored eight of them and put the game out of reach for good.
Here’s the skinny: Lewis Brinson and Ivan De Jesus began the rally with singles, then Phillips smacked a triple to right to drive them in, 3-2 Sox. Bandy’s double plated Phillips, 4-2. Two batters later Nate Orf hit a ball to left and it caromed off the corner wall past the left fielder Kenny Wilson and Orf jumped on his horse and motored around the sack for an inside-the-park two-run homer, 6-2. After Nick Noonan singled it was Kyle Wren that joined the hit parade with an RBI triple, 7-2. Mauricio Dubon and De Jesus capped off the scoring with an RBI single and RBI double, respectively, 9-2 Sox. Whew. Take a deep breath. Incredible inning.
Nashville would make some noise in the fourth as Taylor Jungmann took the mound after the 25-minute bottom of the third. I guarantee he wasn’t complaining about the runs though! With one out the righty walked Renato Nunez, then gave up a two-run shot to Mark Canha, his second homer of the series, 9-4. Beau Taylor followed with a solo jack of his own to cut the Sox lead to 9-5. Wren’s RBI single in the bottom of the fourth made it 10-5, and an unearned run scored against Wily Peralta in the top of the seventh made it the 10-6 final.
Jungmann earned the win, going the requisite five innings, while allowing five runs on six hits, two walks and a strikeout. Wily Peralta joined the Sox on an MLB rehab assignment and pitched two innings out of the pen and allowed an unearned run on two hits.
All in all the Sox scored the 10 runs on 14 hits with multi-hit affair coming off the bats of Jett Bandy (3-4, 2RBI), Ivan De Jesus (2-4, 1RBI), Nick Noonan (2-3, R), Kyle Wren (2-2, 2RBI, R). Dubon, Brinson, Phillips, Nieuwenhuis, and Orf each had one hit.
(Insert 30 minute intermission here)
Alright, great, time for game two Tim Dillard to the hill against the lefty Dalton Sawyer, who was making his second start in Triple-A despite not pitching in Double-A yet. So a veteran against a rookie.
Dillard worked his way through two-man traffic in the top of the first and the Sox plated a pair in the bottom half. Mauricio Dubon began the game with a ringing double to left, then moved to third on a fly out to right. Nashville had the infield playing back with one out and a runner at third for Ivan De Jesus who hit a grounder to third, Renato Nunez chose to throw home, but it was late and Dubon scored, 1-0. De Jesus then scampered home on a double to the gap off the bat of Garrett Cooper making it 2-0.
The Sounds responded and took the lead with a four-run second against the sidearming right-hander. Joey Wendle smacked a double and scored on a one-out single off the bat of Matt McBride. Jermaine Curtis was hit by a pitch and Kenny Wilson kept the inning alive by reaching on an error to the shortstop Yadiel Rivera. Jaff Decker hit a double to bring home two and Yairo Munoz’s ground out made it 4-2. The Sky Sox had no response in the second…
The third and fourth presented a different story… The top of order greeted Sawyer abruptly in the frame with back-to-back homers…Unorthodox B2B jacks though…Dubon stepped in and hit a ball to left that hooked toward the line and hit the wall on the fly, about halfway up at the joint where the two levels meet…Guess what happened next…That’s right, it caromed off the wall, past left fielder Kenny Wilson and Dubon streaked around the bases for the inside-the-park homer! Lewis Brinson completed the back-to-back feat with a tradition homer, a moonshot over the wall in left (all Wilson had to do was turn and watch this time) and it was 4-4. Cooper doubled with one out, then Sawyer got the second out of the inning before walking three straight Sox to give the home team a 5-4 lead. Kyle Wren cleaned up with a three run triple and in a blink it was 8-4. Game over.
The Sox added four more runs in the fourth, thanks to a Cooper RBI single and Brett Phillips’ three-run blast to center, which made it 12-4.
HOW…just kidding…Nashville scored a run in the fifth and sixth innings and the Sox plated their 13th run in the bottom of the sixth to make it the final of 13-6.
Dillard went the first three innings and held the Sounds to four runs, two earned on five hits. Not bad for a spot start, his first of the season. Tyler Cravy earned the with allowing a run over two innings on three hits. Tom Wilhelmsen allowed a run in one inning and Andrew Barbosa pitched a scoreless seventh to lock it down.
The Sox had a well-balanced attack of 13 runs on 13 hits. Five of the starting nine had a multi-hit game. Garrett Cooper led the way (3-4, 2 R, 2 RBI), Brett Phillips (2-4, 3 RBI), Jett Bandy (2-2, R, 2 BB), Mauricio Dubon (2-4, 2 R, RBI), and Lewis Brinson (2-4, 2 R, RBI) had the multi-hit tilts. Kyle Wren (1-4, 3 RBI) and Ivan De Jesus (1-4, 2 R, RBI) had the other two knocks for Colorado Springs.
Plays of the Games –
The inside-the-park homers by Orf and Dubon!
Pregame Interview with Dan Acheson and Kenny Graham Pt. 2 –
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (54-31) vs. Nashville Sounds (40-46) – 6:40 p.m.
Sky Sox Starter: Right-Hander Paolo Espino readies for start number ten with the Sky Sox and third of the season against the Sounds when climbs the hill tonight at Security Service Field. He enters play 4-1 with a 3.26 ERA in ninee PCL outings and has held opponents to a .246 batting average against. He’s allowed 19 runs (18 earned) on 46 hits, walked eight and fanned 48 in 49.2 innings. Espino rejoins the Sky Sox after spending a month in the big leagues and going 0-0 with a 6.11 ERA in six games, two starts. He logged 17 2/3 innings and gave up 13 runs on 17 hits, five homers, three hit batters, eight walks and 13 strikeouts. He made his big-league debut on May 19 where he went four innings for the Brewers at Chicago, he didn’t record a decision. His last PCL start came against the Sounds. He gave up two earned runs on two hits in five 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 76-64 with a 3.26 ERA in 293 MiLB appearances, 193 of which have been starts.
Last Time Out – July 2 – Bullpen appearance vs. Miami –
Espino went two innings out of the bullpen and allowed four runs on four hits including a homer. He hit a batter, walked two and struck out three on 58 pitches, 33 strikes.
Sounds Starting Arm: The Nashville Sounds will counter with veteran righty Jesse Hahn. Hahn will make his first start with Nashville tonight after going 3-6 with a 5.30 ERA in 14 MLB outings, 13 starts. He allowed 46 runs (41 earned) on 78 hits, four homers, three hit batters, he walked 27 and fanned 55 in 69 2/3 innings. Opponents in the PCL are hitting .283 against the righty who hails from Norwich, Connecticut. He faced the Sox three times last year and went 0-1, allowing four runs on 12 hits in 14 1/3 innings.
Originally drafted by the Rays in the sixth round of the 2010 draft, Hahn has a career record of 18-14 with a 4.19 ERA in 53 MLB games and a minor-league record of 7-11 with a 2.87 ERA. He has played for the Tampa Bay, San Diego, and Oakland systems.
Last Time Out – June 28 – Loss at Houston –
Hahn lasted two innings against the Astros and gave up six runs on nine hits, a homer, didn’t walk anyone and struck out one on 57 pitches, 33 went for strikes. He went a combined four frames in his last two starts to the tune of an 0-2 record and 16 runs on 15 hits.
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 28th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he and I will have the call of tonight game from Security Service Field beginning 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,