Saturday night provided some disappointment for the Sox as they held a 7-2 lead in the sixth and a 9-8 lead in the eighth, but couldn’t slow down the Express and ended up on the wrong side of a 10-9 margin in the second game of the series. The series is even at 1-1 and the table is set for the series finale, a rubber match tonight at Dell Diamond.
The Sox held multiple leads in the ballgame, including a 2-0 advantage after the first half of the first inning. Kyle Wren and Nate Orf began the inning with singles, then with one out Garrett Cooper hit a grounder to short that was booted by Doug Bernier (he would make up for the miscue later) and the Sox led 1-0. Brett Phillips doubled adn brought in Orf to make it 2-0.
Bubba Derby climbed the hill for the Sox and tossed a scoreless first before the E-Trains jumped on the board and tied the game in the second. Singles by Ronald Guzman and Travis Snider, then a wild pitch put two in scoring position with one out. Preston Beck’s two-out double made it 2-2.
The Sox bounced back to take a 5-2 lead thanks to a three-run third. Three straight singles began the inning against Tanner Scheppers, the final of which came from Garrett Cooper and gave the Sox a 3-2 lead. Jett Bandy hit a one out single to make it 4-2 and Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ ground out added another and upped the advantage to 5-2.
All was quiet from the bottom of the third to the top of the sixth where the Sox increased the lead to 7-2, courtesy of a Garrett Cooper single that was mishandled by Will Middlebrooks and two runs scored.
The Express said enough is enough and took advantage of the new pitcher Wily Peralta, plating six in the sixth and taking their first lead of the game. WMB began the frame with a double, then a walk to Ronald Guzman was followed on a ball hit to left, which was misread by Kyle Wren, and two runs scored, 7-4. Beck put the ball in play and Nate Orf threw it away which allowed another run to score, THEN a TWO-BASE wilb pitch scored Beck from second and it was 7-6. With two on it was Jared Hoying delivering the go-ahead blow in the form of a 2-run single, 8-7.
Take a deep breath, because Brett Phillips did his best to put the Sox in a position to win and belted a two-run shot in the top of the eighth inning, his 16th of the season, 9-8 Sox with six outs to get. Round Rock said “not tonight!” and plated a run on a drew Stubbs homer and another on a Bernier sac fly in the ninth to walk it off 10-9. Ballgame. The former Sox downs the Sox.
Hitting Notes –
The Sky Sox banged out nine runs on 13 hits and picked up five multi-hit affairs from their lineup.
Garrett Cooper over took Ivan De Jesus for the PCL lead in hitting with a 2-for-4 night at the plate. He walked once, drove in three and scored two runs. He is now hitting .364, tops in the league.
Brett Phillips went 2-for-5 with a double, homer and three runs batted in. His average sits at .293.
Ivan De Jesus went 2-for-6 with a run scored. The knocks extend his hitting streak to 16-games and his on-base streak to 31 games, both are the second-longest current streaks in the PCL.
Nate Orf was on base four times with two hits and two walks, he scored three runs.
Rene Garcia played for the first time since June 24 and went 2-for-5, rounding out the two-hit nights for the Sox.
Kyle Wren reached twice with a hit and a walk and scored a run.
Jett Bandy had a hit and RBI.
Nick Noonan went 1-for-5 with a run scored.
Pitching Notes –
Bubba Derby has been a delight for the Sox and that continued last night. The right-hander went the first five and allowed just two runs on five hits, walked one and fanned seven Trains on 81 pitches, 50 of which went for strikes.
Wily Peralta recorded one out (he wasn’t helped out by his defense) and allowed six runs, five earned, on four hits and two walks; he struck out one on 34 pitches, 17 of which went for strikes.
Andrew Barbosa was the best reliever for Colorado Springs as he recorded five outs in short order, allowing a hit, walking one and nothing more.
Tyler Cravy was charged with a blown save as he allowed the Stubbs homer which tied the game in the eighth.
Tim Dillard was hung with the loss, going two-thirds of an inning, allowing a run on a hit and two walks.
Play of the Game –
Brett Phillips’ two-run go-ahead jack in the top of the eighth is the Sky Sox play of the game, but there’s no visual evidence of it!
Pregame Interview with Dan Acheson and Will Middlebrooks –
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (55-33) at Round Rock Express (40-49) – 5:05 p.m.
Sky Sox Starter: Hiram Burgos will make his second start since returning from the disabled list. He went on the DL with a toe injury on May 28. He injured the digit one batter into the game on May 27 against the Sounds in Music City, trying to pick off Jaycob Brugman at first base. He enters play with a 2-4 record and a 7.20 ERA through 10 appearances, nine starts. He has given up 31 runs, 28 earned on 38 hits, five homers and two hit batters. He’s walked ten and fanned 30, while opponents are hitting .358 against him. His two wins have come against Fresno and Iowa. The righty is a well rounded veteran pitcher that throws strikes, has a very good curve ball and any team would be so lucky to have him on the roster. He will face the Express for the first time this season.
He is in 9th season in professional baseball, all of which have been in the Milwaukee system. Last season he notched 10 wins, which marked the first time a Sky Sox pitcher got to double digit wins since Alan Johnson won 10 in 2010. He was also proficient at picking runners off of first base, nabbing 13…13! pickoffs in his 27 appearances. He was selected by the Brewers in the 6th round of the 2009 draft out of Bethune-Cookman University and has made 168 minor-league appearances, 144 starts, to the tune of a 49-51 record with a 3.97 ERA and 6 MLB starts in which he has gone 1-2 with a 6.44 ERA. He has not pitched in the big leagues since 2013.
Last Time Out – July 4 – No decision vs. Nashville –
Burgos lasted five outs in his return from the DL and allowed five runs on seven hits to the Nashville Sounds. He was tagged for two homers and struck out one on 45 pitches, 28 of which went for strikes.
Express Starting Arm: Righty Nick Martinez readies for what will be his third start for the Express and first since April 17 because he made 14 appearances and 11 starts for the big league club in Arlington. In the two PCL outings, Martinez is 1-0 with a 5.0 ERA allowing five runs in nine innings on seven hits. He gave up two homers, hit two batters, walked three and fanned eight while holding opponents to a .206 batting average. He faced Nashville and Iowa back in April. With the Rangers, the right-hander from Miami went 3-3 with a 4.56 ERA in 71 innings. He gave up 39 runs, 36 earned, on 74 hits, 16 homers; he hit a batter, walked 19 and fanned 38. He faced the Sox on May 3, 2016 and won in the Springs allowing two runs on seven hits in five innings.
The righty was selected by the Rangers in the 18th round of the 2011 draft out of Fordham. In six-plus professional seasons, he is 32-23 with a save and a 3.40 ERA in 102 MILB games, 83 starts and 17-25 with a 4.46 ERA in 79 career big-league games, 61 starts.
Last Time Out – July 4 – Bullpen appearance vs. Boston –
Martinez came out of the Rangers pen and allowed four runs, three earned, on eight hits, two homers; he walked three and fanned three on 80 pitches, 50 strikes.
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 28th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he will have the call of tonight game from Dell Diamond beginning at 5:05 p.m. I will get Sky Sox Warmup fired up at 4:30 p.m. MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,