We knew this series between Colorado Springs and Reno was going to be an offensive battle. We caught a glimpse of that in a rain shortened 10-5 Sky Sox win on Friday and a whole dose of it Saturday in the Aces 12-8 conquest of the Sox. The series travels to Sunday split at 1-1.
The game was relatively calm over the first five innings, after which the visitors held a 3-2 advantage. Reno scored a run on an RBI single in each of the first two innings, while the Sox picked up two runs in the fourth on a double and THREE INFIELD SINGLES. I tell you what, I continue to be a firm believer in the fact that you will always see something new at the ballpark no matter how many times you go! Reno would take a 3-2 lead on yet another RBI single in the fifth.
Paolo Espino covered the first five innings for the Sox on the mound and allowed the three runs on eight hits, walked one and struck out six. On the other side of the bump it was 24-year old righty Tyler Badamo making the first start of his career above High-A. He pitched into the SIXTH for the Aces, what a boost for them as their original starter, Anthony Banda, made his MLB debut against the Nationals at Chase Field.
Tristan Archer was the first out of the bullpen for the Sky Sox and Reno jumped on him for a pair in the sixth to make it 5-2. The Sox would match that with a deuce of their own in the bottom of the inning against Badamo and Co. Ivan De Jesus singled and moved to third on Nate Orf’s double to spark the rally. Kirk Nieuwenhuis grounded out to plate one run and Andrew Susac’s single made it 5-4.
After a quiet top of the seventh, Chris Colabello pinch hit for Wei-Chung Wang in the bottom half and was in a nice battle against right-hander Silvino Bracho. The count went 2-2 and Colabello spoiled pitch after pitch after pitch before finally losing the eighth pitch of the AG over THE BATTER’S EYE in center for a game-tying solo homer, his first big fly with the Sox.
Five-to-five. How about that. Two innings left, and 10 runs yet to be put on the board, combined between the two teams. That would change in a hurry as Socrates Brito connected for a go-ahead, pinch hit solo shot in the bottom of the eighth against David Goforth, 6-5 Aces.
The resilient Sky Sox offense would not go away quietly and bounced back for three runs on three hits and a costly error in the bottom of the eighth and took an 8-6 lead. Kirk Nieuwenhuis picked up a one out single, then Yadiel Rivera took a 96 MPH fastball off the left side with two down to extend the inning. Nick Noonan was next and dropped a line drive single into left field that plated one run easily. The throw to the plate from left bounced over the catcher to the backstop which allowed Rivera to chug home and score, making it 7-6 Sox. Kyle Wren singled Noonan home and the Sox were looking good up 8-6 with three outs to get.
Matt Ramsey was called on for the ninth, but Reno wasn’t done and would have the last laugh in the game by plating SIX runs on six hits in the final frame. Two singles and a fielder’s choice made it 8-7. A double and walk loaded the bases for Kristopher Negron who smacked a three-run go-ahead double, which Ronnie Freeman backed up with a two-bagger of his own and made it 11-8. Ildemaro Vargas capped off the inning with an RBI single, 12-8 Aces.
The Sox made some noise and put two on in the bottom half, but could not score.
Quick Hits –
The Sox banged out 14 hits in the loss and picked up three multi-hit games…Ivan De Jesus went 3-for-4 and extended his on-base streak to 39 games, a PCL-high in 2017…He’s one game shy of tying the franchise record…Mauricio Dubon and Andrew Susac each had two hits…Susac led the way with two RBI…Matt Ramsey allowed six runs in two-thirds of an inning and took his first Triple-A loss…
Play of the Game –
For the Sox the play of the game was Chris Colabello’s pinch-hit solo homer in the seventh inning, but there’s no video evidence of it! The play of the game overall would be the Kristopher Negron three-run double in the ninth, here it is…
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Kirk Nieuwenhuis –
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (60-37) vs. Reno Aces (58-42) – 1:30 p.m.
Sky Sox Starter: Right-hander Bubba Derby will make his sixth Triple-A start this afternoon in the third of four against the Reno Aces. It will be the first start for Derby against a team outside of the American Conference. He has earned the win in two of his first five outings with the Sox this season. Overall with the Sox he’s allowed seven runs on 20 hits in 27 innings. He’s walked five and fanned 22. In 18 games and two starts with Biloxi, Derby went 2-1 with a 2.88 ERA, allowing 16 runs on 40 hits in 50 innings.
Derby was selected by the Athletics in the sixth round of the 2015 draft out of San Diego State University and was acquired by the Brewers, along with catcher Jacob Nottingham, in the trade that sent Khris Davis to Oakland. In 63 MiLB outings, 42 starts, the righty is 11-15 with a 4.02 ERA.
Last Time Out – July 17 – No decision vs. Omaha –
Derby worked against Omaha for the third time this season and was, again, very good. He allowed a run on three hits over five and one third innings, it came on a Logan Moon solo homer. He walked one and fanned three on 63 pitches, 45 of which went for strikes.
Aces Starting Arm: Well-traveled righty Jake Buchanan will look to improve upon his 3-2 PCL record when he makes his fourth start of the season with the Aces, and 12 in the PCL overall, tonight against Colorado Springs. Buchanan has pitched for Iowa, Louisville (Reds AAA in the International league) and now finds himself with the Aces. He is a combined 3-2 with a 5.11 ERA in the PCL allowing 36 runs on 63 hits in 56 1/3 innings. He has walked 21 and fanned 36. Buchanan is 1-0 with a 6.14 ERA in three starts with the Aces. Buchanan faced the Sky Sox three times last season and went 0-1 and allowed 11 runs on 15 hits, walked 8 and struck out 13. He squared off against the Sox in Springs on April 27 and allowed three runs, one earned on six hits in five innings when he was with the Cubs.
The Charlotte, NC native was originally drafted by the Astros in the eighth round of the 2010 draft and signed by the Cubs as a free agent in April of 2016. The Cubs DFA’s him in May and the Reds picked him up off waivers, then the righty elected free agency and was picked up by the D-backs and put on the Reno roster. In 183 minor-league games, Buchanan is 53-53 with 4 saves and a 4.18 ERA; he made his big league debut with the ‘Stros in June of 2014 and is 2-3 with a 3.75 ERA in 24 MLB games.
Last Time Out – July 18 – No decision at Salt Lake –
Buchanan took the start in Reno and went the first five innings allowing six runs on six hits to the Bees. He gave up a bomb, hit a batter, walked one and fanned one on 96 pitches, 55 of which went for strikes.
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 28th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he and I will have the call of tonight’s game from Security Service Field beginning at 1:30 p.m. Sky Sox Warmup gets fired up at 1:00 p.m. MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,