Good riddance! That’s what we say to the Reno Aces who dealt the Sky Sox just their third home series loss via a 12-5 defeat last night at Security Service Field. The loss marks the third straight for Colorado Springs and shrinks the division lead to 6.5 games over the OKC Dodgers.
Rehabbing right-hander Brandon Woodruff got the start for the Sox and was rudely greeted by an eight-run first inning. EIGHT-RUN FIRST INNING. Woodruff missed with the first six pitches of the game and in a blink the first two reached on a walk and a single. The righty bounced back to fan Christian Walker for the first out and got a grounder to short from Zack Borenstein, but Mauricio Dubon booted the grounder and allowed one run to score and the inning continued.
A walk, three-run triple, RBI single, single, fielder’s choice, E4, and two-run double followed which upped the lead to 8-0. Two outs into the game it was 8-zip and Woodruff’s evening came to a close. Andrew Barbosa came out of the pen and induced a fly out to center off the bat of Walker to end the inning.
After being hit in the mouth by the top of the first, the Sox responded with three runs of their own in the bottom half, all with two down. Matt Koch retired Kyle Wren and Mauricio Dubon with relative ease before getting to the heart of the Sox order and running into trouble. Lewis Brinson sparked the rally with a triple, Nate Orf singled him in to make it 8-1. Keon Broxton almost left the yard, but settled for an opposite field double, making it 8-2. Nick Noonan plated Broxton with yet another triple, the THIRD combined three-bagger in the first inning, 8-3 Reno.
You’re probably thinking, “Buckle up it’s going to be a super long blog if 11 runs were scored in the first…” BUT that wont be the case as things settled down and the other six runs from the game were scored in the eighth and ninth innings.
Barbosa proved to be the most valuable asset once again and threw three and one-third perfect innings against the Aces. He earned the win with three perfect innings on Friday. What a stud. Jeanmar Gomez worked two scoreless, as did Tristan Archer, getting it to the ninth inning.
Koch settled in for the Aces and pitched into the fifth, but had to be lifted due to an apparent injury in the fifth, thus the bullpen was called upon. Aaron Laffey was first and went two scoreless and Erik Davis weaved his way through the seventh without allowing a run.
The Sox scraped together an unearned run on a hit in the eighth to cut the deficit to 8-4, but Reno responded with a four-spot against Tom Wilhelmsen in the top of the ninth on four hits, the biggest of which was Jack Reinheimer’s two-run double. The Sox got another run in the bottom of the inning on a Nick Noonan ground out to make it the final of 12-5.
Hitting Notes –
The Sox picked up their five runs on 11 hits in the series finale. Hitters 3-6 in the lineup all tallied multi-hit affairs.
Keon Broxton took his optioning to Colorado Springs in stride and reached base five times in his first game back. He played center and went 3-for-3 with a double and two singles, walked twice, scored a run and plated one, too. Nice return for Keon, great to have him back!
Nick Noonan had two hits, including an RBI triple, and drove in a pair.
Lewis Brinson filled the three-hole nicely with two extra-base hits, a double and triple, two runs scored and a walk.
Nate Orf went 2-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI from the cleanup spot.
Kyle Wren went 1-for-5 in the leadoff spot and Chris Colabello had the other hit, a double, and scored a run.
Pitching Notes –
Brandon Woodruff threw 35 pitches, 22 went for strikes, but only recorded two outs. He allowed eight runs (only four earned, thanks to two errors) on five hits, walked two and struck out one.
Andrew Barbosa was perfect for 10 outs and got them on 43 pitches, 27 strikes.
Jeanmar Gomez allowed a hit over two scoreless innings.
Tristan Archer bounced back nicely with two shutout frames. He allowed three hits, but induced two double plays and struck out two.
Tom Wilhelmsen allowed four runs on four hits in the ninth. He walked one and fanned one on 20 pitches, 12 went for strikes.
Play of the Game –
There wasn’t much for the Sox to celebrate last night, but the bottom of the first inning was a good one with the RBI hits from Orf, Broxton, and Noonan. Broxton’s ribby double would be our play of the game. There’s no video of that, though so we go with Medrano’s 3-run triple from the first to visually stimulate you.
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Mike Lansing –
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (60-39) vs. Tacoma Rainiers (52-50) – 6:40 p.m.
Sky Sox Starter: Angel Ventura will make his eighth Triple-A start this evening, and second home appearance for the Sky Sox in the first of four against the Rainiers. He made his debut against the El Paso Diablos (Chihuahuas) on May 17 for the Sox and earned the win in West Texas. He enters play 4-2 with a 4.17 ERA, giving up 19 runs on 39 hits in 41.0 innings. The righty has walked 16 and fanned 26, while holding opponents to a .258 batting average against. He comes off a rough outing against the Storm Chasers on July 18 where he gave up seven runs on seven hits in five innings. His one start at home came against the Storm Chasers (go figure!) and he allowed six runs on seven hits in four innings. He walked four and struck out four.
Ventura began the season in Biloxi and was 3-5 with a 3.48 ERA in eleven games, nine of which were starts. He was named a Southern League All-Star for his work with the Shuckers. The 24-year old was signed by the Brewers in 2011 and has steadily progressed each year. In 123 MiLB appearances, 61 starts, he is 33-30 with a 3.96 ERA.
Last Time Out – July 18 – Loss at Omaha –
Ventura took his first loss in five starts and allowed seven runs on seven hits in five innings. The chasers tagged two homers against him, he walked two and fanned two on 79 pitches, 51 went for strikes.
Rainiers Starting Arm: Fellow righty Casey Lawrence readies for his first career start against the Sky Sox tonight along the Front Range. The McSherrystown, PA native enters 2-3 with a 3.44 ERA in 10 PCL appearances, 6 starts, and 3-3 with a 3.03 ERA in 13 Triple-A appearances between Triple-A Buffalo (TOR) and the Rainiers. The righty was DFA’d by the Blue Jays on May 8 and claimed off waivers by the Mariners on May 11. In 62.1 Triple-A innings, Lawrence has allowed 22 runs, 21 earned, on 51 hits, 7 homers, 2 hit batters, 11 walks and 46 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting .222 against him. He made his MLB debut for the Blue Jays this year and is 0-3 with a 7.04 ERA in 10 appearances in the Show between Toronto and Seattle.
Lawrence went undrafted out of Albright College and was signed by the Blue Jays as a free agent in June 2010. He is currently in his eighth professional season and has accumulated a 66-63 record with a 3.78 ERA in 182 appearances, 167 starts. In 10 MLB appearances he is 0-3 with a 7.04 ERA.
Last Time Out – July 19 – Loss at Albuquerque –
Lawrence allowed three runs on four hits over 7 2/3 innings and was dealt the loss by the Isotopes. He gave up two homers, didn’t walk anyone and fanned six on 90 pitches, 68 went for strikes. Over his last two outings he is 0-2, BUT has only yielded four runs on eight hits in 15 innings. He’s walked two and fanned nine during that span.
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 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,