The Sox entered play Monday riding a three-game losing streak for the fifth time this season, never losing four straight. That trend would continue as Colorado Springs put forth a complete effort with solid pitching, timely big plays defensively and drove in nine runs on 15 hits in the 9-3 win over the 51s at Cashman field. Here we are on August first and the Sox have never had a losing streak of more than three games – holy moly, add it to the list of great accomplishments.
For the second straight night the Sox jumped out to the early lead, notching a pair of runs in the top of the first inning on a Nick Noonan double that plated both Brett Phillips and Nate Orf, giving pitcher Taylor Jungmann a little wiggle room to work with.
The righty took the hill in the bottom of the first and worked around a leadoff single, with a little help from his friends. Phillips made a remarkable catch in center and Tyler Heineman threw out Gavin Cecchini trying to steal second before Dominic Smith fanned on a bender to wrap up the side.
Perhaps a little bit of deja vu set in for the Sky Sox as Las Vegas ran off and took the lead with single runs in the second, fourth and fifth innings against Jungmann. Jio Mier brought in the first run with an RBI single, Travis Taijeron’s solo homer in the fourth made it 2-2, and Kevin Plawecki’s sac fly in the fifth gave the home team its first advantage of the game, 3-2.
Jungmann’s outing came to an end after five solid innings, despite being on the hook. HOWEVAH… The Sox bats woke up and banged a four-spot out in the top of the sixth reversing the fate of Jungmann and they never looked back.
The Sox sent nine men to the plate and plated four of them on a Chris Colabello two-run single, a Tyler Bortnick sacrifice fly and Kyle Wren RBI knock. Another two scored in the seventh on Nick Noonan’s RBI ground out and another Colabello single. Yadiel Rivera would walk with the sacks packed in the ninth to make it the final of 9-3.
Jungmann wasn’t the only solid arm used by the Sox last night as Tim Dillard and David Goforth worked the final four innings in scoreless fashion.
Hitting Notes –
The Sox scored nine runs on 15 hits and had five multi-hit affairs from the guys in the starting lineup.
Chris Colabello had a big night with three hits, three RBI and a run scored.
Brett Phillips also had three hits, including a double, scored three runs, and walked to reach base four times.
Nick Noonan went 2-for-4 with a double, three RBI, two runs scored and a walk.
Tyler Heineman went 2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored.
Kyle Wren had two hits in six chances from the top spot in the lineup.
Nate Orf walked, singled and scored two runs.
Mauricio Dubon went 1-for-5 and Taylor Jungmann singled in his two trips to the dish.
Pitching Notes –
Taylor Jungmann went the first five innings and allowed three runs on seven hits, walked a pair, gave up a homer, and fanned seven on 85 pitches, 54 of which went for strikes.
Tim Dillard was added to the roster before the game and did nothing, but toss three innings of scoreless ball. He limited the Aliens to two hits, walked one and struck out four.
David Goforth cleaned up with a scoreless ninth allowing a hit and a walk.
Play of the Game –
I wish Las Vegas had a true MiLB system, I really do, because Brett Phillips put on a clinic in centerfield. He made a great grab on the run in the first and then HOSED Josh Rodriguez trying to stretch a double into a triple later in the game, 8-to-5. With no video proof, we settle for a Phillips double.
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Frank Viola –
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (64-42) at Las Vegas 51s (40-69) – 8:05 p.m.
Sky Sox Starter: Right-hander Michael Blazek returns to the Sox and readies for his readies for his eleventh start of the season, and first appearance with the Springs since a start against Omaha on June 28. The Las Vegas native has a 2-2 record and 3.13 ERA through his first 20 appearances of the season. Blazek has been tagged for 23 runs on 58 hits, walked 25 and fanned 52 in 63 1/3 innings. Opponents are hitting .245 against the righty. He has been very good in the starting role going 2-2 with a 2.89 ERA and enters play today 0-1 with a 2.75 ERA away from home. He comes back from Milwaukee where he went 0-1 with an 8.31 ERA in five games, one start.
Originally selected by the Cardinals in the 37th round of the 2007 draft, Blazek has pitched for both the Cardinals and Brewers organizations. He is 41-44 with 15 saves and a 4.04 ERA in 237 minor league outings, 98 of which have been starts, and 8-6 with a 4.39 ERA in 105 MLB games.
Last Time Out – July 27 – Loss at Washington –
Blazek was in the news for all the wrong reasons as the Nats tagged him for nine runs, eight earned on 12 hits, six of which were homers, in two and one-third innings. He walked one and struck out four on 61 pitches, 41 of which went for strikes.
51s Starting Arm: Twenty-five year old right-hander Ricky Knapp readies for his 23rd start of the season tonight against the Sky Sox. He is 5-12 with a 6.41 ERA through his first 22 starts this season. The Port Charlotte, Florida native has allowed 95 runs on 164 hits in 125 innings. Sixteen homers have been hit against him, he’s hit three batters, walked 31 and struck out 62, while opponents are hitting .315 against him. He will be facing the Sox for the first time in his career and is 1-6 with a 7.83 ERA in 10 home starts.
Knapp was drafted by the Mets in the eighth round of the 2013 draft out of Florida Gulf Coast University and has steadily progressed through the system, although waiting to make his MLB debut. The righty is 33-31 with four saves and a 4.01 ERA in 110 MiLB outings, 83 starts.
Last Time Out – July 27 – Win at Nashville –
Knapp is working on two solid starts in a row. Last time out he turned in six and two-third strong innings, allowing a run on five hits, he walked one and fanned four on 98 pitches, 63 went for strikes. In his last two starts (both on the road) he has combined to go 13.2 innings and allow three runs on 9 hits.
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 28th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he will have the call of tonight’s game from Cashman Field beginning at 8:05 p.m. I will get Sky Sox Warmup fired up at 7:30 p.m. MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,