The Sky Sox had 10 moves prior to Friday’s game. TEN MOVES. Each one was more than welcomed and many had an impact in the Sox 4-3 win over Salt Lake. The Sox improved to 66-43, back to 23-games above .500 and increased their lead to 8.5 games over OKC, while their elimination number decreased to 24.
The Sox jumped out to a 1-0 lead thanks to three straight one-out singles in the top of the first inning. Mauricio Dubon, Lewis Brinson, and Brett Phillips connected on the knocks against lefty John Lamb, propelling the Sox to a lead they would build on and never relinquish. In fact, Chris Colabello walked and Nate Orf backed him up with a two-run homer, his sixth of the season, and two batters into the top of the second it was 3-0 Sox.
Junior Guerra worked through traffic in each of the four innings, but allowed just one run in the fourth. David Fletcher smacked a double to center, stole third and scored on Nick Franklin’s sacrifice fly. That would be all the damage done against the righty as he polished off his outing with a perfect fifth and ended his outing on the high note.
The Sox would get a HUGE insurance run in the top of the sixth courtesy of a leadoff double from Orf and a one out double off the bat of Rene Garcia, 4-1 Springs.
Paolo Espino came out of the bullpen to relieve Guerra and picked up right where the starter left off. He pitched around a one out single and fanned the side in the sixth and worked through two singles in the seventh to keep the lead 4-1 Sox. Jeanmar Gomez tossed a scoreless eighth and Tyler Cravy was called upon for the ninth.
Nick Franklin led off the final frame with a single and was later replaced on the basepaths by Eric Young Jr. One on, two out and up stepped Rey Navarro. The Bee stung a ball to right that got out of Smith’s Ballpark for a two-run homer, 4-3 Sox. See, I told you that insurance run from the sixth would come in handy… Jefry Marte would pop out to second and end the game, Cravy with the save.
Hitting Notes –
The Sox banged out four runs on 13 hits and had three players in the starting lineup had multi-hit games including…
Nate Orf who was a perfect 4-for-4 at the dish with two singles, a double, and home run. He drove in two and scored two runs. What a season he is having! .306 with a career-high six homers and 55 RBI.
Brett Phillips went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Mauricio Dubon had two singles and scored a run in five trips to the plate.
Chris Colabello walked, singled and scored a run.
Rene Garcia delivered the big insurance run with an RBI double in the sixth.
Yadiel Rivera went 1-for-4 with a double.
Pitching Notes –
Junior Guerra was solid in his return to the Sox and worked five innings of one-run ball and earned the win. He allowed three hits, walked four, and struck out two on 85 pitches, 39 went for strikes.
Paolo Espino worked two scoreless out of the pen and allowed three hits while striking out four on 32 pitches, 21 went for strikes.
Jeanmar Gomez pitches a scoreless eighth and struck out the side, while allowing a hit.
Tyler Cravy pitched around the two-run homer in the ninth to get his third save of the season.
Play of the Game –
Nate Orf’s sixth homer of the season, a two-run blast in the second, takes the cake for our play of the game!
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Chris Colabello (pt. 1) –
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (66-43) at Salt Lake Bees (58-54) – 7:05 p.m.
Sky Sox Starter: Angel Ventura will make his tenth Triple-A start this evening, and eighth road appearance for the Sky Sox in the third of four against the Bees. 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 5-3 with a 4.47 ERA, giving up 26 runs on 55 hits in 52.1 innings. The righty has walked 17 and fanned 34, while holding opponents to a .276 batting average against. His seven road starts have tallied up to a 4-3 record and a 4.04 ERA as he’s allowed 19 runs on 41 hits in 42.1 innings away from Security Service Field.
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 125 MiLB appearances, 63 starts, he is 34-31 with a 4.00 ERA.
Last Time Out – July 30 – Loss vs. 51s –
Ventura worked five and one-third innings and took the loss against the 51s, allowing six runs on nine hits, two homers; he walked one and struck out five on 91 pitches, 55 of which went for strikes.
Bees Starting Arm: Right-hander Luis Diaz makes the start for Salt Lake tonight at Smith’s Ballpark. In his first season with the Angels organization and first in Triple-A, Diaz is 4-9 with a 5.54 ERA in 16 starts with the Bees. In 19 starts combined between Double-A Mobile and Salt Lake, he is 6-9 with a 0.00 ERA. In 78 Triple-A innings he’s allowed 60 runs, 48 earned on 91 hits, 10 of which have left the yard. He’s walked 34, fanned 72 and opponents are hitting .300 against the righty from Venezuela. HE has not faced the Sky Sox in his career and is 1-4 with a 7.18 ERA in the rarified air of Salt Lake City.
Diaz was originally signed by the Red Sox as a non-drafted free agent in August 2008. He pitched in the Boston system through the 2015 season, then it was on to the Padres for 2016 and now on to the Angels system for 2017. In 167 MiLB outings, 146 starts, the 25-year old is 38-52 with two saves and a 4.10 ERA.
Last Time Out – July 29 – Loss at Nashville –
Diaz took the loss and worked five innings, allowing two runs on five hits. He gave up a homer, hit two batters, walked two and struck out seven on a season-high 107 pitches, 64 of which went for strikes.
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 28th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he will have the call of tonight’s game from Smith’s Ballpark beginning at 7:05 p.m. I will get Sky Sox Warmup fired up at 6:30 p.m. MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,