The Sox arrived home and opened up a series with the Round Rock Express Monday night, however they were dealt Ls from both the Express and Mother Naure in the form of a 9-1, eight inning ballgame at Security Service Field. Only eight innings because of the rain, and 9-1, because the E-Train rolled out nine unanswered against the Sox to wrap it up.
Colorado Springs jumped on the board with a run in the second inning. Nick Noonan singled, moved to second on a bunt by Tyler Heineman and scored on Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ RBI single, 1-0 good guys.
Michael Blazek took the lead to the top of third inning, but Kevin Torres tied it up two pitches into the frame. The catcher, making his Triple-A debut, stepped up for his first plate appearance and took a 1-0 pitch from Blazek over the wall in left-center, off the video board for a solo homer. Tie game. Three batters later with a runner on and one out, Jurickson Profar departed the stadium over the wall in right for a two-run blast and the Express took a 3-1 lead they would not relinquish.
The Express would gather two more runs against the righty in the fourth on three more hits. Travis Snider connected on an RBI double to dead center and made it 4-1 and three hitters later Jared Hoying doubled and brought in Lunchbox, 5-1.
On the other side of the rubber it was James Dykstra throwing strikes and keeping the Sox hitters at bay. He had a great fastball-changeup combo working and the Sox hitters really couldn’t figure it out. After they notched a run in the second, they pitcked up a walk and a hit the next four innings and that was it!
The seventh came along and four more runs crossed the plate for the Express as they sent nine men to the plate, picked up three hits, and were aided by two errors in the inning. Will Middlebrooks delivered an RBI single, then Ronald Guzman picked up an RBI and reached on a fielding error by Chris Colabello to make it 7-1. Tyler Smith followed with a single to center that snuck under Lewis Brinson’s glove and allowed another run to score and Travis Snider’s RBI ground out capped off the scoring at 9-1.
Round Rock went to the ‘pen in the bottom of the inning and called upon Dario Alvarez. He gave up a one out double to Tyler Heineman and Nieuwenhuis followed with a single, but Yadiel Rivera grounded into an inning ending 4-6-3 double play. The lefty pitched around two more baserunners in the eighth and that was all she wrote.
It had been raining since the fifth inning or so, but the Sox and Express played through it as long as they could before it became two much and ended the game after eight innings. The loss snapped the Sox four game winning streak, while the Express have now won their last three.
Hitting Notes –
There wasn’t really much going offensively for the Sox as they picked up the one run on eight hits.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis was the lone Sox hitter to record a multi-hit game and went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Tyler Heineman and Ivan De Jesus each tallied a double.
Brett Phillips and Chris Colabello singled and walked, reaching base twice.
Nick Noonan singled and scored the run for Colorado Springs.
Lewis Brinson picked up a single.
Pitching Notes –
Michael Blazek took the loss for the Sox and allowed five runs on nine hits, didn’t walk anyone and struck out one. He threw 84 pitches, 54 went for strikes.
Tristan Archer had a rough outing that lasted four outs. He gave up four runs, three earned, on three hits, two walks, and one strike out. He uncorked 38 pitches, 21 strikes.
Tim Dillard proved to be the most effective pitcher and recorded five hitless, scoreless outs, walking one and fanning one.
Play of the Game –
Pretty simple for the Sox…Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ RBI single in the second inning was the play of the game. For visual stimulation, here’s Profar’s homer from the third inning.
Pregame Interview with Dan Acheson and Round Rock RHP Sam Wolff –
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (68-44) vs. Round Rock Express (54-61) – 4:00 p.m. – Doubleheader
Sky Sox Starter: Right-hander Junior Guerra returns to Security Service Field for the first time since 2016 when he climbs the hill in game one of the twinbill tonight. It will be his third start with the Sox this season as on May 20 he fulfilled a rehab assignment with the team against Albuquerque and pitched in Salt Lake on the last road trip. He made the Opening Day start for the Brewers in 2017 and is 1-4 with a 4.96 ERA in 13 starts with the Crew, but is down in Triple-A searching for lost velocity. He enters 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA in two starts with the Sky Sox.
Guerra made five starts with the Sky Sox a year ago, four to begin the year and one rehabbing appearance in August. He compiled a record of 0-2 with a 4.05 ERA in 26 2/3 innings. In 36 MLB appearances, 33 starts, he is 10-7 with a 3.60 ERA and in 80 MiLB games, 24 starts, he is 7-17 with 11 saves and a 3.91 ERA.
Last Time Out – August 1 – Win at Bees –
Guerra went the first five innings and limited the Bees offense to a run on three hits. He walked four and fanned two on 85 pitches, 35 of which went for strikes.
Express Starting Arm: Right-Hander Tyler Wagner is slated to get the start for the Express in the second game of the series, tonight at Security Service Field. It will be his 23rd appearance and 20th start of the season. The former Brewers farmhand enters 3-9 with two saves and a 6.46 ERA and is 2-0 over his last four starts. Overall he has allowed 83 runs (78 earned) on 130 hits in 108 2/3 innings. He’s given up 20 homers, hit three batters, walked 48 and fanned 77. Opponents are hitting .298 against the Las Vegas, Nevada native. He is 2-7 with a away from Dell Diamond and has given up 61 runs on 89 hits in 60 2/3 innings on the road. He faced the Sox on June 8 in the Springs and lasted 3 1/3 innings and allowed 9 runs on11 hits, walked two and fanned three. Oddly enough he didn’t factor into the decision, as the Express won 14-10.
Wagner was originally drafted by the Brewers in the fourth round of the 2012 draft out of Utah. He spent the first four years of his career with the Crew and made his MLB debut with Milwaukee in May 2015 before being traded to Arizona in the 2015 offseason in a deal that sent him and Jean Segura to the D-backs in exchange for Chase Anderson, Aaron Hill, and Isan Diaz. Texas claimed Wagner off of waivers this past offseason. In 118 MiLB outings, 112 starts, Wagner is 39-36 with two saves and a 3.56 ERA, while the righty is 1-2 with a 4.94 ERA in six big-leauge games.
Last Time Out – August 3 – Win vs. Albuquerque –
Wagner pitched into the seventh inning and limited the ‘Topes to a run on two hits. Ryan McMahon’s solo shot was the only blemish on Wagner’s line. He walked three and struck out four in six and one-third innings. He fired off 91 pitches, 52 went for strikes in the Express’ 6-1 win.
Sky Sox Starter: Right-Hander Paolo Espino readies for start number thirteen and appearance 14 with the Sky Sox and first of his career against the Express when climbs the hill tonight at Security Service Field. He enters play 4-1 with a 3.72 ERA in 13 PCL outings and has held opponents to a .275 batting average against. He’s allowed 29 runs (27 earned) on 71 hits, walked nine and fanned 63 in 65.1 innings. He came out of the bullpen for the first time with the Sox against the Bees on August 4. In six MLB appearances, he’s logged 17 2/3 innings and given up 13 runs on 17 hits, five homers, three hit batters, eight walks and 13 strikeouts. He made his big-league debut on May 19 where he went four innings for the Brewers at Chicago, he didn’t record a decision. He is 3-0 with a 4.27 ERA in nine home starts this season.
Espino was signed by the Brewers as a free agent in November, marking the fourth franchise he has been with. He was originally selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 10th round of the 2010 draft and spent the first seven years of his career there before joining the Cubs’ franchise late 2013. He was released by Chicago prior to the 2014 season and signed with the Nationals as a free agent where he pitched 2014-16. Last season saw the 30-year old righty go 8-11 with a 3.30 ERA in 26 Triple-A starts with Syracuse. Espino is 76-64 with a 3.73 ERA in 297 MiLB appearances, 196 of which have been starts.
Last Time Out – August 1 – Bullpen appearance vs. Bees –
Espino backed up Junior Guerra in Salt Lake and went two innings of scoreless relief. He allowed three hits and struck out four on 32 pitches, 21 went for strikes.
Express Starting Arm: Anthony Bass readies for the game two start against the Sky Sox. It will mark his 15 appearance and 10th start with Round Rock. He enters 1-2 with a 4.00 ERA through his first 14, allowing 30 runs (24 earned) on 58 hits in 54 innings, he’s walked 20 and fanned 65. He has also made three appearances with the AZL Rangers and two in the Big Leagues where he allowed 9 runs in 5 2/3 innings.
Bass was originally drafted by the Padres in the 5th round of the 2008 draft out of Wayne State University. He has pitched in the San Diego, Houston, and now Texas organizations. In 149 minor league outings, 98 starts, he’s accrued a 34-28 record with eight saves and a 3.56 ERA and in 131 MLB appearances, 18 starts, he’s 5-9 with three saves and a 4.60 ERA.
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 28th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he and I will have the call of tonight’s games from Security Service Field beginning at 4:00 p.m. Sky Sox Warmup gets fired up at 3:30 p.m. MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,