After playing just 15 innings in four days against the Round Rock Express, the Sky Sox hope for better weather and more baseball with the New Orleans Baby Cakes coming to town. The former didn’t happen, but the latter did as the Sox and Cakes played a 10-inning affair that wrapped up 6-4 in favor of the visitors. As for the weather part, well, the game-time temp was 66 degrees. It was chilly and overcast and in the seventh there was a 14-minute FOG DELAY! If it’s not one thing, it’s another I guess.
As for the actual game, it was a good one. The Sox jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first against New Orleans righty Scott Copeland. Mauricio Dubon singled, Ivan De Jesus walked and Brett Phillips cashed in Dubon with a single to right, 1-0 Sox. The ‘Cakes would start baking their offense and responded right away with a run of their own in the top of the second against Taylor Jungmann. Brian Anderson walked, Ramon Cabrera singled and Eury Perez followed suit with a knock that scored Anderson to tie the game.
Both starters settled in and were really good the rest of the way. It was Copeland that had a little hiccup in the fourth that allowed the Sox to take the 3-1 lead. After retiring 10 in a row, the New Orleans starter gave up a single to Chris Colabello and a double to Tyler Heineman (a fly ball to left that was misplayed by Perez and should’ve been caught to end the inning) which put two on in scoring position for Yadiel Rivera. The Sox shortstop went the other way with a single that plated a pair and gave the Sox the two-run advantage.
Jungmann polished off his outing after six innings and allowed the one run on five hits, he walked three and fanned five, lowering his ERA to 2.86 in the process. Paolo Espino was slated to start Thursday’s nightcap, but was pushed to the bullpen with the postponement of the tilt. He came on in relief of Jungmann and got the first man he faced to ground out, but walked Peter Mooney, gave up a booming RBI double to the pinch-hitting Moises Sierra, and singles to Steve Lombardozzi and Brandon Barnes, the latter of which tied the game and ended his outing. Tristan Archer came out of the pen and allowed a single to Chris Parmelee, which gave the ‘Cakes their first lead of the game, and then induced a double play to end the seventh, 4-3 New Orleans.
No worries! The Sox bounced back against Kelvin Marte and tied the game three batters into the bottom of the seventh! Kyle Wren singled and was sacrificed to second, then scored on De Jesus’ single that was lifted into the fog before descending back to the diamond in left center. That’s when the game was stalled for 14-minutes due to the low fog cover, just incredible. When play resumed the Sox picked up a double from Nate Orf, but De Jesus was out by a mile at the plate trying to score from first.
All was quiet in the eighth and ninth and on to extras we went. Tyler Cravy came on to pitch the 10th and was greeted by a sinking line drive in center off the bat of Anderson. Lewis Brinson tried to make a sliding catch, but it snuck by him alllll the way to the wall and the Cakes took the 5-4 lead on the inside-the-park homer. Ramon Cabrera singled, was sacrificed to second and scored on a Chad Hinshaw single to left-center to make it 6-4.
Severino Gonzalez came on and locked down the save in the bottom of the 10th throwing 10 pitches, 9 for strikes and fanned all three hitters to end the game.
Hitting Notes –
The Sox scored their four runs on 12 hits and had three multi-hit games in the starting lineup. All but two of the hits were singles.
Ivan De Jesus was on base four times with two hits, two walks, and an RBI. His average progressed to .359 with the two hits.
Brett Phillips had two singles and an RBI, he’s now hitting .312 with the Sox in 2017.
Tyler Heineman went 2-for-5 with a double and run scored. Heineman is one of the Sox hottest hitters, as he’s got his average up to .277 and is 14-for-32 over his last 10 games.
Yadiel Rivera drove in a pair with a single.
Kyle Wren and Mauricio Dubon each singled and scored a run from the top two spots in the lineup.
Nate Orf had a double.
Chris Colabello singled and scored a run.
Lewis Brinson had a pinch-hit single in the ninth.
Pitching Notes –
Taylor Jungmann left in line for his 9th win of the season, but that was quickly dissolved by the bullpen arms behind him. We won’t let that completely spoil what was a tremendous game for the right-hander. He went the first six innings and allowed a run on five hits, walked three and fanned five on 82 pitches, 52 of which went for strikes. His ERA now sits at 2.86.
Paolo Espino picked up an out, but allowed three runs on three hits and a walk in that one-third of an inning.
Tristan Archer allowed the hit that gave New Orleans the 4-3 lead, but induced a double play to end the seventh and his outing.
Wily Peralta struck out two and faced four batters in his one inning.
Rob Scahill gave up a hit and struck out one in his one inning of work.
Tyler Cravy was charged with the two runs in the tenth. He gave up three hits, didn’t walk or strike anyone out.
Play of the Game –
Unfortunately for the Sox, the play of the game was Brian Anderson’s inside-the-park homer from the top of the 10th…
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Manager Rick Sweet –
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (69-45) vs. New Orleans Baby Cakes (46-71) – 6:00 p.m.
Sky Sox Starter: Angel Ventura will make his eleventh Triple-A start this evening, and third home appearance for the Sky Sox in the second of four against the Baby Cakes. 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 6-3 with a 4.01 ERA, giving up 26 runs on 60 hits in 58.1 innings. The righty has walked 17 and fanned 38, while holding opponents to a .269 batting average against. In two home starts, Ventura is 1-0 with a 6.30 ERA allowing seven runs on 14 hits in 10 innings. He faced the Cakes down at the Shrine on Airline on June 22 and picked up the win holding the home team to three runs on five hits in five innings.
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 126 MiLB appearances, 64 starts, he is 35-31 with a 3.95 ERA.
Last Time Out – August 5 – Win at Bees –
Ventura was lights out against the Bees on Saturday and threw six scoreless innings at Smith’s Ballpark. He gave up five hits, didn’t walk anyone and struck out four on 81 pitches, 53 of which went for strikes.
Baby Cakes Starting Arm: Lefty Mike Kickham will opposed the right-hander Ventura in the Saturday night contest along the Front Range. The former Giant has spent the majority of 2017 in Double-A with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, and readies for his fifth appearance, fourth start with the Baby Cakes. He is 1-1 with a 6.23 ERA in PCL play after going 5-7 with a 3.33 ERA in 18 AA appearances, 17 starts. Three of the four appearances for Kickham have been on the road, where he has gone 0-1 with a 7.94 ERA in 11 1/3 innings. He’s faced the Sox one time, back in 2013 in Fresno and went 7 1/3 scoreless against them.
Kickham was originally selected by the Giants in the sixth round of the 2010 draft out of Missouri State. The St. Louis native has pitched for the Giants, Mariners, Rangers, and now Marlins organizations. The lefty saw a lot of early success in his career, ascending to the bigs in 2013, his third full pro season. In 139 minor-league appearances, 120 starts, Kickham is 38-46 with a 4.10 ERA and in 14 MLB appearances, 3 starts, he is 0-3 with a 10.98 ERA.
Last Time Out – August 6 – Win vs. El Paso –
Kickham picked up his first PCL win in years with a solid start against the Chihuahua’s. He allowed a pair of runs on four hits, including a homer, walked two and fanned four on 82 pitches, 52 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 6:00 p.m. Sky Sox Warmup gets fired up at 5:30 p.m. MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,