The Sky Sox continue to hit the gas and blaze the trail toward their first playoff berth in 20 years. They took another step closed with a 12-2 win over the Dodgers in Sunday’s matinee at Security Service Field. They have now outscored OKC 23-3 in the first two games. Another two games were shave off the magic number and it now sits at nine for the Sox.
Junior Guerra was the star in Sunday’s game as he shutout the Dodgers over the first five and two-third innings and picked up two hits an an RBI at the plate. As far as the rest of the offense, they got things going right away against Wilmer Font, the league’s ERA leader, who struggled earlier this season in a start at Security Service Field.
It was 7-0 after the first four innings, all Sox. Ivan De Jesus doubled home a run in the first inning, Guerra singled home Yadiel Rivera and De Jesus singled home two more in the second. Nate Orf tripled and scored on Rene Garcia’s single in the third. Quintin Berry greeted new pitcher Colt Hynes with a leadoff bomb in the fourth inning and Garcia doubled home another run, 7-zip good guys. Yadiel Rivera singled home a run in the sixth to make it 8-0.
With the game well in hand, the Dodgers finally got on the board with old friend Charlie Culberson taking Tyler Webb deep off the batters eye for OKC’s lone runs of the game.
Four more runs crossed the plate in the eighth to cap off the Sox drubbing of the Dodgers. Orf walked and scored on a Garcia double, Garcia scored on a wild pitch, Rivera scored on Kyle Wren’s single, and Wren on Berry’s single to make it the final score of 12-2.
Guerra earned the win with 5 2/3 strong innings in which he allowed two hits, walked one and struck out five. Tyler Webb was tagged for the homer, while Andrew Barbosa and Wily Peralta each went a scoreless inning.
Hitting Notes –
The Sox banged out 19 hits en route to the 12-2 win and had seven multi-hit games from their starting nine.
Ivan De Jesus helped lead the charge with a 3 hit game. He had two doubles, scored a runs and drove in three.
Rene Garcia had himself a three-hit game and mimicked De Jesus’ line with two doubles, three runs batted in and a run scored.
Nick Noonan went 3-for-5 with a double and run scored.
Quintin Berry made his Sky Sox debut and delivered three hits, smacked a homer, drove in two and scored a run, all the while playing a great center field and making a ton of catches out there.
Kyle Wren led the charge for the two-hit brigade and tallied a double while scoring three runs.
Yadiel Rivera picked up a pair of hits, including a triple, drove in a run and scored two.
Junior Guerra came in 1-for-20 on the 2017 season and tripled his hit output with two hits and an RBI, he also scored a run.
Nate Orf picked up another triple, walked twice and scored a run.
Pitching Notes –
Junior Guerra pitched five and two-third shutout innings and allowed just two hits to the Dodgers. He walked one and struck out five on 90 pitches, 53 of which went for strikes.
Tyler Webb pitched four outs and gave up two runs on three hits and walked two.
Andrew Barbosa and Wily Peralta each allowed a hit in their one inning of work.
Play of the Game –
Guerra’s RBI single was cool, Berry’s glove and bat were nice too…But due to MiLB’s selection, we’ve got a Yadiel Rivera triple to show you!
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Rod Nichols –
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (74-51) vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers (66-61) – 6:40 p.m.
Sky Sox Starter: Right-Hander Paolo Espino readies for start number fourteen and appearance 16 with the Sky Sox and first of his career against the Dodgers when he climbs the hill tonight at Security Service Field. He enters play 4-1 with a 3.88 ERA in 15 PCL outings and has held opponents to a .279 batting average against. He’s allowed 32 runs (30 earned) on 77 hits, walked 14 and fanned 67 in 69.2 innings. He started for the first time since July 22 his last trip to the hill against Iowa. 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 4.82 ERA in 10 home appearances, nine starts.
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 3.74 ERA in 299 MiLB appearances, 197 of which have been starts.
Last Time Out – August 15 – No decision vs. I-Cubs –
Espino worked the first four innings in shutout fashion and allowed three hits, walked and struck out four Cubs on 69 pitches, 35 of which went for strikes.
Dodgers Starting Arm: Justin Marks gets the call to the hill in place of Brock Stewart who was recalled by Los Angeles. Marks has started twice in a row and three times for OKC this season. He enters 3-2 with three saves and a 4.53 ERA in 28 PCL games after he went 4-1 with a 4.60 ERA in nine games with the Durham Bulls (Triple-A Rays). He has faced the Sox twice and has allowed two runs on four hits in four and two-third innings. He’s walked two and fanned six Sky Sox. On the road with OKC he is 2-1 with a 6.29 ERA in 14 games compared to 1-1 with a 2.53 ERA in 14 home games.
Marks was originally drafted by the Athletics in the third round of the 2009 draft out of Louisville. He has logged time for the Athletics, Royals, Rangers, Diamondbacks, Rays and Dodgers. In 213 MiLB games the lefty is 47-68 with 3 saves and a 4.56 ERA, while in six MLB games he is 0-0 with a 3.65 ERA.
Last Time Out – August 16 – Loss at Omaha –
Marks allowed five runs on six hits over three and one-third innings at Werner Park his last time out. He gave up a bomb, walked two and struck out four on a season-high 74 pitches, 45 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 today’s game from Security Service Field at 6:40 p.m. Sky Sox Warmup will get fired up at 6:00 p.m. MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,