Go back to June 24 for a minute. The site? The Shrine on Airline. The teams? Colorado Springs Sky Sox and the New Orleans Baby Cakes. The final score? 1-0 Sox. Now fast forward, two months two the day, to August 24. The site? The Shrine on Airline. The teams? Colorado Springs Sky Sox and the New Orleans Baby Cakes. The final score? 1-0 Sox. Baseball continues to be the best game in the world, for sheer facts and instances like this! Not to mention the records of the two teams are mirror images of one another, with the Sox at 76-52 and the ‘Cakes at 52-76 following Thursday’s game. The win shaved another game off the magic number for Colorado Springs and it now sits at 3.
Brandon Woodruff was optioned from the Brewers to the Sky Sox prior to the game and made the spot start for the visitors. He was slated to go three, maybe four innings, but couldn’t make it out of the third. On the other side it was Mike Kickham for the ‘Cakes and he came out dealing and threw up five zeroes to open the tilt. Woodruff was lifted with two down in the third inning, but didn’t allow a run and Michael Blazek picked up and threw up four scoreless innings of his own.
The scoreless tie continued until the sixth when the Sox broke it up with a single run against Kickham. Mauricio Dubon began the frame with a single and Chris Colabello followed one out later with a single, one of his four hits, and pushed the lead runner to second. Brett Phillips backed that up with another single, which plated Dubon, and made it 1-0 Sox. Rene Garcia loaded the bases with a two-out single, but that was all she wrote for the scoring.
Kickham finished his outing after the sixth and allowed just the one run on eight hits, all singles, and struck out seven. Blazek pitched four scoreless and gave up two hits, walked one and struck out six ‘Cakes. Tristan Archer, Andrew Barbosa, and Rob Scahill combing to throw the final 2 1/3 innings and kept the home team off the board. New Orleans used three arms, Omar Bencomo, Severino Gonzalez, and Hunter Cervenka to prevent the Sox from upping their lead.
The shutout win is the ninth of the season for the Colorado Springs pitching staff and the 11th time the New Orleans bats have been silenced.
Hitting Notes –
The Sox picked up the one run on 10 hits, outhit the Baby Cakes 10-7, and picked up three multi-hit games from the starting nine.
Chris Colabello had himself a night at the dish and went 4-for-4 with three singles and a double. It bumped his average up to .288 and marked his first four-hit affair in the Minors since April 22, 2015 when he completed the feat with Buffalo against Pawtucket.
Brett Phillips went 2-for-4 with the lone RBI of the night on his sixth-inning single.
Rene Garcia also went 2-for-4 with two singles.
Mauricio Dubon had a hit in four trips and scored the only run.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis smacked the second extra-base hit of the game for the Sox with a pinch-hit double in the ninth.
Pitching Notes –
Brandon Woodruff started the game for the Sox and recorded eight outs, allowed four hits, hit a batter, walked one and didn’t record a strikeout on 50 pitches 30 of which went for strikes.
Michael Blazek brought home the well-deserved win with four innings of relief work. He limited the ‘Cakes to three baserunners, two hits and a walk, and fanned six on 59 pitches, 40 strikes. His record bumped up to 3-4.
Tristan Archer and Andrew Barbosa each worked two outs and struck out one, Archer allowed a free pass.
Rob Scahill had to pitch around a one out single and did so by retiring the next two batters in order to end the game and earned his 10th save of the year.
Play of the Game –
The Phillips single and a play by Mauricio Dubon early in the were definitely the front runners for play of the game, but due to MiLB cutting the Colabello two bagger that’s what we have to display today!
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Manager Rick Sweet –
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (76-52) at New Orleans Baby Cakes (52-76) – 6:00 p.m.
Sky Sox Starter: Angel Ventura will make his 13th Triple-A start this evening, and 10th road appearance for the Sky Sox in the second game of the four-game series against the Cakes at Principal Park. 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 6-4 with a 4.15 ERA, giving up 32 runs on 67 hits in 69.1 innings. The righty has walked 21 and fanned 46, while holding opponents to a .257 batting average against. In nine road starts he is 5-4 with a 3.31 ERA allowing 20 runs in 54 1/3 innings. He earned the win at the Shrine on June 22, allowing three runs on five hits in five innings against New Orleans. He is coming off a HEARTBREAKER of a start, which is detailed below.
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 128 MiLB appearances, 66 starts, he is 35-32 with a 3.97 ERA.
Last Time Out – August 17 – Loss at I-Cubs –
Ventura was perfect through six innings in game one of the Sox doubleheader against the Cubs on the 17th. Had not allowed a baserunner. Then, three pitches into the bottom of the seventh John Andreoli took him deep over the wall in left for a walk-off solo shot, snapping the perfecto, the no-no, and the shutty. He finished allowing one run on one hit and fanned three in six-plus innings on 68 pitches, 45 strikes.
Baby Cakes Starting Arm: Righty William Cuevas will make his 13th appearance in a Baby Cakes uniform when he climbs the hill at the Shrine on Airline tonight against the Sox. He began the season with the Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers org.) before electing free agency in early June. Signed by the Marlins, Cuevas was sent to Triple-A and here we are. His first 12 outings have been solid for the Cakes, nine of them have been starts, and two have been against Colorado Springs. He’s 1-1 and has allowed four runs on four hits in 12 2/3 innings against the Sox. Cuevas has allowed 23 runs on 35 hits, he’s given up five homers, hit two batters, walked 19 and fanned 35. He was 2-4 with a 4.06 ERA in the international league prior to his free agency. He faced the Sox in New Orleans on June 25 and pitched six scoreless, one-hit innings earning the win and lost 11 days ago in the Springs.
Cuevas was originally signed by the Red Sox out of Venezuela in 2008. He pitched with the Sox through the 2016 season before electing free agency and going to the Tigers. In 183 MiLB games, 112 starts, Cuevas is 48-47 with six saves a 3.71 ERA, while in four MLB games he’s 0-1 with a 10.13 ERA.
Last Time Out – August 20 – No decision at Memphis –
Cuevas did not factor into the decision and worked just three innings in the start against the Redbirds. He allowed three runs on four hits, hit a batter, walked two and struck out two on 58 pitches, 35 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 the Shrine on Airline at 6:00 p.m. Sky Sox Warmup will get fired up at 5:30 p.m. MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,