Finally! The Sky Sox were able to get back in action on the road after two straight cancellations on Sunday and Monday. The good news is they have already clinched the PCL’s American Northern Division, the not so good news is that Round Rock scored four runs in the seventh inning and held on for the 4-1 win in the opener of the Sox final road series.
Aaron Brooks took the hill for the first time as a member of the Brewers and Sky Sox and pitched well. He logged four scoreless innings, scattered four hits, and struck out one. He threw 46 pitches, 30 went for strikes. All of the pitchers were somewhat limited due to the layoff and may continue to be over the next few days. On the other side of the bump it was Clayton Blackburn putting up four scoreless for his squad in the starting role.
The battle of the bullpens began swell for the Sky Sox who faced their former mate Paolo Espino in the fifth. The righty was traded from the Brewers to the Rangers on Saturday and was making his Express debut. Espino was tagged for a run in his first frame as he walked Nate Orf, gave up a double to Tyler Heineman, and Mauricio Dubon’s sac fly put the Sox on the board, 1-0.
Round Rock was kept off the board until the seventh where they plated four runs and never looked back. Wei-Chung Wang started the seventh and was greeted by a Jared Hoying single and Ronald Guzman double before recording two straight outs, one of which plated a run to tie the game, to end his outing. Wily Peralta took over in relief and walked the first man he faced and then upped stepped Jurickson Profar. He hit a sharp grounder to second that was too hot for Dubon and one run came across to give the Express the lead. Old friend Doug Bernier ripped a single to center and drove in another pair to make it 4-1 Express.
Hitting Notes –
The Sox picked up a run on four hits, three of which were singles.
Tyler Heineman went 1-for-3 with a double.
Yadiel Rivera, Kyle Wren, and Ivan De Jesus picked up singles.
Nate Orf walked and scored a run.
Mauricio Dubon’s sac fly gave him the lone RBI.
Pitching Notes –
Aaron Brooks worked the first four innings in scoreless fashion. He allowed four hits and struck out one on 46 pitches, 30 went for strikes in his Sky Sox debut.
Michael Blazek was the first out of the pen and worked two scoreless, allowing a hit, a walk, and fanning one.
Wei-Chung Wang gave up the tying run, but was charged for an unearned run as well in his two-thirds of an inning. He dropped to 6-2 with the loss.
Wily Peralta was tagged for two unearned runs on a hit and a walk in his one out outing.
Rob Scahill pitched a scoreless eighth and allowed a hit.
Play of the Game –
There wasn’t much to celebrate for the Sox, so the play of the game goes to former Sky Sox Doug Bernier who plated a pair with one swing of the bat.
Pregame Interview with Dan Acheson and Willy Calhoun –
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (77-54) at Round Rock Express (62-70) – 6:00 p.m.
Game Notes / Listen Live at 5:30 p.m.
Pitching Probables: RHP Junior Guerra (2-2, 2.45) at RHP Adrian Sampson (0-0, 0.00)
Sky Sox Starter: Right-hander Junior Guerra will be called upon to start the second game of the three-game series against the Express tonight at Dell Diamond. It will be his sixth start with the Sox this season as on May 20 he fulfilled a rehab assignment with the team against Albuquerque and has subsequently made four starts since joining the roster on July 30. 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 and command. He enters 2-2 with a 2.45 ERA in five starts with the Sky Sox and has allowed 8 runs (7 earned) on 25 hits in 25 2/3 innings. On the road he has established a 1-2 record and a 3.52 ERA.
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 83 MiLB games, 27 starts, he is 8-18 with 11 saves and a 3.73 ERA.
Last Time Out – August 20 – Win vs. Dodgers –
Guerra was outstanding his last trip to the mound and worked 5 2/3 scoreless innings and allowed just two hits to the second-place Dodgers. He walked one and struck out five on 90 pitches, 53 went for strikes.
Express Starting Arm: Right-hander Adrian Sampson gets the call to make his Round Rock debut tonight in the middle game of the three game series against the Sox. Sampson has made six starts this season, four in rookie ball, two in the Carolina League as he continues to climb back from right elbow surgery, which sidelined him in June 2016. The surgery was to reattach the flexor bundle in his right elbow. Ow.
Sampson was originally drafted by the Pirates in the fifth round of the 2012 draft out of Bellevue, Washington. He has appeared in 111 minor-league games, 108 starts, and is 34-33 with a 4.03 ERA. In one MLB start he is 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA allowing four runs on eight hits in four and two-third innings with the Mariners. He was hurt warming up for his second MLB start.
Last Time Out – Has not pitched for Round Rock this season –
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 28th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he will have the call of tonight’s game from Dell Diamond at 5:30 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,