May 13, 2010 12:18 AM
In a hotly contested match, the Sky Sox recovered from their early scuffles to trump the Isotopes, 11-5 Wednesday night on Bark in the Park night at Security Service Field.
The Isotopes got out to a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first, as Albuquerque left fielder Xavier Paul launched a long, two-out solo home run to right.
The Sky Sox answered back in the bottom half of the inning, however.
A leadoff double to right by center fielder Chris Frey led the Sox to manufacture the tying run - Frey advancing to third on a Chris Nelson sacrifice bunt, scoring on a Matt Miller groundout to second.
The club continued swinging hot sticks, however, as Brad Eldred crushed his fourth homer of the season to left field, putting the Sox up 2-1 with two down in the frame. The team would score once more as Jay Payton batted in Chris Iannetta from first with a long triple down the right field line, the Sox third and final tally of the inning.
The lead would be short lived, however, as the Isotopes would strike back in the top of the second. Building on a leadoff single by right fielder Prentice Redman and one-out double by Russell Mitchell, shortstop Chin-lung Hu smoked a single through the right side of the infield that just got through Sox second baseman Warren Schaeffer. Both baserunners scored, knotting the game at 3-3. A Jamie Hoffman single through the left side with two outs would put the ‘Topes up 4-3 as the Sox headed to bat in the bottom of the second.
The ‘Topes tacking on another run in the third to go up 5-3, Sky Sox shortstop Chris Nelson answered back in the bottom half, bringing the Springs within one with a solo shot to left center on a 3-1 fastball. The next batter, Matt Miller, singled through the left side to extend his hitting streak to 20 games. Miller would score two batters later on a Jay Payton double, tying the game at five apiece.
The contest fraught with lead changes in the early innings, the Sox would go ahead 6-5 in the bottom of the fourth on a Chris Frey RBI triple to right - the fourth time the lead changed hands in the game. Frey scoring later in the frame on a Matt Miller ground out, a bases loaded Jay Payton walk would make the score 8-5 before the inning reached its conclusion.
The offenses took a breather following the outburst as neither team was able to crack the run column until the Sky Sox plated one in the bottom of the seventh, extending their lead to 9-5.
The CoSox would plate two more runs in the eighth before the game went final, 11-5, following a scoreless ninth.
Sox' starter Kurt Birkins (1-2, 15.43) was credited with the win while Josh Towers (2-4, 6.19) took the loss. The Sky Sox improve to 18-15 with the victory, first place in the Pacific North.
The two teams will face off Thursday for the third game of the series. First pitch is scheduled for 11:05 AM.