Paolo Espino threw a scoreless outing and Ryan Cordell reached safely in four at-bats to lead the Colorado Springs Sky Sox to a 4-1 win over the Sacramento River Cats in front of 8,295 at Security Service Field Friday night.
Making his seventh start of 2017, Espino (4-0, 2.54) threw 5.1 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out six River Cats (13-21). In his five starts at Security Service Field, the right-hander owns a 2.67 earned run average, allowing eight earned runs in 27 innings.
Tristan Archer allowed one hit and struck out two in 2.2 scoreless innings of relief, while Michael Blazek closed out the game by allowing one run in one inning of work.
The Sox (21-9) jumped out to an early lead in the first inning, lining three doubles down the left field line to take a 2-0 lead. Garrett Cooper lined the third two-bagger to score Kyle Wren and Cordell with one out to record the seventh game in the past eight with at least one RBI for the first baseman.
The hosts added to their lead in the third inning. After Wren led off with a triple to deep centerfield, Cordell grounded a single under the diving Ryder Jones at third base. The Sox third baseman drove in his 22nd run of the season and put himself in scoring position after stealing second and advancing on a throwing error from catcher Tim Federowicz. Two innings later, Brett Phillips flared a single over the drawn-in infield to increase the lead to 4-0.
Colorado Springs and Sacramento continue their lone 2017 season series Saturday night at 6 p.m. MT, when RHP Brandon Woodruff (5-0, 1.83) duels with RHP Joan Gregorio (1-2, 1.87) in a battle of sub-2.00 ERAs. The weekend nightcap is the second straight Military Appreciation Night of the season, dedicated to the men and women of Fort Carson, with special patriotic jerseys and a fireworks show following the game.