The Colorado Springs Sky Sox snapped their three-game losing streak and gained another game in the standings during their 7-3 win over the Iowa Cubs in front of 10,808 at Principal Park Friday night.
Iowa jumped out to a 1-0 lead after one inning of play, but the Sky Sox (72-51) responded and broke their long scoreless drought with two runs in the top of the second to take a 2-1 lead. The first three Sox reached on hits against Iowa starter Pierce Johnson, capped by Nick Noonan’s two-run single to score Chris Colabello and Nate Orf.
The Cubs (61-64) tied the game with a second sacrifice fly in the seventh inning, but the visitors responded with a second two-run inning in the eighth to re-gain the lead. In his first at-bat since coming in as a defensive substitute in the seventh inning, Ivan De Jesus grounded the 1-2 offering from David Garner to score Brett Phillips, who doubled to lead off the inning.
Two batters later, Rene Garcia lined a RBI single to right field to score De Jesus for a key insurance run. Kirk Nieuwenhuis then struck out with the bases loaded, but Dillon Maples unleashed a wild pitch, allowing Noonan to score. On the throwdown to first base, catcher Taylor Davis committed a throwing error to plate Garcia and complete the four-run eighth inning.
The Sox responded to an Iowa score for the third time of the night with a run in the ninth inning. Phillips led off with a walk before stealing both second and third base. Later in the Colabello at-bat, a passed ball by Davis allowed Phillips to re-extend the Colorado Springs lead to four runs.
Michael Blazek allowed one earned run and scattered three hits in four innings of work in his second start since re-joining the Sky Sox, benefiting from a pair of inning-ending double plays. Tristan Archer struck out four of the six batters faced in 1.2 innings of relief, while Andrew Barbosa, Tyler Cravy (6-4, 5.36 ERA) and Rob Scahill combined for the final 3.1 innings out of the bullpen.
The Sox win combined with Omaha’s 10-1 victory over Oklahoma City increased the American North division lead to seven games, dropping the Dodgers’ elimination number to 11 ahead of the four-game series between the two clubs in Colorado.
The Oklahoma City Dodgers come to Security Service Field for the final time in 2017 in a key divisional series with the postseason a couple weeks away. RHP Bubba Derby (3-0, 3.69 ERA) looks for his second straight win against OKC RHP Eddie Gamboa (6-6, 6.01 ERA) at 6 p.m. MT. Saturday night is also the annual PlayStation giveaway, as well as a Taylor Swift/Justin Bieber-themed fireworks show, presented by Air Academy Federal Credit Union.