The Round Rock Express took Monday night’s rubber match 11-4 to take this three-game series against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox two games to one for the Sky Sox first series loss of the 2018 season. Round Rock had a seven-run eighth inning to seal the victory.
The Express went three up and three down in the first inning, but led off the second inning with a solo home run off the bat of Tommy Joseph for Round Rock’s first hit and first run of the night. Colorado Springs answered in the top of the third with a couple of baserunners, but couldn’t plate anyone, leaving the game at 1-0.
In the bottom half of the inning Nick Noonan led things off for Round Rock with a single, but Sky Sox starter Aaron Brooks responded by recording two quick outs. Brooks then surrendered a four-pitch walk to Willie Calhoun, before Ryan Rua homered to clear the bases and give Round Rock a 4-0 lead on their second home run of the evening.
Colorado Springs broke up the shutout in the top of the fourth, with Keon Broxton lining a double to center and then scoring on Tyler Saladino’s RBI double two pitches later to make it a 4-1 ballgame. Kyle Wren, who rejoined the Sky Sox lineup tonight for the first time since being placed on the disabled list on April 11, then lined a single to score Saladino and make it 4-2.
After two scoreless frames, Colorado Springs struck again. Brett Phillips hit a two-out single to get things going for the Sky Sox, followed by a Christian Bethancourt single. Ji-Man Choi then doubled both Phillips and Bethancourt in to tie the game at four runs apiece, before Andres Blanco grounded out to end the inning.
Scott Heineman gave the Express life with a one-out single in the bottom of the penultimate inning, followed by a single by Calhoun to put two on for Round Rock, with the winning run now in scoring position for Rua. Rua belted a double to deep left-center that scored Heineman, giving Round Rock the lead and knocking Colorado Springs hurler Michael Brady from the game after 3.1 innings of relief. Radhames Liz came into the game for the Sky Sox to replace Brady on the mound, walking in a run on the first batter he faced to make it a 6-4 affair. Cameron Rupp then broke the game open with an RBI double to make it 8-4. Christian Lopes continued his hot streak with a three-run blast for Round Rock’s third homer of the game, extending the Express lead to seven runs at 11-4.
After an off day tomorrow, the Sky Sox will return home to Security Service Field on Wednesday the 25 for a nine-game homestand. The Sky Sox will host the Omaha Storm Chasers—Triple-A affiliate of the Royals—for five games, followed by a four-game set against the Nashville Sounds—Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics.