After opening this five-game series against Omaha with the two longest games of the season (Wednesday night was clocked at 3:44 and Thursday at 3:50), Saturday evening marked the shortest (nine-inning) game of the season at two hours and 21 minutes, resulting in a 3-2 Sky Sox victory that set the series back at even.
The Sky Sox entered into the scoring column early in the game, putting up three runs in the second inning on an Andres Blanco sacrifice fly ball to break through and Nate Orf’s two-run base hit to make it a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the third, Omaha added their first run thanks to Hunter Dozier’s sixth double to right field to bring around Ramon Torres, who singled, before making the last out of the inning, getting caught in a pickle between second and third.
The game stayed tied and tight at 3-1 for the next six innings, as both teams had some traffic on the base paths but neither team could plate another run until the ninth.
In the top of the ninth, with Colorado Springs’ closer Jorge Lopez coming into the game on the mound for the Sky Sox, Bubba Starling led off the inning by drawing a walk. In the next at-bat Jack Lopez grounded out for the first out of the inning, but Starling was able to advance to third on a throwing error by the defense. Billy Burns flew out to right field to score Starling from third to bring the game within one before Lopez drew a groundout off the bat of Parker Morin to end the contest and secure a 3-2 Sky Sox victory. The series is now tied at two games apiece.
The Sky Sox finish the five-game series against Omaha tomorrow with game five scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at Security Service Field including 50-cent hot dogs. Gates open at 12:00 p.m. For all information on Sky Sox, follow along on Facebook and Twitter or visit the team’s website at www.skysox.com.
Sunday’s Expectation: In the final game of the five-game series, right-hander Bubba Derby gets the ball for the Sky Sox tonight as he looks to pick up his first win of the season. In his last outing against Round Rock, Derby pitched 5.2 innings while allowing just one hit with three strikeouts but did not pick up the win as the game went into extra innings.
Brady’s First Bunch: Starter Michael Brady tossed a season-high in innings Saturday afternoon with four innings total in just his second start of the season. In his last start, the Southern California native tossed totaled three innings while allowing two runs on five hits. Total this season, Brady has pitched 13.1 innings, struck out 10, walked 3, and has allowed 7 earned runs on 18 hits.
Less Than Five: Saturday’s game four with Omaha marked the first time since April 20 where Sky Sox pitching allowed less than five runs. In the previous three home games, runs have flooded Security Service Field as Colorado Springs pitching surrendered 31 runs total.
Extra Innings: The Sky Sox played extra innings at home Friday night for the first time all season, losing 6-5. The only other time the Sky Sox have gone to extras so far this season was on the road on 4/22 in Round Rock. That game was tied at 2-2 after nine but also ended with a final score of 6-5 as the Sky Sox took the victory after Colorado Springs scored four in the top of the tenth inning and the Express scored three. The Sky Sox and their opponents have now both scored five runs in extras this season. Last night marked the longer of the two extra-inning contests, at three hours and 28 minutes, whereas the extra-inning game in Round Rock was clocked at three hours and 24 minutes.
Losing It Late: Friday night marked the first time all season that Colorado Springs lost when leading after the seventh and eighth innings. Prior to last night the Sky Sox were 13-0 when leading after seven innings and 9-0 when leading after eight.
Game Four Turn-around: The Sky Sox remain perfect in game four matchups and, after Saturday’s win, improve to 4-0 on the season while also improving to 2-3 on Saturday games played.
Series of Five: In almost three complete sets of five-game series, the Sky Sox are 7-5 with two games having been postponed (one in Omaha, one in Round Rock).
Dubon Extends to 17: Mauricio Dubon extended his hit streak to 17 games Saturday. Dubon has gone 25-for-75 over 17 games with 12 runs, three home runs, 12 RBI, and two stolen bases. His longest recorded streak in 2017 with the Sky Sox was seven games.
Double Trouble: The Sky Sox tied a season-high of three double plays Saturday afternoon. (1. Dubon-Nottingham-Brady-Blanco, A-Dubon; 2) Dubon-Saladino-Choi; 3) Dubon-Saladino).
Brooks Brooms: Sky Sox Aaron Brooks swept through 3.1 innings of work following Michael Brady’s four-inning start. Brooks, in his second longest outing of the season, only allowed four hits and did not allow a run with one strikeout.
Doubling Down: The Sky Sox lost both Thursday and Friday night, marking the first time all season that the Sky Sox have lost two games in a row. The Storm Chasers are now 55-56 all-time when playing the Sky Sox at home in Colorado Springs, having tipped the scale in their favor with the two consecutive wins.
Thievery: Colorado Springs stole four bases in the game Friday night, which tied a season-high from 4/14 versus Round Rock. Keon Broxton had two of those four steals, making him the current team leader with five total swipes. Tyler Saladino also had two steals in Thursday night’s game.
Some Men Left Behind: The Sky Sox left a season-high 13 men on base Friday night, which broke the previous high of 11 which had been set the night before on 4/26.
Errors On the Board: After allowing four errors Thursday night, the Sky Sox allowed another two on Friday night, both of which came in the third inning, and two more on Saturday. The four errors the Sky Sox had Thursday night were the most they’ve had in a game so far this year. Prior to that Colorado Springs had not had multiple errors in a game this season.
All for hits, hits for all: Game one of the series against Omaha marked the first time since July 26, 2017, against Tacoma where every Sky Sox batter in the lineup recorded a hit. It is the seventh time in Sky Sox modern history where they met the feat.
Previewing This Week: The Sky Sox are currently in their longest homestand of 2018 – a nine-game stretch while hosting the Omaha Storm Chasers, Triple-A affiliate of the Royals. After tomorrow’s game, the Sky Sox will welcome into town the Nashville Sounds, Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, for four games before hitting the road.