May 5, 2017 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - Colorado Springs Sky Sox
OKLAHOMA CITY-The Colorado Springs Sky Sox belted seven doubles and clinched a series win with a 15-3 victory over the Oklahoma City Dodgers in front of 9,534 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark Friday night.
After being held to a season-low three hits in a matinee loss the day before, the Sky Sox (16-8) exploded for a season-high 21 hits and jumped out to a 13-1 lead after three innings. The Sox flipped Thursday's script after the Dodgers scored all their runs in the first three innings a day before, helping the visitors win three of the four games in the Oklahoma capital.
Colorado Springs jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead after one inning. Eric Sogard drove in Lewis Brinson on the second of consecutive doubles to left field, and came in to score on a Garrett Cooper double to right-centerfield. Two batters later, Yadiel Rivera lined a double down the right field line to score Cooper, and Kyle Wren flared a single to center field to score the Sox shortstop.
The offense added to its lead with three more runs in the second inning. After Brent Suter and Sogard singled, Ryan Cordell joined the hit parade with a two-run double that hit off the top of the left field wall. Playing his first game of the season at third base, Cordell came in to score on a RBI double from Kirk Nieuwenhuis-his first hit as a member of the Sky Sox in 2017.
The Sox used a two-out rally to plate six runs in the third inning to knock OKC starter Tim Shibuya from the game. After the first two Sox batters were retired, Sogard drove in his second and third runs of the game on a two-run, opposite-field double to left field to plate Suter and Brinson.
Two batters later, Cooper belted a three-run home run to straightaway centerfield for his 27th RBI and his fifth home run of the season, as well as his second in as many days. Nieuwenhuis drove in his second run in as many at-bats with a solo shot of his own into the Oklahoma City bullpen in left field. Cooper and Nieuwenhuis combined to record the first back-to-back home runs since Shane Peterson and Ben Guez completed the feat on April 30, 2015 against Omaha at Security Service Field.
The Sky Sox finished the offensive outburst with two runs in the eighth inning. Andrew Susac grounded a two-run single up the middle with the bases loaded and two outs to score Nieuwenhuis and Nate Orf. During the inning, the visitors set season-high totals for both runs in a game (15) and hits in a game (20), as well as recorded 20 or more hits for the first time since May 27, 3016, at Fresno. In addition, 11 of the 15 Sky Sox came in to score with two outs recorded.
Entering Friday's contest, Suter (2-1, 3.48) had allowed one earned run in 20 innings spanning four appearances as a member of the Sky Sox in 2015 and 2016. The left-hander continued his shutdown pitching against the Dodgers, allowing two earned runs on four hits while striking out five Dodgers through five innings. The trio of Tyler Cravy, Stephen Kohlscheen and Michael Blazek closed out the game, allowing a combined one earned run and striking out seven batters.
Colorado Springs returns home after a 4-3 road trip Saturday night for a 6 p.m. matchup with the Fresno Grizzlies, Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros. Paolo Espino (3-0, 3.03) faces Mike Hauschild (0.0, 6.00) at Security Service Field, looking for his team-tying fourth win of the season. It is also Team Cap Giveaway for the first 1,000 fans, courtesy of CenturyLink.