June 16, 2013 - American Association (AA) - Amarillo ThunderHeads
AMARILLO, TX - Four insurance runs in the eighth inning help the Sox sweep the Canaries in a 9-3 victory at Amarillo National Bank Sox Stadium. The game lasted two hours and forty three minutes in front of 3,136 in attendance. Amarillo has now won six in a row, with sweeps of El Paso on the road and Sioux Falls at home. Starter Jason Mitchell also earns his second win in a week.
The Canaries took an early lead in the first with a leadoff triple by Nick Van Stratten, who scored when the next batter, Cory Morales singled him in. Starters for both squads would be solid through the first four innings after the first run was allowed. The Sox answered in the fifth. Cory Patton, the designated hitter, doubled to start the inning and then two batters later, Trey Ford gave Amarillo a 2-1 lead with a homer to left. The fifth ended when KC Serna was called out for leaving second base too early on a tag play resulting in two outs.
Sioux Falls tied the game in the top of the sixth with an RBI single by J.P. Ramirez. Van Stratten had led off the inning with a double. But in the home half, the Sox went ahead again. Sox first basemen, Joe Weik doubled in David Peralta and Chris Grossman to make the score 4-2. Another run in the seventh scored on an infield fly rule with the bases loaded. Chris Valencia was tagged out at third for assuming he was already out on a force play at second. Two outs were recorded on the play in which Ford scored to make it 5-2.
In the top of the eighth, the Canaries plated a run after Sox reliever; Josh Giles hit a batter, walked two and was then pulled. The first batter that Joe Testa faced, with the bases loaded, was Tim Pauhata. A grounder to the shortstop scored the Canaries' third run of the game when Serna's choice to race the baserunner to second ended up in a "safe" call. The next batter flied out, leaving three runners stranded.
The bottom of the eighth featured four runs for Amarillo with five hits coming consecutively. Runs were batted in by Cory Patton, Trey Ford, and two by KC Serna. To close the ninth, Patton came in, allowed two runners on, forced a pop up, and then the game-ending six-four-three double play. The Sox defense was able to turn two traditional double plays and one line out double play during the game. Meanwhile on offense, the Sox were doubled up on a tag play and infield fly rule.
Jason Mitchell (W, 2-2) pitched six innings, allowing two runs on six hits with six strikeouts and no walks. Ben Moore (3-2) went six also and gave up four runs on eight hits while striking out five and walking none. The Canaries' bullpen was represented by Kirk Clark and Jack Van Leur. The duo each had an inning pitched with five runs on seven hits given up combined. John Holdzkom pitched the seventh and the first out of the eighth to allow no runs on one hits while walking one and striking out another. Josh Giles recorded a strikeout for his third of an inning pitched while facing four batters. Joe Testa faced two batters and got the last out of the eighth for the Sox. The closer, Cory Patton moved his ERA to 3.38 after his shutout ninth inning.
With the win, the Sox improve to 16-12, while the Canaries fall to 12-18 on the year. Monday, the Sox host the El Paso Diablos for the start of a three-game series. The game is set to begin at 7:05pm with the Aqua One Pre-Game Show at 6:55pm on Ustream via www.amarillosox.com. Game time is tentative and is subject to blackout.
Season tickets are available for purchase in-person by visiting the Sox Front Offices at 801 S. Polk or over the phone by calling (806) 242-4653. For more information on tickets, game times and schedules, promotions, marketing opportunities, and everything else Sox, visit the "Official Website of the Amarillo Sox" at www.amarillosox.com.