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Birkins, Sox Squeak by Portland, 3-2

May 30, 2010 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - Colorado Springs Sky Sox News Release

The Sky Sox and Portland facing off on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, the Sox were able to capitalize on Kurt Birkins' second straight quality outing, defeating the Beavers 3-2.

Pitching was the name of the game today. Birkins throwing five innings of two-run ball, Portland plated their only runs in the third.

A one-out walk by pitcher Matt Buschmann, Birkins' only free pass of the game set up an RBI double by Sean Kazmar. Craig Cooper singling with two out, Portland got out to a 2-0 lead.

The Sky Sox got one back in the bottom half on the third before taking the lead in the fifth.

Jay Payton leading off the fifth frame with a single to right followed by a Matt Miller walk, Cole Garner sacrificed the runners up 90 feet. Mike Paulk singled in the next at-bat to drive both runners home, giving the Sky Sox the lead for good.

Franklin Morales came on in relief for the top of the sixth, bridging to the ninth with a stellar 3.0 innings that included five strikeouts, one hit, and one walk.

Sox closer Juan Rincon on for the ninth with a one-run lead, a leadoff walk and one-out wild pitch gave the visitors a glimmer of hope. Josh Barfield singling to right, Matt Miller saved the game , throwing out Aaron Cunningham at home for his second assist of the game. Craig Stansberry would ground out to second in the next at-bat to end the game.

With the win, the Sky Sox improved to 22-27, while Portland fell to 19-31. Kurt Birkins (2-3) earned his second victory of the season while Matt Buschmann (0-3) remained winless.

The two teams will face off once again tomorrow for their series finale. Righthander Chaz Roe (1-7, 7.61) will take the hill for the Sky Sox with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 PM.

Notables:

- Sky Sox right fielder Matt Miller had two outfield assists, one at third base and one in the ninth at home. Both outs caught Aaron Cunningham advancing.

- The Sky Sox first seven strikeouts were all looking, including all six of Kurt Birkins' punchouts.

- Today's game was the fourth straight one-run contest between Portland and Colorado Springs.


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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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