Blanco's Home Run Averts Shutout, Sky Sox Split Series with 'Cakes
NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Sky Sox split the final four-game set against the New Orleans Baby Cakes after going down 11-1 at the Shrine on Airline Sunday afternoon. Colorado Springs infielder Andres Blanco broke the shutout bid to leadoff the top of the seventh with a solo home run, marking the team's fifth total hit and only extra-base knock of the day for the Sky Sox. Blanco finished going 3-for-4 on the day while teammate Domingo Santana collected the only other multi-hit performance.
In the first three frames, the Baby Cakes jumped out to an early 3-0 lead off of Sky Sox newcomer arm Cameron Roegner, who made his Triple-A debut Sunday. In the bottom of the first, two, two-out walks followed by an RBI single by Jonathan Rodriguez made way for the first run of the contest. In the third, the 'Cakes added two more runs on three singles and a sacrifice fly ball.
New Orleans broke out in the fifth with a five-run fifth, sending eight batters to the plate, to extend their lead to 8-0. A one-out Isaac Galloway double and a walk made room for a wild pitch to send both runners into scoring position. Chad Wallach plated one on an infield single while Cristhian Adames also singled to score a second run. Peter Mooney capped off the frame with a three-run home run to right-centerfield before the next two batters were retired.
In the top of the seventh, Blanco led the inning off with a solo home run to centerfield, marking his fifth long ball of the season, to break the shutout bid in New Orleans.
New Orleans would continue scoring action into the bottom of the eighth with three more runs off of reliever Erik Davis, sending eight more batters to the plate but only getting one hit in the frame, to take a final 11-1 lead.
In his debut, Roegner finished after four-and-one-third innings while allowing five earned runs on eight hits with three walks allowed and four strikeouts.
The Sky Sox head back home for a four-game series against the Round Rock Express beginning tomorrow, Monday, July 16 at Security Service Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. For all information on Sky Sox, follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and visit the team's website at www.skysox.com
Tomorrow's Preview: In the first game of the four-game series against the Round Rock Express back home in Colorado Springs, the Sky Sox are sending southpaw Nick Ramirez to the mound to face off against Round Rock righty Austin Bibens-Dirkx, who is searching for his third win of the season. It will mark Ramirez's first start for the Sky Sox.
Blanco's Blast: Infielder Andres Blanco broke the shutout bid to leadoff the top of the seventh with a solo home run, marking his fifth of the season. Blanco finished going 3-for-4 on Sunday while teammate Domingo Santana collected the only other multi-hit performance. It was his first home run since June 19 against Salt Lake in Colorado Springs.
First Triple-A Start in the books: In his Triple-A debut on Sunday against New Orleans on the road, righty Cameron Roegner finished after four-and-one-third innings while allowing five earned runs on eight hits with three walks allowed and four strikeouts. Over 17 starts in Carolina this season, he is 8-5 with a 2.38 ERA.
Shutout Avoided: Blanco's home run avoided the Sky Sox being shutout for a fourth time this year. The Colorado Springs squad was shutout for the first time in 2018 on May 26 (4-0) and blanked again the next day, May 27 (5-0), both in Memphis. The last time the team was shutout was on June 5 in Fresno (1-0).
Roster Moves: With Miguel Sanchez making his Triple-A debut with the Sky Sox in the fifth inning Saturday night (even though he was called up earlier this season but did not make an appearance), Sanchez became the 54th player to play for the Sky Sox this season (27 position players, 27 pitchers). Here's the breakdown of players used each season during the Brewers affiliation (since 2015): 2015 - 22 position players, 30 pitchers (52 total), 2016 - 27 position players, 30 pitchers (57 total), 2017 - 24 position players, 31 pitchers (55 total during regular season) [27 position players, 32 pitchers (4 additional in 2017 postseason, 59 grand total)], 2018 - Through 7/14 - 27 position players, 27 pitchers (54 total). The most Sky Sox players that appeared in a game in one season happened during the 2005 season (during Colorado Rockies affiliation), when 67 players were used that season (34 position players, 33 pitchers). There were four additional position players that were called up to the Sky Sox that 2005 season. However, those four players did not appear in a game.) In comparison, the fewest players used in a season for the Sky Sox was only 41 players used, done twice (during Rockies affiliation). In 1994, only 21 position players and 20 pitchers were used, and in 1998, only 20 position players and 21 pitchers were used. In 1992, during Cleveland Indians affiliation, there were only 40 players used in the regular season (22 position players, 18 pitchers), with three additional players used in the postseason, raising the total to 43 grand total (24 position players, 19 pitchers).
Walk This Way: There were 17 total walks in Saturday night's contest between the Baby Cakes and the Sky Sox, with the Sky Sox issuing 10 and the Baby Cakes allowing seven free passes. The last time the Sky Sox issued at least 10 walks in a game and still won the game took place last year on May 16th, 2017 in El Paso, when the Sky Sox issued 11 walks and still beat the Chihuahuas, 15-11.
Going Deep, Again: In the top of the fifth inning Saturday night, Brett Phillips lined his second solo homer in as many nights to make it a 3-2 ballgame. The last Sky Sox batter to hit home runs in consecutive games was Tyrone Taylor on July 3rd and 4th against the Round Rock Express on the 3rd and the Baby Cakes on the 4th.
Leaving Men On: Though the Sky Sox and the Baby Cakes combined for seven runs on Friday night, they also combined to go 1-for-19 with runners in scoring position. Colorado Springs went 0-for-6 with RISP, while New Orleans went 1-for-13 with RISP. There were also four solo homers in the game; two for each squad.
The Back-to-Back: In the third inning on Friday night, Brett Phillips hit his fifth homer of the season, and the Sky Sox first home run of the second half to make it 1-0. Orlando Arcia then immediately followed up Phillips' home run with a solo dinger of his own to make it 2-0 Sky Sox. That was only Arcia's second homer of the season, and his first on the road. It was the first time the Sky Sox have gone back-to-back since Independence Day, when Arcia hit his first homer of the season in the first inning against New Orleans at Security Service Field, immediately before Tyrone Taylor followed up with a homer of his own.
All-Star Game Recap: The Pacific Coast League claimed the 12-7 victory over the International League for a second consecutive year at the 31st annual Triple-A All-Star Game at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio Wednesday. The 2018 mid-summer Classic featured two Sky Sox All-Stars - catcher Christian Bethancourt and infielder Dylan Moore. Last season, the PCL All-Stars won 6-4 over the IL All-Stars at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma. After the IL squad got the night started with a run in the bottom of the first, the PCL batted across six runs in the top of the second, including an RBI single by Sky Sox All-Star starting catcher Bethancourt. The PCL would score two more in the top of the third to take an 8-1 advantage. Bethancourt completed his service after three frames of catching. He went 1-for-2 with an RBI single and a line drive out to second base. The IL got within a run after combining for six runs over the fourth and fifth innings. In the top of the sixth, the PCL extended their lead to 10-7, including a run scored by Sky Sox infielder Moore, who walked in his first at bat and remained in the game defensively at first base. Moore finished going 0-for-1 with a walk and a strikeout.
First Half in the Books: The Sky Sox finished the first half of season with the third-best record in the Pacific Coast League (49-39), behind Fresno (52-37, 2nd, Pacific North) and Memphis (56-34, 1st, American South). As a squad, the offense ends the half with a .274 average (801-for-2924), which is good for sixth best in the PCL. Over 89 games, the team has collected 161 doubles, 36 triples, 85 home runs, 420 RBI, 304 walks, 736 strikeouts, and are the outright leaders in stolen bags (118) by 40. On the pitching end of things, Colorado Springs staff fares fifth best with their 49-39 record and 4.30 ERA. The staff to this point have totaled 759.0 innings of work and allowed 767 hits over 3,296 batters faced with 363 ER, 64 home runs, 294 walks, and 694 strikeouts tallied.
In Comparison: At the half last season (2017), the Sky Sox also led the American Northern Division. After 89 games, the Colorado Springs squad finished six games up in the conference with a 55-34 record. This season, the Sky Sox finish the half also atop the conference with a 49-39 record but just one-and-a-half games up.
Number 11: In 22 total series before the All-Star break, the Sky Sox finished with 11 series wins following the game four win Saturday night with six series losses and five series ties.
This Week's Preview: The Sky Sox first half of season is complete, and the team will now be on the road for four games against the Baby Cakes in New Orleans before returning home on Monday, July 16 to take on the Round Rock Express (TEX) for four games.
First Half Notable Happenings:
- 2-Hitter (Combined) by Freddy Peralta, J.J. Hoover, Michael Brady, and Jorge Lopez, 4/5 (Gm. 2) @
- Home Run in 3 straight games by Keon Broxton, 4/10-11-14 v. NO (2)/RR (1), Five RBI game by Kyle
Wren, 6/6/2018 @ Fresno
- 3-Hitter (Combined) by Corbin Burnes, Nick Ramirez, Erik Davis, 4/19/18 @ New Orleans
- 17 Runs scored and 20 Combined Hits on April 30 against Nashville
- Corbin Burnes 13-strikeout game on May 6 against Oklahoma City (road - 7.0 IP)
- Grand Slam by Kyle Wren, 6/2/2018 vs. Iowa
- Freddy Peralta 11-strikeout game on June 10 against Sacramento (road - 6.0 IP)
- Eight-run seventh inning against Las Vegas on June 15 (home)
- Three Walk-Off wins in June including back-to-back on June 17/18 over Salt Lake (5 total pre-All-Star)
NEXT GAME: Monday, July 16 at 6:40 p.m. MT vs. Round Rock Express @ Security Service Field
LHP Nick Ramirez (2-1, 4.02) vs. RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx (2-3, 4.47) - Broadcast on XTRA Sports 1300
Promotion: NOVA Home Loans Community Ticket Monday - Pick up tickets at any Pike Peak Library District Location
COS TOP PERFORMERS
- Andres Blanco (3-for-4, HR, RBI, R)
- Domingo Santana (2-for-4)
- Tyrone Taylor (1-for-4)
NO TOP PERFORMERS
- Peter Mooney (3-for-5, HR, 3 RBI, R)
- Cristhian Adames (3-for-4, 2 RBI, R)
- John Rodriguez (2-for-2, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB)
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