Dodgers Force Sky Sox to Monday Division Decision
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Sky Sox dropped two straight games to the Oklahoma City Dodgers Sunday, forcing a division decision on Labor Day Monday with a scheduled doubleheader. The Sky Sox are seeking just one win to clinch the American Northern division while the Dodgers will have to sweep the twin bill to claim the title. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at Security Service Field.
After three frames comprised of just four hits overall, Oklahoma City broke open first. In the top of the fourth, Edwin Rios struck a double to left field and, after a groundout, Travis Taijeron was hit by a pitch. Henry Ramos added a single to right field to plate the first run of the ballgame and take a 1-0 lead before the Sky Sox turned an inning-ending double play.
The Dodgers added another solo run in the top of the fifth to take a 2-0 lead. After Jake Peter walked, starter Brock Stewart moved him into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt and Matt Beaty drove him in on a single to right field.
The Sky Sox, who made a late comeback Friday night, sparked a late rally yet again in the bottom of the fifth. After a one-out double by Emilio Bonifacio, Rymer Liriano singled to put runners on the corners. Pinch-hitter Richie Shaffer then stepped up and skied a three-run home run to right-centerfield, giving the Sky Sox the 3-2 lead. They added one more run after Tyrone Taylor tripled with two outs to plate Nate Orf who singled, making it a 4-2 advantage.
With Erik Davis in relief for starter Adrian Houser (5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 SO), a hit-by-pitch to Connor Joe would start the inning for the Dodgers. After a single by Taijeron, Henry Ramos doubled to centerfield to tie the game back up at 4-4. The Sky Sox would go down in order in the bottom half of the sixth before the game was delayed and eventually suspended due to rain and unplayable conditions.
The game resumed the next day, beginning in the top of the seventh inning. Both sides did not successfully plate a run so the game headed into extra innings.
With a runner starting on second base, Ramos moved over the runner on his sacrifice bunt. With the go-ahead run 90 feet away, Will Smith homered to right field to give the Dodgers a 6-4 lead. In the bottom half of the frame, the Sky Sox had runners on first and second with no outs after Dylan Moore was hit with a pitch. Two outs later, Jett Bandy was also hit by a pitch to load the bases. With the tying run on second, Andres Blanco battled but was unable to make magic happen after grounding out to end the contest.
The Dodgers, with their backs to the wall, wasted zero time getting on the board in game two. In the top of the first, Connor Joe led off with a base hit and, with two outs, Edwin Rios homered to centerfield to put them up 2-0.
In the Sky Sox second, Christian Bethancourt broke through, leading off the half with the Sky Sox first hit of the game on his towering home run to straightaway centerfield, minimizing the deficit to 2-1.
Then, in the third, Liriano led off the inning with a double to centerfield. After two consecutive strikeouts, Moore came up and lifted a ball up and over the left-centerfield wall to give the Sky Sox the 3-2 advantage, marking his 10th long ball with the Sky Sox.
The Dodgers caught a late rally in the fourth with two outs after Taijeron drew a walk. With two strikes, Peter clubbed a sky-high home run to right field to gain the 4-3 lead. Starter Logan Bawcom added a single while Joe walked to restart the frame. Ramos stepped up and added a second home run to the frame to put the Dodgers up 7-3.
The Sky Sox crept back in the bottom of the fifth after reliever Nick Ramirez started the frame with a single. After two consecutive outs, Taylor and Bethancourt knocked back-to-back RBI doubles to plate two runs and make it a 7-5 contest.
The Dodgers came right back in the sixth with two runs to extend to a 9-5 lead. Ramos started the rhythm after he brought around his fourth RBI of the game on his one-out double to centerfield. Donovan would single and Rios walked behind him, which led to Kyle Garlick's RBI single to plate the second run. They pushed it to an even 10-5 ballgame when Joe hit a solo home run in the top of the seventh.
The Sky Sox, trailing five runs in the bottom of the seventh, started things off with Orf's one-out walk. After two wild pitches to advance Orf to third, Moore was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners. Taylor followed and with one swing on an 0-2 count plated three runs via his 20th home run, moving the Sky Sox to within two runs of the Dodgers.
The Dodgers added a final run in the ninth with two outs to make it an 11-8 advantage and the Sky Sox couldn't find late magic to make the comeback, forcing a Monday faceoff.
The Sky Sox head into the final day of regular season tomorrow against the Oklahoma City Dodgers at Security Service Field tomorrow with a 12:30 p.m. MT first pitch in game one. 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: The Sky Sox head into the fourth of the five-game set against the Oklahoma City Dodgers at Security Service Field tomorrow with a 12:30 p.m. MT first pitch. Righty Freddy Peralta will get the start for Colorado Springs as he is set to face Oklahoma City's righty Zach Neal.
Battle of the American North: The Sky Sox stand only one win shy from clinching their second-consecutive playoff run, battling it out with other contender of the American North - the Oklahoma City Dodgers - who will need a sweep in tomorrow's doubleheader to claim the title. Currently, the Sky Sox hold a half-game lead over the Dodgers with two regular season games left in 2018. Last season, the Sky Sox broke one of the longest postseason droughts in professional sports - taking the American North division for the first time and breaking their 20-year absence.
Taylor Extends To 13: Outfielder Tyrone Taylor extended his hit streak Sunday to 13 games after going 2-for-5 with a home run. Over the 13 games, he is 21-for-52 with seven runs, a triple, three home runs, and 18 RBI.
Two-Out Scoring: Nine of the Dodgers' 11 runs on Sunday night in game two came with two outs. In the fourth inning, the Dodgers scored all five of their runs with two outs.
67 players: With Danny Reynolds' appearance in the 7th inning on Sunday night, Reynolds becomes the 67th player to play for the Sky Sox this season (32 position players, 35 pitchers), tying the 2005 season for the most players used in a season. That season (2005 record 65-78), the Sky Sox had 34 position players and 33 pitchers used. Reynolds becomes the 1,095th player to play for the Sky Sox during the 31-year Triple-A history (517 position players, now 578 pitchers). 829 of the 1,095 players have played at least one game in the majors.
In the Club: Christian Bethancourt and Tyrone Taylor marked their 20th homers with the Sky Sox and are only the second and third players during the Brewers affiliation to have a 20-homer season with the Sky Sox (other: Matt Clark, 20 HR in 2015). This is the seventh instance where two Sky Sox teammates have had 20 homers or more in a season (1988 - Luis Medina 28, Rod Allen 23; 1994 - Jim Tatum 21, Ty Van Burkleo 21, Chris Jones 20; 1995 - Harvey Pulliam 25, Jay Gainer 23; 1999 - J.R. Phillips 41, Chris Hatcher 21; 2000 - Phil Hyatt 36, Scott McClain 25; 2004 - Andy Tracy 33, Brad Hawpe 31; 2018 - Christian Bethancourt 20, Tyrone Taylor 20.
Lights out, Wilkerson: Sky Sox starter Aaron Wilkerson made his best start of the season after a solid performance in the series opener: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K. It marked his highest inning count in 2018 since his last start (8/26 @ OKC) of six innings. In his last start, also against the Dodgers, he allowed two runs on seven hits in the team's tight 3-1 loss.
Back to Yester-Year: Last season, the Sky Sox clinched playoff berth on charter buses en route from New Orleans to Round Rock while Hurricane Harvey was hitting near Houston. Due to Harvey in the area, all flights were cancelled.
Playoff Clinch History: A Sky Sox playoff clinch at home would mark the first time in nearly a quarter of a century. The last playoff clinch for the Sky Sox at home happened in 1994 when the team won the first half at home vs. Edmonton. The other two instances at home came in 1990 and 1991. In 1990, the Sky Sox clinched the wildcard playoff berth on last day at home vs. Albuquerque. (Albuquerque won both halves, Sky Sox was wild card team and all five games were played in Albuquerque. Dukes won in five.) In 1991, the Sky Sox clinched their playoff berth, winning second half, at home vs. Tucson during final game. (Lost to Tucson in playoffs in four.) In 1989 (Tucson), 1992 (Tuscon), 1995 (Vancouver), 1997 (Tacoma), and 2017, the Sky Sox clinched while on the road.
Record Attendance: Friday night's crowd of 8,998 marks the fifth largest crowd all-time in Sky Sox history, passing the 8,995 from July 4th against New Orleans this season. It is also the largest crowd since the 2006 stadium renovation to the current stadium configuration.
Late Magic: The Sky Sox late rally in the opening game of the series improved the team's record to 9-39 when trailing after six innings. Colorado Springs now total 33 four-run frames overall this season.
Nine-Run Second: The nine-run second inning on Thursday night marked only the third time the Sky Sox have allowed nine runs in the second inning, both other instances in Colorado Springs. The last time an opponent scored nine runs in the second inning: Iowa on June 14th, 2016, in game two of a doubleheader, with Iowa winning that game, 15-5. The only other instance came on July 26th, 2008, when the Oklahoma Redhawks scored 11 runs in the top of the 2nd inning at Security Service Field, a game where Oklahoma won, 15-12. It was also only the second time where Omaha scored nine runs or more in any inning against the Sky Sox. The only other instance came on July 29th, 1999, at Sky Sox Stadium, when the Omaha Golden Spikes scored 12 runs in the top of the third inning in game two of a doubleheader. Omaha won that game, 13-11. Omaha was known as the Golden Spikes from 1999-2001. The last time the Sky Sox gave up nine runs in any inning on the road was on July 25th, 2010 when the Salt Lake Bees stung the Sky Sox for a 9-run third inning at Spring Mobile Ballpark in Salt Lake (now Smith's Ballpark), as the Bees beat the Sky Sox, 15-7.
Hit By Tim: The two hit by pitches by Tim Dillard in the second inning Thursday night marked his 28th and 29th career hit by pitches with the Sky Sox, extending his own club record. Jason Young was 2nd all-time in hit by pitches with 25.
Bubba Bein' Bubba: Bubba Bubba Derby finished a complete-game shutout for the Sky Sox over the Omaha Storm Chasers in game two of Wednesday's doubleheader, allowing no runs on four hits with just one walk while striking out three, marking his first career complete-game shutout. The Bubba Derby 7-inning CG win was the first 7-inning complete game win since the Sky Sox became a Brewers affiliate in 2015. The last Sky Sox pitcher to throw a 7-inning CG win was on August 10th, 2013, when Chris Volstad beat the Nashville Sounds, 6-2, in Game 1 of a double- header at Security Service Field. The last Sky Sox pitcher to throw a 7-inning CG shutout win was on May 7th, 2013, when Tyler Chatwood threw a 9-inning CG shutout win, blanking the Iowa Cubs, 5-0, on four hits, at Security Service Field.
Series Summary: Over 16 games accrued over the 2018 season with Omaha, the Sky Sox hold a 12-4 overall record on the Storm Chasers. On the road, Colorado Springs is 6-2, while they compiled a 6-2 record at home. In nine of the 16 meetings, the games have been decided by two runs or less.
Good Company: With Christian Bethancourt being selected to the Sky Sox All-PCL team this season, Bethancourt becomes the first Sky Sox catcher to ever get All-PCL team honors. Here is the full list of the Sky Sox All-PCL team over the years: 1988 - Luis Medina (OF), Rod Allen (DH), 1989 - Paul Zuvella (SS), Steve Olin (Relief P), Mike Hargrove (MGR), 1991 - Geronimo Berra (OF), Luis Medina (DH), 1992 - Alvaro Espinoza (SS), Wayne Kirby (OF), Denis Boucher (LHP), Charlie Manuel (MGR), 1994 - Jason Bates (SS), 1995 - Trenidad Hubbard (OF), Harvey Pulliam (DH), 1996 - Neifi Perez (SS), Bob Goughan (Executive), 1997 - Todd Helton (1B), Neifi Perez (SS), 1998 - Derrick White (OF), 1999 - J.R. Phillips (1B), David Wainhouse (Relief P), 2000 - Phil Hyatt (1B), 2003 - Rene Reyes (OF), 2004 - Clint Barmes (SS), Garrett Atkins (3B), 2006 - Jeff Baker (OF), Nate Field (Relief P), 2007 - Joe Koshansky (1B), Ryan Speier (Relief P), 2008 - Joe Koshansky (1B), 2009 - Eric Young, Jr. (2B & PCL Rookie of the Year), Matt Miller (OF), 2012 - Matt McBride (1B), Andrew Brown (OF), 2013 - Ryan Wheeler (3B), Corey Dickerson (OF), 2015 - Domingo Santana (OF), 2016 - Orlando Arcia (SS).
Blanco Comes Up Big: Andres Blanco hit a two-run homer in game two against the Dodgers Saturday night for his ninth longball of the season. His two RBI were the only two the Sky Sox offense produced in the game.
Seven Straight: The Sky Sox marked seven straight wins with Friday night's 6-5 victory. It was the Sky Sox' longest winning streak since the 2007 season (May 7-13, 2007).
Will To Win: The Sky Sox, who entered Friday night with a 6-37 record when trailing after six innings, improved their record to seven wins with a three-run comeback in the top of the seventh to take a hold the lead for the eventual victory.
Third One-Run W: The Sky Sox completed their third one-run victory against the Dodgers this season in Friday night's 6-5 win. The team earned wins on back-to-back occasions on May 12 and May 13 with 2-1 and 4-3 wins respectively.
This Week's Preview: The Sky Sox are hosting their divisional rivals, the Oklahoma City Dodgers, as they battle it out in the final series of the season.
Monday, September 3 @ 12:30 p.m. MT vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers @ Security Service Field
RHP Freddy Peralta (6-1, 2.75) vs. RHP Zach Neal (3-2, 3.90) - Broadcast on XTRA Sports 1300
PROMOTIONS: Shirt Off Your Back Jersey Raffle, End Of Season Post-Game Celebration
COS TOP PERFORMERS
- Tyrone Taylor (2-for-4, 3B, RBI)
- Richie Shaffer (1-for-1, HR, R, 3 RBI)
- Adrian Houser (5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K)
OKC TOP PERFORMERS
- Brian Schlitter (W, 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K)
- Henry Ramos (2-for-3, 2B, 3 RBI)
- Will Smith (1-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI)
COS TOP PERFORMERS
- Dylan Moore (1-for-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI)
- Tyrone Taylor (2-for-5, HR, 2B, 2 R, 4 RBI)
- Christian Bethancourt (2-for-3, HR, 2B, R, 2 RBI)
OKC TOP PERFORMERS
- Henry Ramos (5-for-6, HR, 2B, 2 R, 5 RBI)
- Edwin Rios (2-for-4, HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB)
- Jake Peter (3-for-5, HR, 1 R, 2 RBI)
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Pacific Coast League Stories from September 3, 2018
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- OKC Dodgers Game Notes: September 3, 2018 - Oklahoma City Dodgers
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- Isotopes Fall to Aces in Penultimate Game - Albuquerque Isotopes
- L.V. Franchise Records 300,000 in Home Attendance - Las Vegas Aviators
- Dodgers Force Sky Sox to Monday Division Decision - Colorado Springs Sky Sox
- Pair of Sunday Wins Keep Dodgers' Playoff Hopes Alive - Oklahoma City Dodgers
- Grizzlies buzzed 7-0 by Bees Sunday evening - Fresno Grizzlies
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