O'Neill's Three-Home Run Game Powers Redbirds Past Sky Sox
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Memphis Redbirds outfielder Tyler O'Neill led the Redbirds charge in the final game against the two squads in the regular season Sunday afternoon with three home runs, totaling for four of the seven RBI. The Redbirds arms held the Sky Sox to just four hits for a second consecutive game, one of which came in home run fashion off the bat of Andres Blanco, while the home team knocked out 15 of their own with five long balls combined.
Memphis got on the board early in the final game to take a 2-0 lead thanks to back-to-back solo home runs by Luke Voit and O'Neill. The Redbirds extended their lead in the third inning on another pair of back-to-back solo home runs, a second by O'Neill and one off the bat of Adolis Garcia to make it a 4-0 game.
Until the fifth, the Sky Sox only totaled two base runners on two walks. Christian Bethancourt began the top of the frame with a walk to become the third base runner for Colorado Springs. After Dylan Moore flied out for the first out, Blanco collected Colorado Springs' first hit in big fashion, minimizing the deficit to two runs on a two-run home run. After pitcher Adrian Houser lined out, Jake Hager restarted the frame with two outs. Orlando Arcia followed up with a base hit and Tyrone Taylor came through the third hit of the game, a single, to tie things up at 4-4.
In the seventh, the Redbirds regained the lead with three runs powered by two singles by Patrick Wisdom and Voit combined with O'Neill's third home run of the game to give Memphis the late and final 7-4 advantage.
In the final two frames, the Sky Sox went down in order and the Redbirds finalized the 2-1 series advantage in the final time the Sky Sox would visit Memphis in the regular season.
The Sky Sox return home on the 24th to host the El Paso Chihuahuas for three games, followed by a four-game set against the Albuquerque Isotopes. It will be the first and only time this season Colorado Springs plays El Paso and Albuquerque. For all information on Sky Sox, follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and visit the team's website at www.skysox.com.
Tuesday's Preview: Following the off-day on Monday, the Sky Sox enter into a seven-game homestand Tuesday of the series against the Redbirds in Memphis, the Sky Sox are sending righty Aaron Brooks to the mound to face off against former Chihuahuas' righty MLB rehabber Jordan Lyles.
Three-Homer Game: Tyler O'Neill becomes the ninth opponent to hit three homers in a game against the Sky Sox (five in Colorado Springs, four in opponent's park). It is the first time in over 21 years that an opponent has hit three homers against the Sky Sox in the opponent's park, last done by Paul Konerko on May 12th, 1997. List of the other three homer games against the Sky Sox: Stan Holmes (Edmonton), June 1st, 1988 in Edmonton, Shane Dugas (Albuquerque), August 12th, 1988 in Colorado Springs, Mark Davis (Edmonton), August 15th, 1990 in Colorado Springs, Craig Paquette (Tacoma), May 24th, 1994 in Colorado Springs, Rich Aude (Calgary), June 14th, 1996 in Calgary, Paul Konerko (Albuquerque), May 12th, 1997 in Albuquerque, Felipe Crespo (Fresno), May 14th, 1999 in Colorado Springs, Nate Gold (Oklahoma), July 28th, 2008 in Colorado Springs.
Century Mark: The Sky Sox played their 100th game of the 2018 season Sunday afternoon and hold a 54-45 record. At this time last season, the Sky Sox held first place position in the American Northern division with their 61-39 record.
Blanco's Sixth: Andres Blanco knocked his sixth home run of the 2018 season in clutch fashion - marking the first hit of the Sunday game and first runs of the game for the Sky Sox.
Memphis History: First Sky Sox game in Memphis: April 16th, 1998 at Tim McCarver Stadium - Larry Luebbers and Curtis King combine on a two-hit shutout for Memphis, as the Redbirds blank the Sky Sox, 1-0. First Sky Sox home game vs. Memphis: June 4th, 1998 at Sky Sox Stadium: Placido Polanco goes 3-for-5, with a RBI, and Juan Muñoz goes 2-for-5 with 2 RBI for Memphis, as the Redbirds beat the Sky Sox, 10-7. Last Sky Sox home game vs. Memphis: June 28th, 2018 at Security Service Field: Carson Kelly and Tyler O'Neill both homer in a 7-run seventh inning, as the Redbirds beat the Sky Sox, 7-5.
Back-to-Back x2: Yesterday marked only the third time in Sky Sox history where an opponent had back-to-back homers in two different innings in the same game. The other instances: June 25th, 1993 in Colorado Springs - Las Vegas' Dan Walters and Paul Gonzalez hit back-to-back homers in the 2nd inning off Lance Painter, then repeated the back-to-back homers in the 8th inning off Marcus Moore, as Las Vegas won 7-5. June 30th, 2000 in Tacoma - Tacoma's Brian Lesher, Chad Alexander, and Anthony Sanders hit back-to-back-to-back homers in the 3rd inning off Mike Saipe, then Chris Snopek and Mike Neill hit back-to-back homers in the 4th inning, also off Mike Saipe, as Tacoma won 15-3.
Four-Hit Again: The Sky Sox were four-hit for the second game in a row and fifth time this season by the Redbirds. Other than last night, the previous times Colorado Springs was four-hit by the Memphis squad was in the same series in Memphis on May 26, 28, and 29.
Santana Goes Deep: Domingo Santana slugged his third home run since joining the Sky Sox. On Saturday night, Santana gave the Sky Sox the early 1-0 lead on a solo home run to right field. On Tuesday, Santana collected his first multi-home run game for the Sky Sox.
Walk Rhythm: Sky Sox pitching surrendered nine more walks Saturday night in Memphis. Just four nights ago, Sky Sox arms set a new high in walks this season with 11 total.
Mercado Doesn't Mess: The five-hit game by Oscar Mercado against the Sky Sox marks the fourth time a Memphis Redbirds' player has reached the feat against the Sky Sox and the first time at AutoZone Park. The other three happened in Colorado Springs: Keith McDonald on May 1st, 2001 in Colorado Springs; Billy Ortega, also on May 1st, 2001 in Colorado Springs (Sky Sox won that game, 15-14); Cody Stanley, July 4th, 2015 in Colorado Springs (Memphis won that game, 15-1). The three stolen bases for Mercado also marks the first time a Memphis Redbirds' player has had a three stolen base game against the Sky Sox (Home or Away).
Burnes First W: Former Sky Sox arm Corbin Burnes (1-0) picked up his first major league win with two scoreless innings, bailing starter Chase Anderson out of a bases-loaded, nobody-out jam in the fifth. Kershaw was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a wild pitch before Burnes struck out All-Star Matt Kemp and got cleanup hitter Max Muncy to fly out.
Bethancourt Leads: Christian Bethancourt- who went into Friday night's contest against Memphis leading all Colorado Springs batters in home runs with 14- hit his 15th of the season with two outs and no one on in the sixth inning for the first run of the series, giving the Sky Sox a slim 1-0 advantage in doing so. The next closest Sky Sox batter in the homers category prior to Friday night's game was Tyrone Taylor, with a dozen longballs in the 2018 campaign at the onset of the three-game set versus the Redbirds.
Davis' Good Night: Erik Davis replaced Aaron Wilkerson on the mound for the Sky Sox in the bottom of the sixth inning on Friday night, recording a line out, a ground out, and a fly out in his first inning of work. In the top of the seventh inning, Davis had an at-bat and actually reached on Memphis' first error of the night. Davis then recorded another three-up, three-down inning in the bottom of the seventh, finishing his night with two innings of work out of the pen, surrendering no hits and not allowing a single baserunner.
Shut 'em Out: The Sky Sox shut out the Memphis Redbirds on Friday night to kick off their three-game series in Tennessee, marking the second time in as many nights the Redbirds had been shut out. It was Colorado Springs' seventh shutout of the season, with their last coming on 6/24 in Iowa against the Cubs (2-0). All seven of the Sky Sox shutouts have come on the road, and all three times the Sky Sox have been shut out this year have also come on the road.
1-0: Friday night's 1-0 Sky Sox win at Autozone Park marks the first time the Sky Sox have won a 1-0 game in Memphis. The Sky Sox were winless in five previous 1-0 games in Memphis: April 16th, 1998 at Tim McCarver Stadium, loss 1-0, April 22nd, 2003 at Autozone Park, Memphis 1-0 in 10 innings, June 19th, 2014 at Autozone Park, Memphis 1-0 in Game 1 of DH, June 29th, 2015 at Autozone Park, Memphis 1-0, and June 16th, 2017 at Autozone Park, Memphis 1-0. The Sky Sox have won both 1-0 games in Colorado Springs at Security Service Field: May 3rd, 2014 at Security Service Field, Sky Sox 1-0, and May 19th, 2014 at Security Service Field, Sky Sox 1-0 in 10 innings. The last 1-0 win for the Sky Sox with the lone run scoring on a homer was on June 24th, 2017, when Kyle Wren hit a lead-off homer to start the game at the Shrine on Airline, as the Sky Sox blanked the New Orleans Baby Cakes, 1-0.
Sweet Tally: Manager Rick Sweet is eight regular season wins away to pass Brad Mills for the regular season wins as Sky Sox manager and 11 wins away to pass him in overall wins with the Sky Sox.
19 Hits: The Sky Sox marked a second-highest mark in hits on the season with 19 against Round Rock on Tuesday. The most they have accrued this season so far is 20, which was met on April 30 against Nashville at home.
This Week's Preview: The Sky Sox are on the road in Memphis for a three-game set against the Redbirds. They return home on the 24th to host the El Paso Chihuahuas for three games, followed by a four-game set against the Albuquerque Isotopes. It will be the first and only time this season Colorado Springs plays El Paso and Albuquerque.
NEXT GAME: Tuesday, July 24 at 6:40 p.m. MT vs. El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego) @ Security Service Field
RHP Aaron Brooks (1-1, 5.09) vs. TBD - Broadcast on XTRA Sports 1300
Promotion: $2 Tuesday presented by Boost Mobile - $2 Coors, $2 Parking, $2 Tickets
COS TOP PERFORMERS
- Andres Blanco (1-for-2, HR, R, 2 RBI)
- Tyrone Taylor (1-for-4, RBI)
- Orlando Arcia (1-for-4, R)
MEM TOP PERFORMERS
- Tyler O'Neill (3-for-5, 3 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI)
- Luke Voit (4-for-5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI)
- Adolis Garcia (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI)
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