The Colorado Springs Sky Sox were locked in a battle with the Tacoma Rainiers until the seventh inning when the Sox blew the game open beating the Rainiers by a final score of 13-9 in front of 4,272 fans Friday night at Security Service Field.
Sky Sox starting pitcher Matt Belisle, who was sent down from the Rockies, had a rocky first start for the Sox. Tacoma scored two runs in the first inning coming by way of an RBI groundout by third baseman Chris Shelton and an RBI single from second baseman Mike Morse. Tacoma scored three more runs on Belisle before he was replaced with one out left in the fourth inning after allowing five runs on five hits in 3 2/3 innings.
For every time Tacoma would score it seemed the Sky Sox had an answer. After Tacoma scored in the top of the first the Sky Sox came right back to score three of their own in the bottom of the first. Eric Young Jr. scored on a throwing error by Mike Morse, and Mark Bellhorn added an RBI triple to be followed by an RBI single coming from Edwin Bellorin. Tacoma scored three in the top of the third inning only to be answered once again by the sox in the bottom of the same inning. Matt Miller singled in Young Jr., giving him his first of five RBI on the night, Edwin Bellorin added another RBI on a double to left field and Kenny Perez was responsible for the third run of the inning recording an RBI on a sacrifice fly to center, making the score 6-5 Sox.
Tacoma went on to score a run in the fifth and would add three more in the sixth giving them the lead 9-6 going into the bottom half of the sixth inning, but the Sox would answer again tying the game up at 9-9. Relief pitcher Tyler Johnson (0-1) would come on for Tacoma in the seventh only to allow four runs, giving the Sky Sox a commanding 13-9 lead. Christian Colonel was the hero of the seventh finding no better way to break out of a slump by slamming a homer to center field giving the Sox the go-ahead lead at 11-9. Miller’s two-run double would prove to be bonus runs for the Sox as the game would end by a score of 13-9.
Sox reliever, Jarrett Grube (1-2) was able to hold the Rainiers scoreless in the top of the seventh collecting his first win of the season allowing only one hit, and Ryan Mattheus would close out the final two innings for the Sky Sox also allowing only one hit and surrendering no runs.
Game two of the four game series will be held tomorrow at 1:05 PM and will feature right-hander Jason Hirsh (3-2, 5.09) of the Sox versus lefty Chris Seddon (2-3, 6.61) of the Rainiers.
Notes: Sky Sox skipper, Tom Runnells, was promoted prior to the game. Runnells was named the new Bench Coach for the Colorado Rockies replacing Jim Tracy who was named the interim manager for the Rockies. Stu Cole will be the Sky Sox new manager, as he received a promotion from Double-A Tulsa where he held the same position