After five hours, which included a one hour and 26 minute rain delay, the Las Vegas 51s (38-28) offense handled Sky Sox (28-37) pitching to come out on top, 14-7, Wednesday afternoon.
RHP Brett Tomko made his Sky Sox debut Wednesday, but only managed to pitch one inning before the rain delay knocked him out of the game. The oldest pitcher to ever start a game for the Sky Sox, Tomko struck out a batter and hit a batter in a relatively clean inning.
The Sox took a 2-0 lead with an RBI-double and an RBI-single from 1B Ben Paulsen and C Jackson Williams, respectively, before the delay.
However, on the other side of the delay, the 51s dominated the Sky Sox taking a 6-2 lead with a five spot in the fourth inning. C Travis d’Arnaud had a big offensive night with two homers and a double. His first home run, a two-run shot in the fourth against newly acquired Ryan Kulik (0-1), helped give Las Vegas the lead. In the seventh, he and 2B Daniel Muno went back-to-back with solo-home runs.
In total, the 51s had a season-high six home runs in the game. It was the first time since August 8th, 2011 that the Sky Sox gave up at least five home runs. Kai Gronauer also joined the crowd with a pinch-hit, three-run home run to left in the fifth inning off of RHP Brooks Brown.
1B Allan Dykstra and LF Brandon Allen had the other two home runs for the 51s.
Kulik came into the game following the delay, making his Sky Sox debut. He tossed 3.1 innings, allowing eight runs on 10 hits, while striking out two and walking two.
Las Vegas’ Ryan Reid (2-0) picked up the win for his team, pitching 3.1 innings after the delay, allowing just one hit and struck out five against just one walk.
For the Sky Sox, they were helped offensively by a two-run triple in the fifth by Paulsen — his fifth of the season. Paulsen finished with a single, double and a triple and three RBI.
The Sox’ lone home run came in the ninth from RF Kyle Parker, a line drive solo-shot that barely cleared the fences in right-center field. It was Parker’s seventh home run on the season, and he finished the night going one-for-three with two walks and two runs scored.
Like Paulsen, 2B Angelys Nina also finished the night with three hits.
Trailing by eight, manager Glenallen Hill turned to C Michael Ramirez to pinch-hit for RHP Greg Burke in the eighth and to finish the game on the mound. Ramirez racked up a pinch-hit single and completed a one-two-three ninth inning on the mound, including a strikeout.
For Las Vegas, Muno and LF Brandon Allen joined d’Arnaud with three hits in the contest.
The Sky Sox will look for a series split in the series finale at 7:05 p.m. Thursday night. LHP Yohan Flande (2-8, 5.01) will take the mound for Colorado Springs, while RHP Joel Carreno (1-4, 5.31) will toe the rubber for the 51s.
When he took the mound on Wednesday, it was just the second pitching appearance for Michael Ramirez in his minor league career. He pitched two innings for Rookie level Casper in 2011, but gave up five runs on four hits in that outing.