COLORADO SPRINGS - The Colorado Springs Sky Sox swept a double header and the four-game series from the Fresno Grizzlies with a pair of victories, 4-2 & 3-2, on Thursday evening at Security Service Field in front of 2,332 fans. The win moves the Sox to 1.5 games behind division leading Salt Lake.
The Sky Sox have now won 11 of their last 12 homes games. It also improved the Sox record from 21-21 at the start of the day to 23-21 to mark the first time since May 23rd, 2005 that the Sky Sox have had a record over .500. That is a span of 287 games.
Rodrigo Lopez (1-0) picked up the win in game one after giving up just two runs on four hits over 6.2 innings of work. He came up one out short of a complete game when he reached his predetermined pitch-limit on a walk to Justin Knoedler with two outs. Ryan Speier came on in relief and on one pitch retired the side to notch his 10th save on the season. Matt Palmer (2-3) was pegged with the loss despite a complete game effort.
Fresno opened up the scoring in game one with two runs in the second inning off of Lopez. Scott McClain led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on a single by Chad Santos. Lopez got two quick outs with a pair of groundouts but Ivan Ochoa singled to make it 2-0.
The Sox got a run back in the third on a RBI single by Omar Quintanilla and took the lead for good in the fourth with a three-run inning. In the fourth, the first four batters reached on base hits and three of them came around to score. Ian Stewart singled and scored on a Seth Smith single, Smith came around on a Cory Sullivan double and Sullivan scampered home on a RBI single by Clint Barmes to make it 4-2.
In the night cap, the Sox got on the board first with two runs in the first inning. Barmes singled to lead off and scored on a RBI double by Sullivan. After moving to third on a single by Koshansky, Sullivan trotted home on a sacrifice fly by Stewart.
The Grizzlies got a run back in the third as they plated a run against starter Oscar Rivera on a RBI double by Guillermo Rodriguez. William Bergolla led off the inning with a single and came all the way around on the Rodriguez hit.
Colorado Springs picked up an insurance run in the fifth as they cashed in a lead off walk. Smith walked and after two outs moved to second when Barmes was hit by a pitch and scored when Sullivan singled to shallow left for his second RBI of the night.
That run turned out to be the difference as Fresno plated a run in the seventh off Speier but no more as the Sox finished the sweep of the double header and series with a 3-2 win.
With his second save of the day, Ryan Speier became the first Sox pitcher to save both games of a double header since Brad Clontz accomplished the feat on June 7, 2003 against Oklahoma. He saved the game for Rivera (1-1) who picked up his first Triple-A win. Starter Travis Blackley (4-2) took the loss for Fresno.
The Sky Sox welcome the Sacramento RiverCats to town tomorrow night as they begin a four-game series. The Sox will send out RHP Bobby Keppel (1-3, 6.35) to face LHP Dallas Braden (0-0, 0.75) with the schedule first pitch time set for 7:05 PM.