COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Salt Lake Bees’ (52-43) third baseman Roberto Lopez hit a two-run double in the sixth inning to give the Bees the 4-2 win over the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (50-43) in front of 8,173 fans at Security Service Field on Military Appreciation Night. The loss sends the Sky Sox back to third place in the division and the team is now down one game to none in the team’s last game before the All-star break.
Before the fateful sixth inning, the two teams were engaged in a pitchers’ duel. Starting pitchers Chris Volstad (L, 5-2) and Dustin Richardson (W, 3-0) exchanged putting zeros on the board until the bottom of the second inning when the Sox loaded the bases and Ben Paulsen scored on a groundball by Hernan Iribarren that resulted in a double play.
Volstad gave up his first run of the day in the top of the next inning on a sacrifice fly by Tommy Field that plated catcher Luke Carlin, who led off the inning with a single. Both starters settled down after allowing their first runs of the day. Volstad sat down the next six batters he faced, and Richardson got out of trouble in the next two innings, despite walking two Sky Sox batters in the fourth.
The top of the sixth inning started out on a positive note for Colorado Springs as Volstad got shortstop Andrew Romine and right fielder Kole Calhoun to ground out for two easy outs to begin the inning. The righty then gave up a single, an RBI double, a walk and the two-run double to Lopez to make it 4-1 Bees.
Richardson left in the bottom of the sixth after he threw his 100th pitch and finished the day only allowing the one run in 5.1 innings while walking three and striking out six. Bees relievers, Buddy Boshers, Chad Cordero and Daniel Stange combined to stifle the Sky Sox’ offense.
Colorado Springs looked to rally off of Stange in the ninth when Tim Wheeler led off the inning with a single and then scored on a triple by Hernan Iribarren. The three-bagger was the infielder’s third of the year and the team’s professional baseball leading 59th triple of the season. Despite the promising start the team’s offense fell short , as Stange recorded three straight strikeouts to end the game.
Tomorrow the team will send Collin McHugh (0-0, 7.20), in his second start in a Sky Sox uniform, against spot-starter Fernando Cabrera (1-1, 2.81) on a Fireworks’ Friday at 7:05 PM MT.
Sky Sox Notes: Ryan Wheeler went 0-4 tonight to end his hitting streak at 16 games… Ben Paulsen extended his hitting streak to eight games with a single in the sixth.