After hitting just .220 through the first two months of the season, shortstop Rafael Ynoa has been on fire since the beginning of June and continued his tear with a career-night Wednesday night in the Sky Sox’ 12-4 victory against the Round Rock Express.
Ynoa reached base all six times to the plate, mashing out a career-high five hits, including four doubles, to raise his season average to .303. Ynoa’s four doubles tied a franchise record, which was last done on April 15th, 2000 by Brent Butler against Edmonton. His five hits was the most by a Sky Sox since Matt McBride did so on May 22nd, 2013.
Colorado Springs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks to Carlos Gonzalez’ two-run home run to left-center. It was Gonzalez’ second home run during his rehab stint with the Sox. He finished 1-for-4 with two runs scored, a walk, hit-by-pitch and a strikeout, along with his two RBI from his homer.
However, LHP Brian Burres surrendered the lead in the bottom of the first and allowed the Express to score three runs. Burres only lasted the inning, before RHP Mike McClendon (2-1) was given the ball and tossed five shutout innings before giving up his lone run, a solo-shot to J.P. Arencibia in the seventh.
The Sky Sox retook the lead for good in the third with a huge seven-run frame thanks to two doubles from Ynoa, and a pair of two-run singles from Angelys Nina and Drew Garcia.
The Sox tacked on two more in the sixth when Jason Pridie smacked his 10th home run of the season, and his second in as many days. Colorado Springs finished the scoring with Ynoa’s fifth hit of the night, an RBI ground-rule double in the top of the ninth.
McClendon finished the game with six innings pitched, while allowing just one run on four hits, while striking out three batters. In his eight appearances with the Sky Sox since signing to a minor league deal in early June, McClendon has a 3.30 ERA (30.0 ip, 11 er) with 18 strikeouts and seven walks.
Three Sky Sox players (Ynoa, Nina, Pridie) enjoyed multi-hit affairs, while five players drove in multiple runs (Ynoa 3, Gonzalez 2, Nina 2, Pridie 2, Garcia 2).
The Sky Sox will look to win another series at 6:05 p.m. (MT) Thursday night against Round Rock. LHP Chris Capuano (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his second start since signing a minor league deal when he toes the rubber against RHP Luke Jackson (0-0, 6.43 ERA).
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