The Colorado Springs Sky Sox (65-59) outlasted the Albuquerque Isotopes (71-53) in the series opener 12-9, led by a perfect performance at the plate by Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer in his Major League Rehab and Brandon Wood’s six RBI, tying a season high for any Sox player this season, to notch their eleventh straight win in home series openers.
Cuddyer was playing in his first game since injuring his right oblique on August 4 and got his day started with a bang as he smashed a two-run homer in his first at-bat of the game to get the Sox on the board. Cuddyer was the second Rockies rehabber to homer in his first at-bat with the Sky Sox, as Troy Tulowitzki performed the same feat on June 13 against the Reno Aces. Cuddyer singled in his next two at-bats then doubled off the right field wall in the sixth to collect his third RBI of the game and give the Sox the lead for good, finishing the game 4-for-4 with three runs scored, three RBI and a triple away from the cycle. It was Cuddyer’s first Minor League game since 2008 and his first game at Security Service Field since 2002 when he was with the Edmonton Trappers, the Twins Triple-A affiliate at the time.
The Sox trailed 4-2 entering the third inning, but the Colorado Springs offense exploded for six runs in the inning including Brandon Wood’s second grand slam of the season that gave the Sox their first lead of the night. Wood singled in two more runs in his final two at-bats of the game, including being one of three Sox players to plate a run in the sixth after Albuquerque tied the game 9-9 in the top of the inning, and his six RBI on the day tied him with Andrew Brown for the most runs knocked in by any Sox player this season. With his grand slam, Wood became the 14th player in Colorado Springs history to hit multiple slams in a season and 17th Sox player with multiple slams in their Sky Sox career. The Sky Sox have now both hit and allowed 101 grand slams in their 25-year history.
The win for the Sky Sox was their eleventh straight home series opener win which sets a new team record for consecutive wins in home series openers in one season, breaking the record of ten set in the 1994 season. The win gives the Sky Sox 65 wins in 2012, the most manager Stu Cole has totaled as Sky Sox manager in a year in his third full season at the helm of the Sky Sox.
Cuddyer is scheduled to make a second rehab start for the Sky Sox tomorrow against the Isotopes, with the Sox looking to even their record against teams from the American Southern Division. In the second game of the four-game set, Colorado Springs will send out right-hander Cory Riordan (1-1, 5.17 ERA) to face off with Albuquerque righty Fernando Nieve (5-7, 5.91 ERA) at 6:05 p.m. MT.
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