COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A five-run first inning was too much for the Sky Sox (44-61) to overcome as they dropped the series opener, 12-4, to the Round Rock Express on Friday night at Security Service Field.
The Express, who mashed out 16 hits, picked up a pair of runs on an RBI single from Michael Choice and a sac fly from Ryan Rua, before Jared Hoying (two-run) and Ryan Strausborger (solo) smashed back-to-back homers to give Round Rock an early 5-0 lead.
Round Rock tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning off RHP Brett Tomko (2-3) thanks to a two-run shot, this time by Brett Nicholas.
In his ninth start with the Sky Sox, Tomko tossed 5.2 innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits, while striking out three with one walk.
Trailing 7-1, the Sky Sox made their run in the fifth with a three-run inning thanks to three consecutive singles from Kyle Parker, Matt McBride and Ryan Wheeler, followed up by an RBI double from Cristhian Adames.
Adames, who was recently promoted to the Sky Sox after All-Star break, started out 1-for-11, but has been hot his last three games. In each game, he’s went 2-for-4 with a double to improve his average to .304 (9-for-23).
The Sky Sox were still trailing, 7-4, before the Express scored a run in the eighth and tacked on four more in the final frame thanks to five consecutive hits, including four doubles. Round Rock finished the game with eight extra-base hits (5-2B, 3 HR).
Kyle Parker had a game-high three hits, including his 50th RBI of the game. McBride, Adames, and Rafael Ynoa each had two hits, while McBride drove in a run for the fourth consecutive game.
The Express had their entire lineup collect a hit, while seven picked up two hits. Nicholas and Hoying each drove in a trio of runs.
RHP Phil Irwin (5-1) picked the win for Round Rock with five innings, allowing four runs on 11 hits while striking out six. RHP Phil Klein and RHP Spencer Patton each tossed scoreless outings out of the pen for Round Rock. Klein tossed three perfect inning with four strikeouts, while Patton pitched a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts.
The Sky Sox will play a doubleheader against the Express on Saturday with the first game beginning at 4:05 p.m. (MT). RHP Jair Jurrjens (0-1, 1.50 ERA) will go up against RHP Luke Jackson (0-0, 8.22 ERA) in game one.
Between games, the Sky Sox will honor owner Dave Elmore, who will be inducted into the PCL Hall of Fame. He is the first owner to achieve the feat.