Starting pitcher Jeff Manship (W, 6-8) pitched a season-high eight innings and threw a season-high seven strikeouts to help the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (55-52) snap their six-game losing streak with a 7-2 win over the Fresno Grizzlies (49-60) after a rain delay of 1:43 minutes at Security Service Field.
Despite the late start time, Manship got off to a hot start, retiring the first 12 batters he faced. The right-hander’s perfect game bid was disrupted with two outs in the fourth inning when Francisco Peguero hit a hard line drive off of Manship. The Sky Sox’ starting pitcher went down, but managed to stay in the game. After being hit by the ball he gave up his first run of the day on a RBI double. The only other run Manship would allow would be in the sixth inning on another RBI double, this time by Nick Noonan. The former Twin finished the day going eight innings and striking out seven batters. The last time Manship threw seven strikeouts in a game was last year on 7/17 as a member of the Rochester Red Wings against the Norfolk Tide. Tonight’s win brings him to 3-2 in the month of July and gives him an ERA of 3.00 which is the 14th lowest in the league this month.
The Sky Sox’ offense backed up their starting pitcher by scoring the most runs they have scored in a game since 7/19 against the Tucson Padres. They scored their first two runs in the bottom of the third inning when Ryan Wheeler smacked a two-run double to plate Hernan Iribarren and Reid Brignac who executed a double steal an at-bat earlier.
Fresno starting pitcher Austin Fleet would hold the Sky Sox to those two runs before being relieved by reliever Steve Edlefsen (L, 1-2) at the beginning of the seventh inning. The first batter Edlefsen faced, Iribarren, singled to lead off the inning. Brignac was then hit by a pitch and both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt. The runs then scored on back-to-back RBI singles by Ryan Wheeler and Xavier Nady. The bases became loaded when Ben Paulsen reached on an error by the second baseman. The team would then capitalize on the error when Wheeler scored on a ground out by Tim Wheeler. With Lars Davis batting Nady scored when he stole home on a double steal. Davis then smacked the team’s professional baseball leading 68th triple of the year for their fifth run of the inning. The team is now only six triples away from tying the team record for most three-baggers in a season. The five-run seventh inning was all the Sky Sox would need as Steven Hensley pitched a scoreless ninth inning to snap their season-high six game losing streak.
Tomorrow the Sky Sox will look to split the series when starting pitcher Chris Volstad takes the hill in the final game of the four-game home stand which is set to begin at 12:05 MT.