MEMPHIS - The Colorado Springs Sky Sox (10-13) took the lead in the very first at-bat of Monday’s game against the Memphis Redbirds (11-13) and would keep it throughout the entire game to beat the Redbirds on their home turf, 7-4.
On just the second pitch of the series opener, RF Tim Wheeler cranked a solo-shot to left field to give the Sky Sox their first run. A throwing error and walk in the next two at-bats set the table for 3B Ryan Wheeler, who smacked an RBI-double to left.
The Sox tacked on two more in the first frame courtesy of RBI singles from LF Evan Frey and SS Paul Janish, before RHP Scott McGregor (0-4) got Colorado Springs’ starting pitcher RHP Christian Bergman (3-1) to line out for the third out.
In the second inning, R. Wheeler added to the Sky Sox lead after hitting his second homer of the season, a two-run dinger to right field.
But thanks to one of the top prospects in all of baseball, CF Oscar Taveras, the Redbirds split the lead in half after a three-run third inning, which included Taveras’ fifth homer of the season, a two-run shot.
Both teams would exchange runs in the sixth inning, but both bullpens hunkered down and didn’t allow a run in the final three innings of the game.
RHP Chad Bettis made his Sky Sox debut after being optioned down by Colorado and threw a perfect seventh and eighth inning on just 16 pitches. He punched out two batters.
RHP Nick Masset continued his dominance throwing his fifth consecutive perfect outing. In 5.2 innings in six appearances, Masset has only allowed one hit.
R. Wheeler finished 3-for-4 on the night, falling a triple shy of the cycle and drove in three runs, while walking once. Prior to his three-hit night, R. Wheeler was 1-for-25 in his last six games.
RHP Jhoulys Chacin (0-1, 3.86 ERA) will make his second rehab start with the Sky Sox in Tuesday’s game squaring off against RHP Boone Whiting (0-2, 3.57). First pitch is scheduled for 6:02 p.m.
· With his home run on Monday, Tim Wheeler is now third in the PCL in extra-base hits with 14, just 10 shy from his 2013 total.