The Colorado Springs Sky Sox ( 61-64) gave up five runs in the ninth inning, including a walk-off grand slam to Carlos Peguero, to fall to the Tacoma Rainiers (68-60), 5-3, for the second straight game.
For the first eight innings of the game the Sky Sox dominated the Rainiers. Starting pitcher Cory Riordan pitched his way in and out of trouble for five innings, but also overpowered Tacoma, garnering a season-high nine strikeouts. In his final inning of work the Sky Sox gave the right-hander the run support he needed.
To start off the fifth, Xavier Nady singled to left field and Kent Matthes walked to put runners on first and second. After a sacrifice bunt by Hernan Iribarren, Drew Garcia singled to load the bases. The next batter, Jose Gonzalez then reached on a fielding error by Leury Bonilla which allowed Nady to score. Tim Wheeler then gave the team a three-run lead when he singled to right field. The team's inning came to an abrupt end however, when Tim Wheeler was picked off and caught stealing second, and then Jose Gonzalez was caught trying to reach home to complete the double play for Tacoma.
The three runs the Sky Sox scored in the fifth would be all the team would plate, as lefty James Paxton shut down the team for two more innings before giving way to reliever Forrest Snow (W, 2-0) who only allowed one run in two innings.
Despite Colorado Springs offensive struggles after the fifth, the three run lead seemed enough as Rob Scahill pitched a dominant 2.2 innings. Heading into the ninth inning, Steven Hensley was on the mound in an attempt to secure the team's second shutout in five days, but that chance ended when Jason Jaramillo homered on a fly ball to right field. Hensley then allowed a double and a walk before being replaced by the team's closer, Logan Kensing (L, 2-4). Kensing walked the first batter he faced and then engaged in an eight pitch at-bat before allowing the four-run blow to Peguero.
The loss is the team's second consecutive walk-off loss and puts the team down two games to none in the five-game series with their division rivals. Sean Gallagher (0-2, 5.73) will take the mound tomorrow in hopes of ending their losing streak. The righty faces Andrew Carraway (6-5, 4.83) in an afternoon matinee that begins at 1:35 PM PT