The Colorado Springs Sky Sox (73-65) used two separate six-run innings in a 14-6 rout of the Sacramento River Cats (82-56), roughing up the nearly untouchable River Cats starter Dan Straily to delay the Sacramento celebration of clinching the Pacific Southern Division while also keeping their own playoff hopes alive.
The Sky Sox plated six runs in the third inning off Sacramento starter Dan Straily (5-3, 2.23 ERA), including Hernan Iribarren, Tommy Field and Brandon Wood plating four runs with two outs to chase Straily from the game after only 2.2 innings of work. Straily had allowed six total runs in his last 39.0 innings in the PCL before the Sox touched him up for six in the third, and it was the first time this season the right-hander had not gone at least five innings in ten total PCL starts. The 5-through-9 hitters of Iribarren, Field, Wood and Wilkin Castillo combined for nine hits and nine RBI in the game with Field and Castillo both ending the game a homer away from the cycle.
Sacramento rallied in the sixth and seventh innings to cut the Sox lead to 8-4, but in the bottom of the seventh Colorado Springs had yet another six-run rally sending 12 men to the plate in the inning. The knockout blow in the frame came on a bases loaded triple by Wilkin Castillo to extend the Sox lead to 12-4 after Sacramento intentionally walked Brandon Wood to get the Sox catcher. Castillo total four RBI in the game, a new season high, and has 17 RBI in his last 15 games to add to his season total of 31 RBI which leads all Sky Sox catchers in 2012.
The Sky Sox had nine extra-base hits in the game, including seven doubles to increase their PCL-leading doubles total to 333 on the season. The total is already tied for the third most by any team in Sky Sox history and is seven doubles shy of the franchise record of 340 doubles with six games left. Sox starter Nick Schmidt (6-3, 6.36 ERA) held the River Cats scoreless in the first five innings of the game to notch his sixth win in his last seven decisions and combined with relievers Mike Ekstrom and Joey Williamson to record six strikeouts on the night, which moves the 2012 Sox within one strikeout of the team record of 1,042 strikeouts.
The Sky Sox will look to build off the big win and gain ground on the first place Reno Aces as they send out right-hander Rob Scahill (9-11, 5.98 ERA), who broke the single season record for strikeouts by a Sky Sox pitcher in his last start with his 143 punch-outs this year. Scahill will match up former Sox pitcher Bruce Billings (7-6, 4.03 ERA) in a game that will feature Major League rehab assignments by Rockies stars Tory Tulowitzki and Jason Giambi at 6:05 p.m. MT.
Updated: 04/05/2013 - A look back at that amazing Rockies home opener, 20 years ago! Were you there?