In a game that featured a pre-game celebration and jersey auction to benefit the heroes of the Waldo Canyon Fire, the Colorado Springs Fire Department and Colorado Springs Police Department, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (56-51) did their best to honor those brave individuals by handedly defeating the Fresno Grizzlies (55-51) 10-1 to win their season-high seventh straight game at Security Service Field. The Sky Sox wore custom jerseys that were auctioned off during and after the game, and in all the Sox raised $24,195 that will go to the Colorado Springs Fire Protective Association and the Police Foundation of Colorado Springs.
Sky Sox starter Alex White (3-4, 3.71 ERA) notched his second straight stellar start by shutting down the Grizzlies offense over his eight innings of work, the longest start for any Sox starter this season, and did not allow a hit in the first four innings. White struck out a season-high eight batters, passing his previous high of six set in his last start against Fresno on April 26, and allowed less than three runs for the seventh time in his eleven starts this season for the Sox. After only collecting the win in one of his first nine starts, White has now put together back-to-back wins with one run allowed in his last 15 innings.
Sky Sox outfielders Matt McBride and Charlie Blackmon both had three hits and three RBI in the game, and are tied with Omaha’s Johnny Giovatella for the league lead in hits this month at 38 apiece. McBride has at least one RBI in nine of his last ten games and leads all active PCL players with 75 RBI, including a league-leading 31 RBI in July. Blackmon leads the league with 26 runs scored in July with McBride second at 25, and Blackmon has a hit in 19 of his 23 games since returning to the Sky Sox on July 4 batting .388 during that span. McBride was a triple away from the cycle after the fourth inning, the second time this week he has been one hit away from the first PCL cycle this season, but did not get a hit in his final two at-bats.
Colorado Springs amassed 16 hits in the game, as they lead the league with 190 runs and 297 hits in the month of July, and the Sox have at least eight hits in seventeen straight games. Six different players had an extra-base hit in the game, including pitcher Alex White who had his first RBI hit in his professional career on a double in the Sky Sox four-run third inning. McBride hit his tenth homer of the season in the second inning to get the scoring going, the second Sky Sox player this season to reach double-digit home runs on the year.
The win is the Sox ninth straight victory in home series openers. The Sunday doubleheader tomorrow will be only the second doubleheader between the Sky Sox and Grizzlies in the 15-year history of the two clubs playing each other, and the Sky Sox will send out left-hander Edwar Cabrera (3-0, 3.48 ERA) and right-hander Ricky Brooks (0-1, 9.39 ERA) in the twin bill. Fresno will counter with right-hander Yusmeiro Petit (4-3, 3.27 ERA) and left-hander Wilmin Rodriguez (3-3, 6.80 ERA) and the action gets started at 4:05 p.m. MT.