The Colorado Springs Sky Sox (73-68) lost their third straight game as they dropped the series opener to the Las Vegas 51s (78-62) by a score of 8-4, losing their second straight home series opener after winning 11 straight home series openers coming in to their final homestand of the season.
Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and first baseman Jason Giambi both made Major League rehab appearances for the Sox, with Tulowitzki making his third straight appearance, and each collected one hit on the night. Tulowitzki’s lone base knock of the game came on a double to the right-centerfield gap in the seventh inning in his final plate appearance, which drove in one of the four runs in the inning for the Sky Sox while being the fourth RBI for Tulowitzki in his four total games in Colorado Springs this season. Giambi also doubled in the game to lead off the fourth inning, but the Sox could not score him in the frame.
Las Vegas built a 4-0 lead in the first six innings on a pair of RBI for first baseman Yan Gomes and a two-RBI triple by Kevin Howard in the sixth, but the major blow in the game came on a two-out grand slam by Ricardo Nanita in the top of the seventh inning after Sox reliever Austin Bibens-Dirkx walked two straight batters before Nanita stepped to the plate. The Sky Sox responded with four runs in the bottom of the inning with Brandon Roberts, Omir Santos and Tulowitzki driving in runs on doubles and Tim Wheeler driving in a run on a triple and brought the tying run to the plate with the bases loaded and one out in the inning after scoring the four runs in Hernan Iribarren. Iribarren lined out in to a double play to Howard at second base to end the final threat of the game from Colorado Springs.
Tim Wheeler continued his scorching month of August by going 5-for-5 in the game, the third five-hit game for a Sky Sox player this season, and has totaled 12 hits in his last four games to increase his team-leading total to 41 hits in the month of August. The four doubles in the game for the Sky Sox brought their Pacific Coast League-leading total to 339 on the season, with Tulowitzki’s double bringing the Sox to within one double of the team season record of 340 doubles set in the 2004 season.
The loss drops the Sky Sox to 27-34 against the Pacific Southern Division during the 2012 season, the only division in the PCL the Sox have a losing record against this year. In the second game of the final series of the season, the Sky Sox will send out right-hander Ricky Brooks (0-4, 8.70 ERA) to face off with Las Vegas right-hander Sean O’Sullivan (9-3, 2.51 ERA) at 6:05 p.m. MT.