In the bottom of the eighth inning first baseman Ben Paulsen belted a two-run home run to break the 2-2 tie and lead the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (44-36) to the 4-2 victory over the Tucson Padres (44-38) after a two-hour and twelve minute rain delay in the third game of their five-game series at Security Service Field.
Before the lengthy delay the two teams were embattled in a pitchers’ duel. In his first start at Security Field this season, left-hander Jeff Francis sat down the first nine batters he faced. His opponent, Matt Andriese also put up zeroes for the first two innings before surrendering the first run of the game in the bottom of the third when Ryan Wheeler drove home Charlie Culberson who reached on a single to leadoff the inning.
The Padres broke up the no-hitter and the shutout in the fourth when Daniel Robertson smacked a triple and scored on a ground out by Gregorio Petit. The two teams then traded runs in the fifth on two sacrifice flies. Francis got through the first two batters in the sixth before torrential downpours descended on the field.
After the rain stopped the Sky Sox sent on Edgmer Escalona to finish out the sixth. Escalona, who is on a major league rehab assignment, only allowed one hit in 1.1 innings of work in his first start of the season in a Sky Sox uniform.
In the top of the eighth with two outs, the Padres threatened to break the stalemate when they put two men on base for shortstop Dean Anna. Anna proceeded to hit a single to bring Chris Robinson across the plate, but Robertson was thrown out by Charlie Blackmon attempting to advance to third before Robinson touched home.
The mistake ended up costing the Padres as Paulsen broke the tie in the bottom of the inning with his 11th home run of the season. Closer Logan Kensing took the mound in the bottom of the ninth and got a 1-2-3 inning to earn his ninth save of the year.
Tomorrow right-hander Chris Volstad (4-1, 4.83) will take the mound on Star Wars Night against right-hander Josh Geer (NR), who will be making his first start of the season with the Padres. Game time is set for 6:05 PM MT.
Sky Sox Notes: Charlie Culberson had two hits and has now extended his hitting streak to 15 games…