In just his second start with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (46-41), right-hander Juan Nicasio (W, 1-0) threw eight shutout innings to propel the Sky Sox to a 5-0 win over the Reno Aces (35-54) in front of 7,550 people at Security Service Field. The win snaps the team’s five-game losing streak and moves them back to five games over .500.
Nicasio was spectacular right off the bat for the Sox, retiring three straight batters after allowing a lead-off single. Colorado Springs’ offense would provide the only run support the righty would need in the second inning. Ryan Wheeler led off the inning with a single and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Ben Paulsen followed up Wheeler’s at-bat with a RBI double and was then plated on a RBI single by Golson. The Sky Sox increased their lead to three an inning later when Tim Wheeler and Charlie Blackmon hit back-to-back doubles off of Aces’ starting pitcher Diogenes Rosario (L, 0-1). Rosario ended up as the hard-luck loser in his Triple-A debut, only allowing three runs in six innings while striking out six.
After the third inning Nicasio continued to plow through the Aces’ lineup, retiring 15 of the next 16 batters. Nicasio finished the night earning his first career Triple-A win by only allowing five hits and striking out six batters. In 11 career Triple-A innings he has only allowed one run and now has a 0.82 ERA on the season.
In the eighth inning the Sky Sox added two more insurance runs, off of reliever Bryan Woodall, on a double by Ryan Wheeler and another RBI single by Greg Golson. The shutout win was the team’s fourth of the year and first at home since Tyler Chatwood’s complete game shutout against the Iowa Cubs on 5/7/13.
Colorado Springs aims to take a 2-1 series lead tomorrow when they send right-hander Chris Volstad (5-1, 4.55) to the mound against Mark Serrano (NR). In Volstad’s last outing, the veteran earned the win by only allowing two runs in seven innings. First pitch for tomorrow’s game is set for 6:05 PM MT.
Sky Sox Notes: Ryan Wheeler continued his hot streak, going 2-4 with a double and a RBI. The third baseman is now riding an 11-game hitting streak…Jeff Manship entered the game in the ninth inning in his first relief appearance since May 9th against Iowa.