Down 12-3 in the bottom of the sixth, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (50-45) scored seven unanswered runs, but could not overcome the nine-run deficit and end up falling to the Salt Lake Bees (54-43), 12-10 in front of a crowd of 7,239 on Used Car Giveaway Night.
Bees’ starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker (W, 8-10) held the Sky Sox’ offense in check for most of the night, only allowing four runs on eight hits in six innings, while fanning six batters. After Shoemaker left the game after the sixth inning, the Sox’ offense finally ignited. Charlie Culberson led off the seventh with a triple to right field and then scored from third on a groundout by Corey Dickerson and Culberson finished the game a home run short of hitting for the cycle.
In the eighth inning Bees’ reliever Buddy Boshers struck out Xavier Nady and Ben Paulsen to begin the inning. The next batter, Tyler Colvin, hit a groundball that was mishandled by the shortstop. After the error, the bases became loaded on a Tim Wheeler single and a Lars Davis walk. Culberson then hit a two-run single and the bases got loaded again when Brignac drew a walk. Dickerson then smashed a bases clearing triple to make the score 12-10. The Sky Sox now have 61 triples on the season which is two short of tying the team’s record for the second most amount of triples hit in a season.
Nady attempted to continue the rally in ninth when he hit a double to start off the final inning. Paulsen then hit a blistering ground ball to short, but Andrew Romine made a spectacular diving play to get the out. Colvin then walked, but Daniel Stange (S, 3) struck out the final two batters to end the game.
Right-hander Aaron Cook (L, 0-5) began the game for the Sky Sox, but gave up nine runs (eight earned) on 12 hits in four innings. The total was the most runs he has given up this season and he raises his ERA to 8.15 on the year. The veteran also allowed two home runs for the second straight start. Reliever Michael Solbach also faltered in his appearance, giving up a two-run double and a RBI single in the sixth inning.
Tomorrow, Colorado Springs will look to avoid their first four-game sweep of the year when they welcome back the Bees for the final game before the All-Star break. Tomorrow’s matinee’s pitching matchup will feature left-hander Jeff Francis (1-2, 5.40) against righty Jarrett Grube (3-2, 3.53) and is scheduled to get started at 1:35 PM MT.
Sky Sox Notes: So far during this 11-game homestand the Sky Sox have welcomed 60,937 fans to Security Service Field. That total over 10-games has broken the team’s previous record for a 12-game homes stand which was 55,788. Charlie Culberson went 4-for-5 tonight and had four hits in a game for the second time this season. The infielder also stole his 12th base of the season which ties him with Greg Golson for the team lead.