The Colorado Springs Sky Sox (54-51) commit three errors and allow seven runs in the ninth inning to blow a three-run lead and fall to the Fresno Grizzlies (48-59), 10-6, in front of 5,964 fans at Security Service Field.
Up 6-3, the Sky Sox seemed to be on the verge of snapping their four-game losing streak when closer Logan Kensing came into the game to attempt to close out Fresno. Prior to tonight’s start, Kensing was 13-for-13 in save opportunities and had a 1.97 ERA. The righty, who earned the loss yesterday after allowing a walk-off single in the ninth, struggled right away by giving up a home run to Roger Kieshnick to make it 6-4 Sky Sox. The next batter, Chris Dominguez, flew out to left field, but the ball was dropped by Tim Wheeler allowing the third baseman to reach first. After a wild pitch and a walk, Francisco Peguero singled home a run to bring the Grizzlies within one. Outfielder Gary Brown then reached first base and Reid Brignac dropped a foul ball out for the team’s second error of the inning. Kensing then walked in a run with the bases loaded and committed a throwing error on a force attempt that brought home two runs. The Grizzlies scored two more runs on a single by Brett Pill and a sacrifice fly by Hector Sanchez.
After giving up seven runs (two earned), Logan Kensing was relieved by Mike McClendon who got two straight outs to get out of the inning. The seven runs given up in the ninth inning is the first time the team has given up that many runs in the ninth since they allowed nine runs in the ninth inning in a 23-11 loss to Salt Lake on August 23, 2011.
Now down four runs the Sky Sox’ offense could not muster any runs in the bottom of the ninth and suffered their fifth straight defeat.
Lost in the Sky Sox’ ninth inning collapse was the outstanding pitching performance by Sean Gallagher. In his first start with the team, since being promoted from Double-A Tulsa, the righty only allowed two runs in seven innings on six hits while striking out three batters.
The team gave their starting pitcher an early cushion when Fresno starting pitcher Justin Fitzgerald hurled three wild pitches in the first inning, and Charlie Culberson, Ryan Wheeler and Tim Wheeler each recorded RBIs. They expanded on their lead with one run in the third on a second RBI single by T. Wheeler and with two runs in the seventh on a RBI double by Culberson and a RBI single by R. Wheeler.
Tomorrow the Sky Sox will hope to end their streak when righty Cory Riordan (4-3, 7.38) faces off against RH Mitch Lively (3-4, 6.00) on X-Men Night which is set to begin at 6:05 PM MT.
Sky Sox Notes: Tim Wheeler continued his great play tonight with two hits to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. Since June 12, Wheeler has raised his average from .198 to .275.