Sky Sox Romp Cubs 7-0 In Tidy 7-Inning Contest
Backed by Tenacious Offense, Thornburg and Leroux Shine In Win Over Iowa
With the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate in town, it only seemed right to be prepared to play two at Security Service Field on Monday evening after Sunday afternoon’s washout. Unfortunately things would not shake out in favor of the great Mr. Cub’s signature catch phrase as game two of the twin bill would be cancelled due to inclement weather after the Sky Sox crisp 7-0 win over Iowa in seven innings before a crowd of 1,531.
Making his first start for the Sox after being sent down by Milwaukee, Tyler Thornburg tossed 3.2 scoreless innings, allowing two singles and a walk while striking out four. The right-hander was removed with two outs in the fourth after a Chris Valaika line drive single to left field, leaving two runners on for righty-reliever Chris Leroux (1-2, 4.15). A strictly enforced pitch-limit would take Thornburg from the ballgame early after making an electrifying first impression on the Colorado Springs faithful. His steady mix of 93-94 MPH fastballs and devastating curveballs would keep Iowa’s lineup off-balance for the first half of the ballgame.
Veteran Japanese import Tsuyoshi Wada (0-2, 5.40) would not fare nearly as well for the Cubs as the Sky Sox offense would put a few crooked numbers up on the scoreboard in the second, third and fourth innings.
The right-hander earned a big-league call up to Chicago after the MLB All-Star break last year, pitching to the tune of a 3.25 ERA over 69.1 innings in 13 starts to finish his season. The Sox would not be intimidated by the track record however as six of their seven runs would be earned and charged to Wada.
After a scoreless first, Saturday night’s walk-off hero Matt Clark would single to right field to open the second. Nevin Ashley would then strike out swinging, bringing Shane Peterson to the plate with one out. Peterson drilled a line drive off the left field wall, plating Clark with a booming RBI double. A Ben Guez flyout to left two outs in the inning before a Christian Villanueva throwing error on a softly-hit grounder by Brandon Macias allowed Peterson to score the Sox second run.
Colorado Springs tacked on another run in the third on the strength of a Luis Sardinas two-out double and Clark RBI single to right.
Leroux turned in his sharpest outing of the young season in relief of Thornburg, twirling 3.1 innings of scoreless baseball to keep Iowa of the scoreboard, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out four.
Peterson would continue his excellent game at the plate, leading off the fourth inning with a single. He would leadoff the very next inning with a standup triple off the top of the wall in left center. He would fall just a home run shy of hitting for the cycle in the shortened game.
Guez would follow the leadoff single with a beautiful bunt single down the third base line. Macias and Leroux would continue the trend, both adding singles of their own, with Leroux’s plating Peterson for the Sox fourth run. The hot-hitting Matt Long flew out to deep left, scoring Guez on the sacrifice fly before Pete Orr really broke the game open in the next at-bat. Orr cranked a line drive double high off of the left field wall, allowing Macias and Leroux to scoot around the bases for the game’s final runs. The four-run inning gave the Sky Sox a 7-0 lead that would not be relinquished.
The efficient performance by Rick Sweet’s club gave the Sox their first back-to-back wins of the season, finishing the game in a tidy one hour and fifty minutes.
The game two rainout will be made up on Tuesday at Security Service Field as part of a newly scheduled double-header beginning at 4:30 PM MDT. The two seven-inning contests are slated to feature a matchup between Sox lefty Nick Additon (1-1, 3.94) and I-Cubs right-hander Donn Roach (1-0, 2.60) in game one with Drew Gagnon (1-1, 5.65) set to lead the way in game two. Iowa’s game two starter is TBD.