The Sky Sox put three tough losses behind them with a 9-2 dismantling of the Round Rock Express to split Thursday evening’s double header before a crowd of 7,231 at Dell Diamond.
The Sky Sox offense would jump all over Express starter Jimmy Reyes (5-3, 2.48), tagging the left-hander for five runs (three earned) on seven hits and two walks in his only two innings of work. Colorado Springs opened the game with three straight singles from the top of the order with the last being of the RBI variety off the bat of Domingo Santana to give the visitors a quick 1-0 lead. After a Clark flyout, Nevin Ashley drilled a two-run double to left to extend the early advantage to 3-0.
Santana drove in Wren for the second time with a one-out RBI single in the second before Ashley followed through with his third RBI of the game with a two-out knock. The second saw Colorado Springs extend their lead to 4-0 with spot-starter Rob Wooten turning in an excellent performance on the other side. The right-hander tossed three hitless frames to start the seven-inning contest, striking out four Express hitters along the way.
Nevin Ashley continued his monster game with a two-run blast off of left-hander Will Lamb in the Sox fourth. The catcher’s seventh long ball of the season gave him five RBI’s on the night and the Sox a 7-0 lead after four. Matt Dominguez added a solo shot in the fifth to leadoff the frame against left-hander Alex Claudio, extending the lead to 8-0 before Round Rock broke through for their first run in the following frame.
Preston Guilmet (2-0, 2.70) allowed one run over two innings of work on two fifth-inning walks followed by an RBI single off the bat of Patrick Cantwell. The right-hander would be the benefactor of the win as Wooten’s three-inning start could not qualify.
The Sox got to Claudio for one more run in the sixth as Luis Sardinas scampered home on a wild pitch with two-out and Ashley at the plate. Claudio would quiet Ashley’s bat to end the frame with Colorado Springs holding a 9-1 lead.
The Sox held that lead until slugging-prospect Joey Gallo lead off the Express seventh with his 13th long ball of the season against newly implanted reliever Jim Henderson. The right-handed veteran would settle down immediately, retiring the next three batters to secure a 9-2 win in Round Rock. Colorado Springs improves to 49-69 with the win while dropping the Express to 68-51 on the season.
The Sky Sox will look to close out their 10-day, 11-game road trip with a win on Friday night in Round Rock as they take on these same Express in their series-finale. Hiram Burgos (2-2, 3.09) will lead the way for Colorado Springs with Round Rock’s starter to be named. First pitch is slated for 6:05 PM MDT from Dell Diamond.