In their series opener against the New Orleans Zephyrs, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox got strong pitching from their bullpen after a lengthy rain delay to defeat the Zephyrs 7-3 in front of 4,559 at Security Service Field on Thursday.
Sky Sox starter Tyler Cravy (2-2, 6.03) got off to a strong start. In the first, Cravy set down the side in order with a pair of ground outs and a strikeout.
In the bottom half, Kyle Wren led off with a broken bat single against New Orleans starter Asher Wojciechowski (2-2, 4.94). The hit extended Wren's hitting streak to 14 games, but the Sky Sox couldn't push a run across.
Cravy was dominant in the top of the second. He struck out the side in order, all swinging, on just 11 pitches.
In the top of the third, after Cravy threw two pitches to Carlos Corporan, the skies opened up as the game went into a rain delay.
After a delay of an hour and 47 minutes, the game resumed with Brent Suter (3-4, 4.28) on the mound for the Sky Sox.
Cravy pitched two scoreless innings before the delay, retiring all six batters he faced while striking out four.
The Zephyrs struck for a run against Suter in the fourth, but the lead didn't last long as Yadiel Rivera grounded into a fielder's choice off Zephyrs reliever Greg Nappo to score the tying run.
In the fifth, the Sky Sox took the lead on an RBI single from Will Middlebrooks that scored Orlando Arcia with the go-ahead run.
Suter returned to the mound in the sixth and set down the side in order. In four innings, Suter allowed one earned run on four hits while striking out three to earn his third victory of the season.
Colorado Springs added a pair in the seventh on another run scoring single from Middlebrooks and a sacrifice fly from Pina to increase the Sky Sox lead to three. The Sky Sox then put the game away in the eighth with a single from Orlando Arcia that scored a pair of runs, then Andy Wilkins singled home Arcia with the final run of the game for the Sky Sox to make the score 7-1 after eight innings.
Sam Freeman relieved Suter in the seventh and pitched two scoreless innings to keep the Sky Sox in front. Damien Magnifico allowed a pair of runs in the ninth, but finished off the win.
The victory puts the Sky Sox (39-38) above .500 on the season for the first time since April 20, when the Sky Sox were 6-5 following a win over Nashville.
Wren reached base in all five of his plate appearances, drawing three walks and producing two base hits. Middlebrooks went 3-for-5 at the plate to finish off a strong month of June. Arcia, Michael Reed, and Wren all scored twice in the win.
In game two of the series tomorrow night, Hiram Burgos (4-5, 4.61) will get the start for the Sky Sox. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Security Service Field. Postgame fireworks will light up the night sky following the game.