Garrett Cooper drove in four runs for the second time this season and Paolo Espino earned his first Pacific Coast League win as the Colorado Springs Sky Sox won their first road game of 2017, 8-2, in front of 4,008 at AutoZone Park Thursday night.
The Sox first baseman extended his season-opening hitting streak to seven games with a 4-for-5 effort, falling a triple shy of the cycle. After singling in the first inning, Cooper launched his first home run of the season with one out to double Colorado Springs' early lead to 2-0.
One inning later, the Auburn University product singled in Kyle Wren and then drove in both Wren and Ryan Cordell on a two-run double to right-centerfield in the seventh inning.
Much like the Memphis Redbirds (6-2) had done in the previous two games in the series, the Sky Sox (4-3) opened the game with a fast start. In his first action since Opening Day, Lewis Brinson opened the scoring with a solo home run to left field-his first of the season-and gave the visitors a quick 1-0 lead.
Video: Colorado Springs' Brinson hits first homer
Another Sox hitter making his first appearance in an extended period of time, rehabbing catcher Andrew Susac drove in a run as part of a two-run fourth inning. Eric Sogard and Nate Orf each drove in a run during Colorado Springs' two-run fifth and three-run sixth innings respectively.
Meanwhile, Espino (1-0, 3.86) shut down the potent Redbird offense, tossing six innings of five-hit ball with six strikeouts and two earned runs. After picking off Luke Voit to end the first inning, Espino retired nine consecutive Redbirds, including four via a called third strike. Tyler Cravy threw two 1-2-3 innings and Wei-Chung Wang pitched a perfect ninth to prevent Memphis from clinching the four-game series.
Brandon Woodruff (1-0, 0.00) takes the mound for Colorado Springs, seeking a series split of the four-game set. The RHP takes on fellow RHP Mike Mayers (1-0, 5.40) at 6:05 p.m. MT before the Sox head east on I-40 for a three-game series with the Nashville Sounds.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.