The Colorado Springs Sky Sox scored in the first four innings and earned their fifth straight win, cruising to a 14-4 victory over the Memphis Redbirds in front of 4,503 at Security Service Field Tuesday night.
With the win, the Sox (8-3) set a club record for the best start to a season, surpassing the 7-4 marks set by the 1989, 1992, 1997, 2007, 2009 and 2013 clubs.
Lewis Brinson led the way from his leadoff spot with five RBIs during his 4-for-6 night, while starting pitcher Paolo Espino (2-0, 4.76) drove in three runs of his own to pace the offense. In total, eight of the nine starters recorded at least one hit during the season-high 18-hit outburst.
Memphis cracked the scoreboard first with a single run in the top of the first inning, but the Sky Sox responded with a pair of runs during their first at-bats. With one out, Ryan Cordell tripled to the right-centerfield gap to score Eric Sogard, who doubled to start the rally. One batter later, Garrett Cooper grounded out to second base, plating Cordell and giving the first baseman his team-leading 12th RBI of 2017.
After the Redbirds scored two more runs in the second inning, Colorado Springs scored two more runs of their own to take a 4-3 lead. Ivan De Jesus and Yadiel Rivera singled to lead off the frame and Andrew Susac drove in his first run at Security Service Field in 2017 by lofting a sacrifice fly to right field, plating De Jesus. Two batters later, Brinson doubled to right-centerfield to score Rivera and extend his hitting streak to six games.
The Sox sent 10 batters to the plate in a six-run third inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Espino lined a two-run single down the first base line, scoring Cooper and De Jesus. One batter later, Brinson skied his second home run of the year to left field to plate Susac and Espino. After a Sogard walk, Cordell drove in his second run on a line drive double to left-center field.
Espino continued his big night in the fourth inning. After Susac drove in his second run on his second sacrifice fly, Espino grounded a RBI single up the middle to cap the two-run inning. The righty finished with three RBIs on the night after driving in five runs over two complete seasons with Triple-A Syracuse in the International League.
Brett Phillips drove in a run on a double to right field to plate a single run in the eighth inning, while Brinson's line-drive single past the diving shortstop capped the night's offense.
Meanwhile, Espino settled in after surrendering three runs in the first two innings. The Panamanian went 5.1 innings pitched and allowed four earned runs while striking out five Redbirds. During one stretch, Espino and the Sox defense retired 11 in a row from the second to the fifth inning. Stephen Kohlscheen, Hiram Burgos and Michael Blazek continued the bullpen's strong week with 3.2 scoreless innings pitched.
The Sky Sox and Redbirds continue their four-game series with the first morning start of 2017. RHP Brandon Woodruff (2-0, 0.00) looks to continue his hot start of the season at 11 a.m. MT against Memphis' Mike Mayers (1-1, 5.59). It is the first Math Day of the season where area students get to learn how mathematics can tie in to the game of baseball.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.