The battery combination of Brent Suter and Tyler Heineman powered Colorado Springs to its third straight win, defeating the Nashville Sounds 6-1 in front of 11,097 at First Tennessee Park Saturday night.
Suter (1-0, 0.00) earned the victory by going five scoreless innings, scattering four hits and striking out three batters in his first Sky Sox outing of 2017. Andrew Barbosa entered in the sixth inning and struck out the side, finishing his evening with two scoreless innings and five strikeouts.
Tim Dillard and Wei-Chung Wang finished the eighth and ninth innings respectively, allowing a single run combined. Nashville (3-7) placed at least one runner in seven of the nine innings, but the Sox pitching corps stranded nine Sounds baserunners to hand the hosts their fourth straight loss.
During the first five games of the seven-game road trip to Tennessee, the bullpen has allowed just four earned runs in 19 innings, while striking out 24 batters.
The Sky Sox (6-3) jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead three batters into the game off Nashville starter Paul Blackburn (0-2, 2.25). Lewis Brinson led off the game with a double to left field and scored two batters later on a passed ball by catcher Bruce Maxwell.
Later in the at-bat, Ryan Cordell launched his second home run in as many games onto the left field berm, doubling the visitors' advantage. The designated hitter for the first time in 2017, Cordell has three RBIs in the last two games in the Volunteer State after his two-RBI performance Friday night in Memphis.
Colorado Springs tacked on two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning. With two outs, Brinson lifted a fly ball to right field, which was mishandled by Chris Parmelee and allowed Yadiel Rivera to score.
One batter later, Kyle Wren lined a RBI single to right field to plate Brinson and increase the margin to four runs. The left fielder has recorded at least one hit in six of the eight games he's played in during the 2017 season.
The Sox extended their lead one inning later. After Garrett Cooper singled to extend his hitting streak to nine games and Brett Phillips recorded his second hit of the night, Rivera lofted a sacrifice fly to plate Cooper. One batter later, Heineman lined a RBI single past the second baseman to score Phillips and give the catcher a season-high three hits in his four at-bats from the No. 9 spot in the order.
The two teams meet for the second time Sunday afternoon, when Josh Hader (1-1, 3.38) leads the Sky Sox in search of a fourth straight victory and a series win at 1:05 p.m. MT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.