Garrett Cooper drove in four runs and Brandon Woodruff shined in his Triple-A debut and the Sky Sox utilized a five-run fourth inning to cruise to an 8-2 victory over the Omaha Storm Chasers in front of 2,704 at Security Service Field Saturday evening.
After spending the end of 2016 at Double-A Biloxi, Woodruff (1-0, 0.00) cruised through his first Triple-A outing. Milwaukee's No 7 prospect according to Baseball America scattered five hits and struck out four batters while allowing a single unearned run in 6.1 innings. Damien Magnifico, Wei-Chung Wang and Tim Dillard closed out the game with an inning of relief each.
The Sky Sox (3-0) jumped ahead in their first at-bats. A day after hitting a game-tying two-run single to send Friday night's game into extra innings, Eric Sogard launched his first home run of the season to right field, putting Colorado Springs up 1-0 after one inning.
Colorado Springs added some insurance one inning later, thanks in part to a pair of Omaha (0-3) errors. With one out, Ivan De Jesus drew a walk from starter Josh Staumont (0-1, 18.90) and Nick Noonan followed with a single to center, which was bobbled by Bubba Starling. During the ensuing at-bat, Noonan stole second and De Jesus scored when catcher Brayan Pena's throw sailed over the infield.
Rivera continued his at-bat by flaring a RBI single into shallow right field, scoring Noonan and giving the Sox a 3-0 lead. The shortstop continued his recent tear in the fourth inning, cranking a one-out solo home run just shy of the scoreboard in left-center field to increase the margin to 4-1. In his last nine at-bats, the shortstop has recorded five hits, including his three-hit night Friday.
Nine batters came to the plate in the fourth inning. With two outs, Garrett Cooper cleared the bases with his second double in as many at-bats. The first baseman then came around to score when Brett Phillips drove the ensuing pitch for a RBI single to put Colorado Springs up 8-1.
The offense put an exclamation point on the evening in the eighth inning. Ryan Cordell drove in his third RBI in as many games on a double to the left field wall, scoring Kyle Wren. Cooper recorded his fourth RBI of the day one batter later, plating Sogard on a groundball bobbled by shortstop Ramon Torres. Phillips kept the line moving, legging out a fielder's choice to score Cordell and put the Sox up by nine.
The quick four-game homestand comes to a conclusion Sunday afternoon when the Sky Sox and Storm Chasers meet for a 1:30 p.m. MT matinee at Security Service Field. 2016 Sky Sox Pitcher of the Year Hiram Burgos takes the mound for his first start of the 2017 season, squaring off with Omaha right-hander Luke Farrell.
Sunday afternoon marks the birthday of the city's favorite fox, as Sox the Fox and several Colorado Springs mascots will entertain the party attendees. It is also the first 50-cent hot dog day of the 2017 season and all Kids' Club members get into the game for free.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.