Dodgers Slowed Down in Colorado Springs

Saturday, May 7th 2016, 1:05 am
By: Brett Coppenbarger

The Colorado Springs Sky Sox scored two runs in the sixth inning to break a tie, and the Sky Sox pitching staff retired 15 of the final 17 Oklahoma City Dodgers batters in a 3-1 victory Friday night at Security Service Field.

One day after breaking out for nine runs and 13 hits, including five for extra bases, the Dodgers (14-12) were limited to just one run and seven hits, with one for extra bases. The Dodgers led 1-0 halfway through the game before the Sky Sox (11-15) pulled even in the fifth inning. OKC starting pitcher Jeremy Kehrt got off to a hot start, facing the minimum over the first four innings while allowing just one hit. Kehrt had retired 10 straight batters heading into the fifth inning, but Will Middlebrooks led off with a double. Two batters later Manny Pina tied the game with a RBI double.

Colorado Springs took the lead in the sixth, with the Dodgers committing a series of miscues to aid the Sky Sox. With runners at first and second base and one out, the Sky Sox attempted a double steal. Catcher Jack Murphy’s throw went down to second base, but the ball popped out of Micah Johnson’s glove while applying his tag on Nate Orf, allowing the runners to reach second and third base. Orlando Arcia then sent a sharp grounder right to OKC third baseman Austin Barnes. Keon Broxton took off for home on contact, and Barnes’ throw was wide of the plate, allowing Broxton to score. Middlebrooks followed with a RBI single to give the Sky Sox a 3-1 lead.

The Sky Sox had a chance to extend the lead in the seventh inning, putting runners at second  and third with one out. Broxton lined out to first baseman Alex Hassan, who promptly threw to third base to double off Eric Young, Jr. to end the inning and keep OKC within two runs.

The Dodgers caught a break with two outs in the ninth inning to keep the game alive, when Arcia misplayed a routine ground ball. After Murphy walked to put the tying runs on base, the Dodgers sent Rob Segedin to the plate to pinch hit. However, Sky Sox closer Damien Magnifico shut the door on the Dodgers by striking out Segedin to end the game and earn his seventh save.

The Dodgers started the scoring in the second inning. Rico Noel drew a leadoff walk. Hassan came up next and hit into a fielder’s choice, with a force out at second base.  Orf also committed a throwing error on the play, allowing Hassan to advance to second base. Murphy blasted a ball to deep right field that under normal circumstances would have most likely been a home run. But with winds blowing in from right field up to 30 miles per hour, the ball was knocked down and ended up being a RBI double off the wall, giving OKC a 1-0 lead.

Through the first four innings, the Dodgers collected six hits and had at least two runners reach base each inning, but ended up leaving five runners on base during that time. Johnson led off the fifth inning with a single, but it would be OKC’s final hit of the night. The Sky Sox bullpen proceeded to retire the next 14 consecutive Dodgers batters, with nine via strikeout, and 15 of the final 17 batters, with 10 via strikeout. Colorado Springs tied a season high with 14 strikeouts, and it was the fourth time this season the Dodgers offense struck out at least 14 times in one game.

Colorado Springs also collected six stolen bases, tying the team’s all-time record at home. They were successful on all six of their attempts.  OKC has only caught five of 32 attempted base stealers this season.

Tim Dillard (1-0) picked up the win for Colorado Springs, pitching two scoreless innings. He allowed one hit with four strikeouts.

Kehrt (2-2) pitched well, but ended up with the loss. He allowed three runs (two earned) and five hits over 5.1 innings, with six strikeouts and no walks.

The Dodgers look to rebound when they meet the Sky Sox Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. Central time. Live coverage begins 15 minutes before the first pitch on AM 1340 "The Game,", or through the free iHeartRadio mobile app.