At the crack of the bat, Edgmer Escalona took a 180 degree twirl to his left and dropped his head.
The Sky Sox’s opportunity to win was dashed when Escalona gave up a go-ahead three-run home run to Greg Halman as Colorado Springs fell to the Tacoma Rainiers 11-6 on a chilly Monday evening at Security Service Field.
Tied at 6 in the top of the seventh inning, Brad Nelson led off with an infield single off Escalona. Guillermo Quiroz followed with a one-out double before Halman connected with a towering blast to left field, Halman’s 10th homer of the season.
"In that situation, you want to try to get a groundball,” Sky Sox manager Stu Cole said. “You got the infield in and he just hung a slider to him.”
Escalona dropped to 1-2 as he yielded three runs in 2/3 of an inning. His ERA rose to 8.91.
Steve Palazzolo took the win, allowing a run in 12/3.
The Sky Sox erased two deficits, however, before succumbing.
The Rainiers took a 3-2 lead on Adam Moore’s solo homer in the second and Mike Wilson’s two-run shot in the fourth.
Colorado Springs tied the score at 3 on Travis Metcalf’s lead-off blast in the fifth.
Tacoma retook the lead with three in the sixth when Ezequiel Carrera slapped a two-out RBI single followed by Chris Woodward’s two-run triple to center.
In the bottom of the frame, Mike Paulk cut the Sky Sox’s deficit to one with a two-out, two-run double down the left field line. Paulk scored two batters later when Dexter Fowler singled to center.
“We just didn’t shut them down in the middle innings,” Cole said.
The Sky Sox got on the board first when Cole Garner, who missed time last week to attend his grandfather’s funeral in California, hit a two-run double off the left-field wall.
Matt Miller extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a first-inning single.
Huston Street continued his rehab with a scoreless eighth.
Colorado Springs (30-33) is in third in the Pacific Coast League Pacific North Division behind Salt Lake and Tacoma.
The Sky Sox play the Rainiers four times in the next three days, including a doubleheader Wednesday.