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Harris continues hot hitting in 6-3 Sky Sox victory

By: DOUG FITZGERALD
August 17, 2012
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photo - Sky Sox first baseman Matt McBride gets caught in a rundown by Isotopes third baseman Alex Castellanos during the sixth inning on Friday, August 17, 2012.  Photo by JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE
Sky Sox first baseman Matt McBride gets caught in a rundown by Isotopes third baseman Alex Castellanos during the sixth inning on Friday, August 17, 2012. Photo by JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE 

In his 12th season of professional baseball, Brendan Harris has had plenty of hot streaks, but even by his standards the past four games have been special.

He capped the run by going 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI in Friday’s 6-3 win over the Albuquerque Isotopes at Security Service Field.

In four games against the Isotopes, Harris went 9 for 15 with two home runs, seven RBIs and eight runs. Since July 1, he leads the Sky Sox with a .382 batting average and 35 RBIs to bring his season marks to .318 and 59, respectively.

“The biggest thing for me is getting back early, getting ready to hit and look for pitches I handle well,” Harris said. “If you keep doing that and swing at those pitches, you’ll be successful more times than not.”

Drafted by the Cubs in 2001, Harris played in the majors for the Chicago Cubs, Montreal Expos, Washington Nationals, Cincinnati Reds, Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Rays. He has changed addresses in trades that included such notables as Nomar Garciaparra, Austin Kearns and Matt Garza.

On Friday, Harris had an RBI double in the second inning and scored a run after singling in the fifth. Even when he didn’t get a hit, Harris provided excitement. His hard grounder in the sixth was misplayed by Albuquerque first baseman Jerry Sands with Andrew Brown scoring on the play. In the seventh, Harris hit a sinking line drive that required a sliding catch by left fielder Tyler Henson.

“I’m just trying to make every at-bat count and not give any away,” Harris said. “I figure if I do that, the numbers will take care of themselves.”

He also provided highlights in the field, leaning far over the fence on the third base side to snag a foul ball in the seventh inning.

Trailing 2-1 thanks to Jerry Sands’ two-out, two-run single in the third, the Sky Sox took advantage of a couple of Albuquerque miscues in the fifth. Harris led off with a single before a throwing error put him on third and Charlie Culberson on second. Wilkin Castillo followed with a sacrifice fly to score Harris and pinch hitter Brandon Roberts drilled a double to bring Culberson home. Roberts scored when Tim Wheeler hit a looping single to right that Scott Van Slyke failed to field cleanly.

Matt McBride went 3 for 4, including an RBI single in the seventh, in his first game back after a stint with the parent Rockies. Nick Schmidt allowed two runs on six hits over five innings to improve to 5-3 on the season. Coty Woods pitched a scoreless ninth for his eighth save.

With the series against Albuquerque concluded, Colorado Springs begins a nine-game road trip before ending the regular season with eight games at home.

No doubt the Isotopes are glad to they won’t see Harris again this season.

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