All the Sky Sox can do now is win and hope it’s enough.
Tuesday at Security Service Field, Sacramento River Cats’ ace Dan Straily had an off night and their center fielder Collin Cowgill lost the ball in the lights as the Sky Sox won 14-6 on the eve of Troy Tulowitzki’s and Jason Giambi’s arrival.
It’s the kind of luck they’ll need to keep finding if they hope to claim a spot in the postseason.
“Baseball is a crazy game,” Sky Sox manager Stu Cole said. “Whatever happens in the end happens. Obviously we are watching scores but we have to just continue to keep playing and see what happens.”
The Sox are 3½ games back of division leader Reno with six games to go — all of them at home where they are 10 games over .500.
Tuesday they evened the series with Sacramento using a six-run third inning to push the game open, and a six-run seventh to close it.
Wilkin Castillo was instrumental in both.
The catcher scored in the third and had a bases-clearing triple after the Cats intentionally walked a batter to get to him in the seventh.
“I’ve been struggling, but I felt good today,” said Castillo (.240) who went 3-for-5 with three runs and four RBIs. “We all are trying so hard to make (the postseason).”
Left fielder Tim Wheeler, center fielder Hernan Iribarren and shortstop Tommy Field added another two RBIs apiece while pitcher Nick Schmidt (6-3) did enough to tame the Cats’ bats in his six innings by giving up four runs on 108 pitches.
“Everyone came out and played well,” said Cole, “that’s all we can do.”
In the third, the Sox had six hits, including four doubles en route to Straily’s (5-3) shortest outing of his season.
That made it 6-0 as Straily, who had a 1.40 ERA and never pitched less than five innings in his other nine starts in Triple-A this season, was kicked after 22/3 innings.
Then in the seventh, up 8-4, the Sky Sox added another half-dozen runs with three more doubles and the triple by Castillo.
Wednesday, Tulowitzki and Giambi will likely hit third and fourth, respectively, for the Sox.
Tulo hopes it goes better this time
Tulowitzki’s last start for the Sky Sox resulted in groin surgery.
On a June rehab assignment in Colorado Springs Tulowitzki hit a home run and a single before he left the game injured.
Groin surgery soon followed.
Before Tulowitzki went on the disabled list in late May, the All-Star shortstop hit .287 with eight home runs and 27 RBIs in 47 games.
The Associated Press reported that Tulowitzki wants to return before the end of the season, but not Saturday when the rosters expand.
Tulowitzki was injured the first week of the season but played through the pain until he was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 31.