Published: July 14, 2013
The Sky Sox eased into the All-Star break with a 12-5 win over Salt Lake to avoid a sweep.
"It was huge for us," said Colorado Springs shortstop Charlie Culberson, who went 4-for-5 with two doubles. "We came out ready to play."
Sky Sox starter Jeff Francis threw a strong six innings, working his way out of trouble in the sixth after he gave up his first walk and hit a batter to load the bases.
But good defensive plays on fielder's choice outs kept Salt Lake from scoring, which helped secure his second win in a row at Security Service Field. The win ended a three-game losing streak for the Sky Sox (51-45).
"Francis gave us a good start and we are able to get some runs early," Culberson said. "All the guys are looking forward to a few days off. It was fun and easy today and that is always good in baseball."
Colorado Springs pulled away for a 9-1 lead in the sixth off Hernan Iribarren's two-run double.
Salt Lake made it 9-3 on former Rockie third baseman Chris Nelson's solo homer and a triple for Matt Long in the seventh against reliever Mike McClendon. The Bees would get no closer.
Colorado Springs' Corey Dickerson hit his second homer in three games.
His two-run shot over the right-center field fence scored Culberson (leadoff double). Tyler Colvin knocked home Xavier Nady (walk) for a 3-0 lead in the first.
Colvin continued his strong game, legging out an RBI triple to score Ben Paulsen in the third. The triple was the Sky Sox's 63rd, tops in the Pacific Coast League. An out later, Lars Davis ripped a double off the centerfield wall to score Colvin, and make it 6-1 and end Bees starter Jarrett Grube's day.
Tim Wheeler hit his second RBI single to make it 7-1 in the fifth. He hit a solo homer in the seventh to make it 10-3. He added an RBI groundout in the eighth for his fourth RBI on the day and gave the Sky Sox a 12-4 lead. Salt Lake's Tommy Field hit a solo homer in the ninth for the final margin.
The Sky Sox set an franchise record in attendance with 64,748 during this 11-game homestand. The previous mark for 11 games was 47,324. The 12-game record is 55,788. ... Grube played for the Sky Sox in 2009. ... Saturday's win for Salt Lake clinched the season series (10-6) for the first time since 2009. The Sky Sox won the season matchups in 2010 (9-7) and 2011 (10-6). The teams split 8-8 last season. ... Rockies prospect and right-handed pitcher Eddie Butler of Class A-advanced Modesto of the California League threw a scoreless inning of relief for the United States in Sunday's Futures Game. The USA defeated the World squad 4-2. ... Colorado Springs is 6-8 in July including a 0-3 mark on the road. ... Efren Navarro is Salt Lake's lone representative in this Wednesday's Triple-A All-Star Game in Reno. He is joined by Colorado Springs third baseman Ryan Wheeler.