Sky Sox starter Jeff Manship pitched into the eighth inning to pace Colorado Springs to its second win in a row over Sacramento on Wednesday afternoon.
"Everything I had was working today," he said after the hosts prevailed 8-3. "I threw inside against the lefties, which was important and I had a couple wind-aided outs too."
There was less buzz around Security Service Field with both Dexter Fowler and Troy Tulowitzki in Los Angeles for evaluations. Both are hoping to return Thursday against the Dodgers.
In Colorado Springs, Manship recorded an opening strike against 17 of the 29 batters he faced, which was a big reason why he lasted 7 1/3 innings, his longest start in Triple-A.
"Getting ahead right away is the pitcher's best friend," he said.
Manship scattered five of seven hits over his final six-plus innings to keep Sacramento (48-45) at bay until the eighth.
The River Cats scored twice on a Stephen Vogt RBI double, which ended Manship's start, and an RBI hit for Scott Moore off reliever Nick Schmidt, to make it 8-3. A strikeout later, a diving catch by left fielder Xavier Nady on a line drive by Sacramento's Michael Taylor ended the eighth inning to keep the Sky Sox lead at five.
Reliever Logan Kensing struggled but improved his scoreless streak to 8 1/3 innings after Sacramento loaded the bases on two walks and a single, A double play ended the game.
Colorado Springs (50-42) took an 8-1 lead after the Sky Sox knocked four hits into shallow left field to score five runs in the third and added three more runs in the fourth.
A walk to Charlie Culberson loaded the bases in the third after singles by Drew Garcia and Lars Davis. Hernan Iribaren hit a two-run single for a 2-1 lead. That was followed by an RBI single by Ryan Wheeler, his 16th game in a row with a hit, and Nady scoring Iribaren on a fielder's choice to make it 4-1.
First baseman Ben Paulsen then connected on his eighth extra-base hit this month, an RBI double that carried to the warning track, to score Nady and give the Sky Sox a four-run cushion.
In the fourth, an RBI double by Culberson and run-scoring singles by Iribaren and Nady gave Manship a seven-run cushion.
Paulsen's RBI double in the third moved him into the PCL lead with 46 extra-base hits this season, not including Wednesday night's results. ... Wednesday was Triple-A All-Star third baseman Ryan Wheeler's 25th birthday. ... Righty Rob Scahill (3-0, 4.36ERA, 1 save) was activated from the temporary inactive list. ... Tuesday's win by Jeff Francis was his first in Colorado Springs. His previous win for the Sky Sox was Aug. 14, 2004, a franchise-record span of 3,251 days.