Published: July 27, 2013
The ninth inning proved costly for the second night in a row during a 6-4 setback for the Sky Sox against Fresno.
The visiting Grizzlies tacked on two more runs, including a solo homer by catcher Johnny Monell, to pull ahead 6-3 in the top of the ninth on Saturday. The two runs, capped by an Ehire Adrianza RBI triple, came after Fresno (49-59) scored seven to rally for a 10-6 win on Friday.
Colorado Springs trimmed the lead to two after Lars Davis clubbed a double off the right field fence to score Ben Paulsen (leadoff walk). But closer Heath Hembree settled down and picked up his 22nd save.
The two home losses extended the Sky Sox losing streak to a season-worst six games.
"We're in a bit of a skid right now," Colorado Springs right fielder Kent Matthes said. "We got clobbered the first two games (10-2, 10-3 losses) in Sacramento. This will be our turning point. We will turn this around and get back on track soon."
A pinch-hit RBI single by Xavier Nady had cut the Fresno lead to 4-3 in the seventh.
Nady received his 2012 World Series ring from Giants before the game. His hit to right field scored Matthes, who ripped a leadoff single before 5,293 at Security Service Field.
Earlier, Matthes connected for a two-run double in the fourth inning to put the Sky Sox (54-52) ahead 2-1 in the fourth.
In that inning, the hosts took advantage of a throwing error that allowed leadoff batter Charlie Culberson to reach safely. He later eluded a tag attempt at second base after an infield single by Ryan Wheeler, A groundout by Ben Paulsen moved both runners in scoring position, setting up Matthes' double.
The lead would not last. A two-out double by Francisco Peguero was cashed in when Monell hit a single deep into the infielder dirt for shortstop Josh Rutledge, whose off-balance throw to first base sailed wide. That allowed Peguero to score and tie the game at 2-2.
That ended the night for starter Cory Riordan (4-4), who took the loss. Reliever Nick Schmidt gave up a two-run homer to Pill two pitches later to make it 4-2, Grizzlies. Pill has seven hits through two games this homestand.
Josh Rutledge's triple in the third was the team's 67th, best in the PCL. The team record is 74 in 1992. . Right-hander Jeff Manship (5-8, 5.46 ERA) is scheduled to start at 5:05 p.m. Sunday with righty Chris Volstad (5-3, 4.91) slated for 12:05 p.m. Monday. The scheduled time was moved up 30 minutes to help the Sky Sox make a flight to New Orleans. . Righty Mitchell Boggs, 29, was optioned to Colorado Springs to make room for Rockies' Saturday starter Collin McHugh.