Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Sky Sox get swept by Tucson when Mike McClendon's scoreless streak ends

By Joe Paisley Published: June 27, 2013

A lengthy scoreless innings streak came to a halt and with it, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox's chance at a doubleheader split Thursday night.

Tucson rallied with two runs in the sixth inning against reliever Mike McClendon to upend the Sky Sox 5-4 in Game 2 and sweep the Pacific Coast League twin bill.

The tight game turned when Tucson tied the game at 4-4 on an RBI single by Gregorio Petit in the sixth that ended the scoreless streak at 11 1/3 innings. A wild pitch on a strikeout against pinch hitter Rene Rivera allowed him to reach base and scored Petit for the winning run against Colorado Springs (43-36).

"I was just trying to bury the breaking ball," McClendon said. "It was a good pitch because he swung at a ball on the outside; it just got away."

The Pacific Southern Division-leading Padres (44-37) won the Thursday opener 7-4 powered by a two-run homer by Jonathan Galvez in the top of the seventh for a three-run advantage. The lead held after Tucson reliever Colt Hynes struck out two Sky Sox to earn his fourth save.

The two seven-inning games, which drew 3,051 fans to Security Service Field, were played to make up a snowed-out game in April.

The Rockies' offseason move to bolster the organization's bullpen options continued to pay off with the strong play of McClendon entering Game 2.

Regardless of the end result Thursday, it was an excellent run by the reliever, who learned from watching the great Trevor Hoffman (MLB record nine 40-save seasons) during his time with Milwaukee.

"He was one of the great preparation guys and I learned a lot by observing how he did things," McClendon said prior to Thursday's twin bill. "That has been the key for me finding this groove; better preparation and adjusting to the altitude."

That adjustment and smoother mechanics helped him avoid walks and attack the strike zone.

"He was very aggressive and focused, which is what we want all out pitchers to be, especially Mac," manager Glenallen Hill said recently. "With his pitches and changing speeds he needs to have that attitude."

In Game 1, Colorado Springs tied the game at 2-2 in the third when Greg Golson was hit by a pitch while the bases were loaded against starter Brandon Kloess (3-2). Tim Wheeler later connected on an RBI single but Golson was thrown out at third before the second run score to make it 3-2.

A passed ball and a two-run single by Ben Francisco made it 5-3, Tucson. The Sky Sox cut the lead to 5-4 on an RBI double by Charlie Blackmon.

Notes

Left-hander Drew Pomeranz is expected to start against San Francisco at home this Sunday for the Rockies. He is no longer listed to start that day for the Sky Sox. . Veteran lefty Jeff Francis (0-2, 11.57) is scheduled to start Friday night's Sky Sox game against Tucson righty Matt Andriese (no record). . Reliever Miguel Batista, who was with the team during spring training, was added to the Sky Sox bullpen, according to the Denver Post. Batista was nominated for the 2009 Roberto Clemente Award for traveling throughout the United States and Latin American to deliver baseball equipment and medical supplies, and speak to kids to stress the importance of education and determination. .. Right-hander Aaron Cook (arm) is may throw a simulated game on Friday. . Former Sky Sox player Corey Dickerson started in center field for the Rockies on Thursday.

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