Colorado Springs Sky Sox - COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Sky Sox bats were kept quiet on Friday night as the New Orleans Zephyrs shutout Colorado Springs 4-0 before a crowd of 4,787 at Security Service Field.
Tyler Thornburg (1-4, 5.13) and Zephyrs left-hander Travis Blackley (2-3, 5.26) matched two-hit lines through the first four innings before New Orleans broke through against the Sox starter in the fifth. Thornburg would allow a leadoff double to Vinny Rottino before registering two quick outs to bring Brandon Bantz to the plate in a two-out, runner in scoring position situation. The Zephyrs catcher singled to center to score Rottino with ease and give the visiting side a 1-0 lead after four and a half innings of play.
Blackley would set the Sox down in order in the bottom of the fifth, collecting two strikeouts in the frame to wrap up his impressive outing in style. The Melbourne, Australia native finished his night with five scoreless innings of two-hit ball under his belt before handing the ball and one-run lead over to the equally strong Zephyrs bullpen.
Thornburg gave up his second and final run of the outing in the sixth, once again allowing a leadoff double, this time to Miguel Rojas, and again getting two outs before a Zephyrs hitter came up with a clutch base-hit. Kila Ka'aihue did the damage this time around, lining a single to center to score Rojas and extend the New Orleans lead to 2-0 after six. Ka'aihue now has three RBIs in his first two games in a Zephyrs uniform.
Thornburg's night was done after the sixth having allowed two runs on six hits and one walk while striking out three over those six frames.
New Orleans would tack on two more runs before the night was through. Relievers David Goforth and Wirfin Obispo each gave up a run in their combined three innings of work to wrap up the Sox pitching. Cole Gillespie's single in the eight scored Rojas from third before Zephyrs reliever Nick Wittgren made Obispo pay with an RBI single of his own in the ninth.
New Orleans deployed a combination of lefty Grant Dayton and the right-handed Wittgren for the game's final four frames. Each reliever tossed two perfect innings as Wittgren nailed down the save and 4-0 win for the Zephyrs with a 1-2-3 ninth.
The Sky Sox were held to just two hits in the ballgame with both coming in the bottom of the first on back-to-back knocks by Logan Schafer and Elian Herrera. The Zephyrs staff would prove to be perfect over the final eight frames of the ballgame to send Colorado Springs to a 26-40 record while improving themselves to 31-35 on the season.
The Sox offense will look to bounce back and lead the charge on Saturday evening as they try to snap the team's current three-game skid. Josh Roenicke (4-3, 4.81) faces off with New Orleans righty Kendry Flores (0-0, 0.00) in game three of this four-game set at Security Service Field with first pitch set for 6:05 PM MDT.