Posted by Mike Rice

In outfielder Dexter Fowler’s and shortstop  Troy Tulowitzki’s first games of their Major League rehab assignments, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (48-42) fell to the Sacramento River Cats (48-43), 14-6 on Monday, July 8 at Security Service Field in Colorado Springs.

Tulowitzki helped the Sky Sox right away, belting a single to centerfield in his first at-bat.  After Xavier Nady hit a single, Tulowitzki scored on a RBI single by Ben Paulsen to give the Sky Sox the early 1-0 lead.  The All-star shortstop finished the day going 1-for-2 with a run before leaving after the third inning.  Fowler stayed in the game until the seventh inning, and got on-base in the fourth when he was issued a walk.

Down 1-0, the River Cats broke the game wide open in the third with a six-run inning against Aaron Cook (L, 0-4). The veteran right-hander gave up a double and a single and then threw a wild pitch which tied the game up at one.  The defining moment of the inning came when Reid Brignac committed a fielding error on a hit by  Hiro Nakajima.  After the error Cook allowed a two-run double, and back-to-back home runs by Michael Taylor, and Scott Moore to give Sacramento the five-run lead.  Cook ended up giving up nine hits, but only two earned runs.

Colorado Springs sought to fight their way back into the contest in the top of the fourth inning.  River Cats’ starter Arnold Leon (W, 1-1) faltered after a strong start, walking Ben Paulsen and then giving up a single to Greg Golson and a two-run single to Lars Davis to cut Sacramento’s lead in half.  The Sox added one more in the inning on a RBI single by Drew Garcia.

Sacramento put the game out of reach when they scored three runs in the top of the fifth and four in the top of the sixth to make it 13-4.  In the bottom of the sixth the Sky Sox added one run on a RBI double by Lars Davis, but were shutdown by Sacramento’s bullpen who combined to only allow one run on four hits in four innings of relief.

Both teams traded runs in the ninth inning to make the final score 14-6 and send the Sky Sox to 1-12 when their opponent scores 10 or more runs.

The Sky Sox will look to recover from tonight’s tough loss when they send left-hander Jeff Francis (0-2, 6.62) to the mound against the PCL-strikeout leader, Sonny Gray (8-5, 2.81).  First pitch is set for 7:05 PM MT, on a $2 Dollar Tuesday at Security Service Field. Both Tulowitzki and Fowler are again expected to play as they continue their rebab assignments.

Sky Sox Notes:  Ryan Wheeler hit a double in the ninth inning to extend his hitting streak to 14-games.