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Colorado Springs downs Iowa in series opener

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Pedro Hernandez had a solid outing and the offense posted five runs in the first two innings, leading the Colorado Springs Sky Sox to a 6-2 victory over the Iowa Cubs (30-27) in the first game of a four-game series on Thursday night at Principal Park. Despite the loss, Iowa still leads the season series between the two teams, having won six out of eight games.

The Sky Sox (26-33) scored early and often against Iowa starter Kyle Hendricks. RBI singles by Kyle Parker and Ben Paulson gave the Sky Sox a 2-0 lead after one inning.

Colorado Springs scored three more runs in the second, the big blow on a two-out home run by Angelys Nina. The home run by Nina was his first on the season.

Iowa’s offense had a hard time getting anything started against Hernandez. Hernandez allowed only two hits through the first five innings.

Iowa was able to break through against Hernandez (4-2) in the sixth. With two outs, Arismendy Alcantara blasted the first pitch from Hernandez over the center field wall for his eighth home run of the season, cutting the deficit to 5-1. Alcantara continues to impress in his first triple-A season. Alcantara leads Iowa in runs, hits, triples, home runs, RBI, total bases, stolen bases, and slugging percentage.

Iowa posted another run with a two-out rally in the seventh. After a Christian Villanueva double, Brett Jackson was hit by a pitch. Rafael Lopez followed with an infield single to load the bases. Pinch-hitting for Marcos Mateo, Logan Watkins coaxed a bases loaded walk to make the score 5-2. But, that was the closest Iowa would get. Sky Sox reliever Chad Bettis struck out Matt Szczur to end the threat.

Hendricks (6-4) pitched six innings, giving up five runs on six hits while walking three and striking out five.

Game two of the series is Friday night at Principal Park.

NOTES: Iowa made a flurry of roster moves on Thursday. Josh Vitters was activated from the disabled list after missing the last 11 games with a broken toe on his left foot. Iowa also activated Marcos Mateo from the disabled list. Mateo returns after missing time with a lower back strain. In corresponding moves, Jonathan Mota and Eduardo Figueroa were reassigned to double-A Tennessee.

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