Cassel hammered early in Portland loss

Portland, OR—Jack Cassel (6-7, 3.47) struggled through his roughest outing of the year, as Portland dropped their third straight game to Colorado Springs, 7-4 Monday night. Coming into the game, Cassel was ranked second in the PCL with a 2.98 ERA and had allowed four-plus runs in just two games this year.

Over six innings of work, Cassel allowed seven runs to score on 15 hits, raising his ERA to 3.47.

The Sky Sox jumped on Cassel early, taking a 3-0 lead in the first inning when Ian Stewart's triple to right field plated Clint Barmes and Omar Quintanilla. Stewart would come in to score on a passed ball that skipped by catcher Pete Laforest. Colorado Springs scored two more in the second inning when Sky Sox starting pitcher Kevin Walker and leadoff hitter Barmes hit back-to-back doubles. Barmes was driven in on a single by Stewart.

The Beavers answered back with single runs in the first and second innings, bringing the score to 5-2. Craig Stansberry was brought home on Brian Myrow's RBI double in the first inning. The double was Myrow's fourth in the past two days. Second baseman Frank Menechino hit his first homerun for the Beavers in the second inning, a solo shot to left-center field.

The Sky Sox tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning, stretching their lead to 7-2. The Beavers attempted a comeback in the fifth inning but only managed to score two runs. Cassel led off the inning by reaching on a throwing error by the third baseman Stewart. Mike Sansoe followed with a double to right-center field on with Cassel coming all the way around from first to score in a close play at the plate. Cassel's impressive slide eluded the tag of catcher Edwin Bellorin by a few inches. Sansoe came in to score on a double by Stansberry, making the score 7-4.

Over the last four innings, Portland's offense was completely shut down by Colorado Springs relievers Denny Bautista, Josh Newman and Matt Herges. In their combined four innings of work, they faced just one batter over the minimum and struck out five. So far in the series, the Sky Sox bullpen has pitched 14 innings, allowed zero runs, just six hits and struck out 14 Portland batters.

Colorado Springs threatened again in the eighth inning while facing Beaver reliever Steve Watkins. Watkins walked Sean Barker and Joe Koshansky to load the bases with two outs. Luckily, Watkins was able to get Bellorin to roll over on a ball and ground out to Stansberry at shortstop. Adrian Burnside came on to close out the ninth for Portland.

Game Notes:

- Cassel has gone five or more innings in 11 of his 14 starts this year
- The Beavers stranded 10 men on base, seven in scoring position
- Stansberry hit three doubles Monday night. He is now tied for the league lead in doubles with 27. He shares the lead with Jason Botts of Oklahoma
- The 15 hits allowed by Cassel set this year's Beavers record for most hits allowed by a Portland pitcher. The previous record was 11
- Over the past two days, Portland's pitching staff has allowed 29 hits
- The Beaver defense turned double plays in three consecutive innings (the third, fourth and fifth)
- Pete Laforest struck out swinging three times, each leading off an inning
- Colorado Springs is in a first place tie with Salt Lake in the North Division
- Barmes was 4-for-5 on the night
- Paul McAnulty has a Grade 1 quad strain and has missed the last four games. McAnulty sustained the injury running to first base in Thursday's game against Fresno

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