Matt Skole’s two-run homer in the 5th broke open a 4-3 game as Salt River ultimately spoiled Surprise, 8-3.
An inning later, the 23-year-old struck again with a two-run single for a total of four RBIs while going 2-for-4 to boost his line to .300/.410/.540 for the fall campaign. Defensively, he was error-free at first, handling all seven chances.
Brian Goodwin remains hitless since the Rising Stars games, but still scored a run and hit a sacrifice fly from the leadoff spot. He manned center field and caught three flyouts.
Jason Martinson spelled Anthony Rendon third base and hit safely for the fourth straight game. The fellow Texan doubled and scored a run, but also struck out twice.
Aaron Barrett pitched the eighth and pounded the strike zone (7-of-8) while setting down the side in order, lowering his ERA to an even 3.00.
The Rafters win combined with a Scorpions loss opens up a 1½-game lead in the AFL East for Salt River with seven games to play. The two teams rematch tonight with the Rafters playing host.