COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. – When Prentice Redman led off the game with a home run, the Tacoma Rainiers geared up for a classic high-scoring game at high- elevation Security Service Field.
Little did they know that Redman’s homer would be the only Tacoma run in a rare 2-1 game at one of the Pacific Coast League’s most notorious bandboxes.
The loss to the Colorado Sky Sox dropped Tacoma’s season record to 9-8. The Rainiers have lost five of their past six games and fell to 1-4 against competitors from the PCL North.
Saturday’s loss was frustrating. The Rainiers had four scoring opportunities after Redman’s homer, but they could not get a clutch hit. Tacoma left 11 runners on base.
“In this ballpark, if you hold the other team to two runs, you feel like you should win the ballgame,” manager Daren Brown said. “We had our opportunities and couldn’t get a hit.”
The Rainiers wasted a strong pitching performance by Garrett Olson. The left-hander had struggled with his command in his first three starts, but he had pinpoint control against the Sky Sox.
Olson (1-2) carried a two-hit, one-walk shutout into the seventh inning before the Sky Sox rallied.
“That was outstanding,” said Tacoma pitching coach Dwight Bernard. “He’s been working his butt off in the bullpen on the sides. I was tickled to death to see the fastball command that he had, and he got the breaking ball over.”
In the seventh inning, Olson hit leadoff man Carlos Gonzalez on the elbow in a lapse of control that was rare during this game.
Matt Murton followed with a deep double to right-center field, scoring Gonzalez to tie the game.
Murton is batting .409 and leads all of minor league baseball with 27 hits.
With one out, Denny Stark relieved Olson to face Matt Miller. Miller punched a single through the right side of the infield, and Murton beat Mike Morse’s throw home to score the go-ahead run.
Scott Munter (2-0) earned the win for Colorado, pitching three shutout innings of middle relief.
The Rainiers threatened with two outs in the eighth inning. Bryan LaHair singled and Chris Woodward walked, but Sky Sox reliever Joel Peralta struck out Callix Crabbe to end the inning.
Peralta pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to earn is second save for the first place Sky Sox (11-5).
Redman red hot
Redman’s home run was his fifth of the season, and it extended his hitting streak to eight games.
Redman has hit safely in 14 of the 16 games in which he has played, and he is batting .354.
Daytime baseball is on tap today at 12:05 p.m. PDT. Tacoma starts Gabby Hernandez (0-1, 7.53 ERA) against Josh Fogg (1-0, 5.65) of the Sky Sox.
Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.