Don’t tell Prentice Redman that Cheney Stadium isn’t a hitters’ park. Sure the center field wall seems more than a mile away when you are at the plate, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t other places where the ball will go out.
Redman proved that Monday, hitting a pair of home runs – one to right field and one to left field – to help the Tacoma Rainiers to a 6-2 win over the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, wrapping a quick four-game homestand, in which the Rainiers won three out of four.
“I guess I just feel really comfortable in this place,” Redman said grinning.
Well, Redman has recorded a hit in 20 straight games at Cheney, dating back to Aug. 26 last season. He now has a hit in all 13 games at home this season and is hitting .469 (23-for-49) at Cheney with five doubles and six home runs.
“He has an idea of what he’s doing at the plate, and he doesn’t give away at-bats,” Rainiers manager Daren Brown said. “He’s done a nice job.”
Redman gave the Rainiers a first-inning lead reaching out and driving a Brandon Hynick pitch to right field for a solo blast. Two innings later he followed it up by pulling a Hynick offering down the left-field line.
“When I’m hitting my best, I use all of the field,” he said. “I sit back and wait and use my hands.”
The two home runs pushed him ahead of more celebrated mashers like Mike Carp and Jeff Clement into the team lead in home runs with nine. But Redman has sneaky if not surprising power.
“He hit 18 or 19 homers for us last season, and he didn’t join us until a month after the season started,” Brown said. “So he’s capable.”
But Redman isn’t trying to be a power hitter.
“I’m not going to hit 40 homers in a season,” he said. “I’m just trying to get base hits and sometimes they go out.”
Redman’s early homers and a two-run double from Jamie Burke gave a nice little cushion for starter Gaby Hernandez, who put together his third decent start in as many outings.
Hernandez (2-2) didn’t allow a hit in the first four innings, but then gave up two runs in the fifth on a two-run homer by Chris Frey. Still Hernandez worked 5 innings, allowing just the two runs on four hits, while only walking one and striking out five.
“He’s throwing more quality strikes than what he did early in the season,” Brown said. “He’s going after guys and using his fastball. His last few starts have been good and hopefully is an indication of what he can do for us.”
Jared Wells and Eric Hull pitched the rest of the way for the Rainiers to secure the win.
Redman and Chris Woodward each had three hits, while Burke was 2-for-4 and drove in three runs.
Clement misses game
Catcher Jeff Clement was not in uniform for Monday’s game. He instead was at the doctor having his surgically repaired left knee examined. He had offseason surgery to repair a torn meniscus in the knee. As of late, Clement has been bothered by some swelling in the knee, forcing him to DH the last two games, so he went to the doctor to see if anything was causing the issue.
“It’s still early, and we just want to make sure we’re on top of anything going on with it,” Brown said.
Delgado to the DL
Pitcher Jesus Delgado was placed on the seven-day disabled list with a sprained right knee. Delgado injured the knee in the last game of the Salt Lake City series when going for a foul ball along the third base line. Brown said an MRI to the knee found no structural damage.
“He just needs a few days to get it calmed down,” Brown said.
The Rainiers begin their longest road trip of the season – eight games in seven days – today with a 5 p.m. game against the New Orleans Zephyrs at Zephyr Field.
The first starting pitcher for the Rainiers in the four-game series is right-hander Doug Fister (0-0, 3.65 ERA), while New Orleans will send righty Daniel Barone (2-2, 6.00 ERA) to the mound. The game will be broadcast on 850-AM.
Tacoma moves to Oklahoma City for single games Saturday and Sunday and a doubleheader Monday.
Ryan Divish: 253-597-8483