The Tacoma Rainiers ran into a first-round draft pick who certainly pitched like one Tuesday night at Cheney Stadium.
Left-hander Christian Friedrich, the No. 25 overall pick in 2008 by the Colorado Rockies, turned in a dominant performance, pitching 7 shutout innings, allowing two hits with a walk and six strikeouts to lead the Colorado Springs Sky Sox to a 2-0 win over the Rainiers.
Baseball America ranks him as the 14th best overall prospect for Colorado.
But the accolades haven’t necessarily translated to minor league success. He was 6-10 last season with a 5.00 ERA in 25 starts for Double-A Tulsa. In his Triple-A debut this season, he went five innings, giving up four runs against Reno.
But against the Rainiers (3-3), he was outstanding.
“He pitched inside really well,” Rainiers manager Daren Brown said. “You saw it in the first inning when he broke two or three bats. He’s got a good arm.”
The two hits Friedrich allowed both came off the bat of Tacoma first baseman Scott Savastano.
Savastano ripped a one-out triple deep into the left-center gap in the third inning. But the Rainiers couldn’t score him as Luis Rodriguez and Trayvon Robinson had back-to-back infield pop-ups to end the inning.
In the sixth inning, Savastano led off with a double to left-center. Brown had Rodriguez sacrifice bunt Savastano to third. Robinson popped up to the catcher for the second out. Carlos Triunfel drew a four-pitch walk, but Sky Sox shortstop Brandon Wood ended the inning making a nice stop on Vinnie Catricala’s ground ball deep in the hole to get Triunfel at second.
“We had our chances,” Brown said.
Friedrich overshadowed a decent outing from a trio of Rainiers pitchers. Starter Matt Fox pitched five innings allowing one run on four hits while striking out five and walking one. The run came in the second inning when Chad Tracy hit a solo homer.
Cesar Jimenez gave Tacoma 22/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits. Oliver Perez pitched 1 innings, giving up one hit. But the one hit was costly as Wil Nieves hit a solo homer to right in the ninth.
PEGUERO ON DL
Outfielder Carlos Peguero was placed on the seven-day disabled list, but he will be out much longer. He suffered a tear in his meniscus while running the bases Saturday and will have surgery. Normal recovery time is four to six weeks. The Rainiers called up Leury Bonilla from Double-A Jackson.
The Rainiers will send right-hander Jeff Marquez (0-0, 15.75 ERA) to the mound for the third game of the series with Colorado Springs. The Sky Sox will go with right-hander Guillermo Moscoso (0-1, 3.60 ERA). First pitch is 7:05 p.m. and will be broadcast on 850-AM.