Many were launched rockets. Others landed safely with parachutes. Some were seeing-eye grounders.
However – wherever – the Tacoma Rainiers hit baseballs Wednesday night, the outcome was usually favorable.
And so was the end result as the Rainiers pummeled Colorado Springs, 15-5, in a 3-hour, 31-minute Pacific Coast League game at Cheney Stadium.
A night after collecting just three hits in a 2-0 loss to the Sky Sox, Tacoma went for a season-high 22 hits. Each starter had at least one hit by the third inning as the Rainiers built an 8-2 lead against right-hander Guillermo Moscoso.
Nineteen of Tacoma’s hits came in the first five innings.
Moscoso, with his third organization, came to Colorado in an offseason deal with Oakland for outfielder Seth Smith. And he was very effective for the Athletics as a starter last season, pitching 128 innings and finishing with a 3.38 earned-run average.
But the Rainiers were all over him – and in particular, on first-pitch strikes – from the get-go.
Catcher Guillermo Quiroz hit the game-winning home run in the second inning – a two-run shot that gave the Rainiers a 3-2 lead.
And Tacoma kept piling it on, batting around in the next inning – one that Moscoso did not finish.
It started with a Luis Jimenez screaming liner that nearly took right fielder Tim Wheeler’s glove off for an error. After that, Moscoso gave up six singles in the next seven Tacoma at-bats before being pulled.
One of those was Chih-Hsien Chiang’s first hit with the Rainiers in three games. The outfielder, who came up from Double-A Jackson, lined a soft liner to left field right after Jimenez’s at-bat.
With two outs in the fourth, outfielder Johan Limonta hit a 2-2 pitch from reliever Zach Simons over the right field wall for a three-run home run, and 11-2 Rainiers’ lead.
Down injured outfielders Mike Wilson (groin), Carlos Peguero (knee) and Darren Ford (finger), Tacoma somehow found the right lineup combination Wednesday.
“You just try and hold it together and keep grinding away and give some other people opportunities,” Rainiers manager Daren Brown said. “Then it is up to them to do something with the opportunities.”
Now that catcher Adam Moore (wrist) was officially optioned to Triple-A by the Mariners on Wednesday, Brown said the immediate goal is to get the Texas native as much action as possible.
Moore served as the designated hitter Wednesday after catching the prior two games.
“He’s not ready to catch five or six days in a row right now,” Brown said. “But I foresee in three or four weeks (him) being that guy, and being our guy playing every day.”
To wrap up the homestand, the Rainiers will have left-hander Mauricio Robles (0-0, 2.25 ERA) on the mound today to face Colorado Springs. The Sky Sox will counter with right-hander Carlos Torres (0-0, 4.50). First pitch is 7:05 p.m., and all action can be heard on 850-AM.
Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 email@example.com