COLORADO SPRINGS, Col. – The Tacoma Rainiers had plenty of hits Sunday afternoon, but the timing of those hits could have been better.
Tacoma left 13 runners on base in a 5-1 loss to the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.
“We just weren’t able to get a big hit when we needed it,” Rainiers manager Daren Brown said.
As the third base coach, Brown twice tried to take matters into his own hands – with bad results.
Down 1-0 in the fourth, Tacoma loaded the bases with one out against Sky Sox starter Drew Pomeranz. Darren Ford singled softly into left field, and Vinnie Catricala scored easily from third. Brown waved Carlos Triunfel around third as well, but he was thrown out by Sky Sox left fielder Andrew Brown.
With one out in the sixth, Tacoma trailed 2-1 when Ford singled to left with Triunfel at second base. Again Triunfel was waved in – and again Brown threw him out at the plate.
“We’re looking at 1-1 and 2-1 games at the time, and we haven’t had a lead here,” Daren Brown said. “If we can get a lead, things change. It just didn’t happen for us today.”
The runners thrown out at the plate became a moot point when the Sky Sox opened up the lead in the late innings.
Rainiers starter Andrew Carraway was economical with his pitches, getting outs early in the count as he pitched deep into the game. He needed 83 pitches to go 7 innings.
Chad Tracy was his nemesis. The Sky Sox designated hitter blooped a two-out single to center to drive in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fourth, and he launched his third home run of the season off Carraway in the seventh to make it 3-1.
Carraway pitched into the eighth, leaving with a runner on and one out. Tacoma’s bullpen surrendered two more runs.
“Carraway did a nice job keeping us in the game,” Brown said. “He had done his job getting us into the eighth inning.”
Pomeranz (4-4) earned the win. The Colorado Rockies’ top pitching prospect allowed one run in 5 innings on seven singles and four walks.
Maybe this baseball humidor in Colorado Springs is working: Tacoma had homered in nine consecutive road games coming into the series, and has not homered in the first two games. The homer by Tracy was the 46th of the year for the Sky Sox – the lowest total in the Pacific Coast League. … Tacoma’s Luis Jimenez was 3-for-5, and he has hit safely in 15 of his past 16 games, batting .397 (25-for-63) during that span.
Tacoma starts former Sky Sox right-hander Jarrett Grube (0-4, 9.34) against right-hander Carlos Torres (3-4, 4.59) at 11:35 a.m. today.Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.