Hits were scarce for the Tacoma Rainiers on Sunday afternoon, so they wisely used small-ball tactics to push runs across.
The strategy worked great until the Colorado Springs’ offense picked apart Tacoma’s bullpen to earn a come-from-behind 7-4 victory in 11 innings in front of 6,937 fans at Cheney Stadium.
Colorado Springs scored runs in the ninth, 10th and 11th innings, including a go-ahead, three-run home run by Charlie Blackmon in the 11th.
The Rainiers (40-53) had a chance to take the series from Colorado Springs (47-46) leading 3-2 the ninth inning. But the Sky Sox’s Tommy Field tied the game with a leadoff home run off reliever Scott Patterson.
The teams traded runs in the 10th, setting the stage for Blackmon’s game-winning blast off reliever Steven Hensley. Blackmon went 9-for-18 in the four games against Tacoma with four extra-base hits and four RBI.
One day after Tacoma and Colorado Springs combined for 25 runs, including a season-best 16 via 32 hits from the Rainiers, the bats on both sides were pretty quiet until the ninth.
Tacoma was a perfect 3-for-3 in stolen bases, however, two of which led to runs scored by Nick Franklin and Darren Ford in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively.
“We did some things to put ourselves in a position to win, but we just didn’t finish it off,” Brown said. “We didn’t do a whole lot offensively, but we did do some things that got us some runs.”
Tacoma starter Andrew Carraway lasted six innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits in a no-decision. He was on pace to earn his fourth win of the season until the tying homer by Field in the ninth.
STREAKS COME AND GO
Franklin extended his consecutive scoring streak to 11 games when he scored on Carlos Triunfel’s single in the second inning Sunday. He leads the PCL with 16 runs scored since July 2. ... Ford saw his career-high 17-game hitting streak end after an 0-for-5 performance. The 17-game hit streak was tied for second best in the PCL.
Right fielder Mike Wilson did not play in Sunday’s game and is day-to-day with a swollen lip sustained in the fifth inning of Friday’s 16-9 win over Colorado Springs. A hard-hit ball by Blackmon hit Wilson in the face as he attempted to make a diving catch in right field.
The Rainiers welcome Sacramento today at 7:05 p.m. to begin a four-game series with the River Cats. Tacoma will send left-hander Steve Garrison (0-1, 6.55 ERA) to the mound against Sacramento ace Graham Godfrey (8-0, 2.88).