Hultzen fails to follow up in Rainiers' 9-1 loss to Colorado Springs
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – After a virtual draw the first time they met, Round 2 in the matchup of former first-round draft picks went to starting pitcher Alex White of Colorado Springs.
White tossed seven shutout innings, beating fellow starting pitcher Danny Hultzen and the Tacoma Rainiers on Monday afternoon, 9-1.
The meeting was a rematch of a game 10 days earlier at Cheney Stadium. In that contest, the score was tied at when the starters were lifted in the middle innings – and the Sky Sox eventually won, 4-3 in 11 innings. Monday’s game was different.
After pitching two scoreless innings with good command, Hultzen lost control in the third inning and allowed four runs.
The rally started when Tim Wheeler hit a long double to right field with one out. Hultzen walked the next two batters, loading the bases for cleanup hitter Matt McBride.
McBride hit a two-run single to left, extending his hitting streak to 17 games.
After Hultzen struck out Hernan Iribarren, Brendan Harris ripped a full-count pitch high of the wall in left field for a two-run double, making the score 4-0.
Hultzen walked two more batters in a scoreless fourth before being lifted by Tacoma manager Daren Brown.
“The first couple of innings were good, but then he started to get behind in the count,” said Brown. “He just kind of lost his command for a little bit.”
All told, he gave up six hits and four runs in four innings, with four walks and five strikeouts. He added a wild pitch and a balk, while throwing 85 pitches (47 strikes).
The erratic outing came immediately following his best Triple-A start, five days earlier against Sacramento.
“He wasn’t as good as last time out,” said Brown. “He started off good but then just couldn’t get back on track.”
Harris would break the game open with a three-run double in the sixth inning after Tacoma reliever Steven Hensley walked with the bases loaded.
Harris was 4-for-5 with three doubles and five RBI, leading the Sky Sox to a five-game sweep of the Rainiers.
“Obviously coming in here and losing five is not what you are looking to do,” said Brown. “We had a couple of well-pitched games here but weren’t able to do anything offensively. It was a tough series. We’ll go home and get after it tomorrow.”
Tacoma (41-61) has lost six in a row and nine of its past 10 games to fall 20 games under .500 for the first time since Aug. 8, 2003.
Tacoma officially added relief pitcher Stephen Pryor to its roster. He pitched two scoreless innings against Colorado Springs. … Starting pitcher Andrew Carraway was placed on the seven-day disabled list with a strained lat muscle.
The Rainiers return home to Cheney Stadium to play host to Tucson in the opener of a four-game series. First pitch tonight is 7:05. Tacoma is expected to start Hector Noesi (0-1, 15.12 ERA) against an unannounced Tucson starter. Bob Robertson and Ian Furness will work the broadcast on 850-AM.
Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.