COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Tacoma Rainiers batted Dustin Ackley, Alex Liddi, and Carlos Peguero in the 3-4-5 sports in the lineup Wednesday afternoon.
That’s a lot of thunder in any Pacific Coast League ballpark, but it is particularly threatening in the high-offense environment of Colorado Springs.
The trio combined for eight hits, nine runs, and nine RBI as the Rainiers blew out the Sky Sox, 16-4.
The victory evened the series at a game apiece, with two games remaining. The first-place Rainiers increased their lead over second place Colorado Springs to 3ß games in the Pacific North Division.
Liddi hit a two-run homer in the first inning, giving Tacoma a 3-0 lead. He added two singles and scored four runs.
Ackley reached base four times, with three singles and a walk. Like Liddi, he scored four times.
Peguero was the RBI man. He drew a bases-loaded walk in the fifth inning, hit a three-run triple in the sixth and had a two-run double in the eighth. He finished with six RBI.
“This ballpark is crazy, with the wind and the ball flying everywhere,” Peguero said. “I just try to be patient and have a good at-bat.”
Peguero has 17 RBI in the nine games he has played on Tacoma’s current trip, raising his season total to 48.
“He’s cutting down on the balls he’s swinging at outside of the strike zone,” Tacoma manager John Stearns said. “When he does that, he’s a really good hitter.”
Tacoma starter Brandon Maurer left because of lower back tightness after one inning with Tacoma leading 3-2.
Right-hander Jonathan Arias (2-1) excelled in long relief, retiring the first 11 batters he faced while pitching into the fifth inning. He was credited with the win.
“Our bullpen did a great job,” Stearns said. “Arias in particular was outstanding, giving us 3† innings. That was key to the game.”
Center fielder Ackley was truly tested defensively at his new position for his first time, being forced to go back on several deep fly balls while dealing with a strong crosswind. He handled everything hit his direction.
Shortstop Brad Miller missed his third straight game with a finger injury. … Former Rainiers reliever Steven Hensley pitched a scoreless inning in relief for Colorado Springs. He was traded to the Rockies on April 11 for Aaron Harang.
Game 11 of this 12-game trip, the Rainiers’ longest of the season, is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. (PDT) Thursday. In a duel of right-handers, Tacoma is expected to start Hector Noesi (1-1, 7.63 ERA) against the Sky Sox’s Drew Carpenter (1-3, 5.21).
Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Rainiers.