After five games with little to no offense, the Tacoma Rainiers broke out in a big way Thursday night.
Tacoma banged out 17 hits en route to a 10-5 win over the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.
The win improved Tacoma’s record to 3-3 through the first six games of an eight game road trip.
Coming into Thursday’s game, the Rainiers were batting .172 with a total of 11 runs through the first five games of the road trip.
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“It was good to come out and get some hits,” manager Pat Listach said. “That was the first time on this road trip that we have swung the bats well. We actually won two games before tonight, which is a credit to how good the pitching has been.”
Tacoma scored in seven of the nine innings Thursday. After a scoreless first inning, Patrick Kivlehan doubled to lead off the second and later scored on Leury Bonilla’s single to center.
The offense continued steadily throughout the game. Jabari Blash homered in the third, John Hicks doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly in the fourth, and Tacoma had three consecutive two-out RBI singles in the fifth.
Batting ninth in the lineup, infielder Patrick Brady went 3 for 5 including his first Triple-A home run — a solo shot to left-center in the seventh inning to give Tacoma a 7-0 lead.
All of the run support seemed unnecessary as starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang carried a shutout into the seventh inning.
Wang allowed four singles through the first six innings. He gave up three consecutive singles to open the seventh and almost escaped that jam. Juan Centeno hit a potential double-play grounder to first base, but Kivlehan’s throw home was wild and three runs ended up scoring in the inning.
“Wang was outstanding again,” Listach said. “He pitched six scoreless innings, and if we make a good throw in the seventh, he wouldn’t have allowed any runs in that inning.”
Wang (3-3) was pulled after seven innings and three runs (two earned). He walked none and struck out five.
Tacoma activated first baseman Ji-Man Choi from the disabled list.
Choi, 24, broke his right fibula during a Cactus League game March 4. He appeared in five rehabilitation games in the Arizona rookie League before reporting to Tacoma on Thursday. Choi hit .283 with five homers and 30 RBI in 70 games for Tacoma last year.
Tacoma sends left-hander Tyler Olson (2-4, 5.45 ERA) to the mound in the third game of the series on Friday at 6:05 (PDT). p.m. Colorado Springs is expected to start right-hander Ariel Pena (1-2, 4.68).
Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.