TACOMA, Wash. – Felix Hernandez struck out seven and earned the win as the Tacoma Rainiers (51-40) rolled to a 4-1 victory over the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (44-45) on Friday night at Cheney Stadium.
A sellout crowd of 7,296 gathered to watch the Hernandez’s second rehab start and were treated to 5.2 innings of one-run work from the 2010 Cy Young Award winner, the lone run allowed being a solo home run in the top of the fourth inning.
Catcher Mike Zunino (2×3) and first baseman D.J. Peterson (2×4) paced the offense with a pair of multi-hit outings. Shortstop Tyler Smith added a two-run home run, the go-ahead hit, in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Manny Pina, the Sky Sox starting catcher, struck for the first and only Colorado Springs run of the night with his solo shot to left-center field in the top of the fourth inning.
Smith swatted his fourth home run of the season, a two-run shot that carried into the R Yard beyond the left field wall, in the bottom of the fifth to push the Rainiers out in front, 2-1.
Peterson capped the scoring with a two-run with a single up the middle in the bottom of the eighth, extending the Tacoma advantage to the final margin of 4-1.
Scheduled Rainiers starter Donn Roach followed Hernandez from the bullpen and held the Sky Sox to just one hit over the final 3.1 frames – the effort earned him his first save since 2011, his second year in professional baseball.
Rainiers right-hander Jarrett Grube (0-1, 4.87) takes the mound for Tacoma as they continue their series against Colorado Springs tomorrow, Saturday, July 16. The Sky Sox will call on the services of righty Aaron Wilkerson (0-0, 0.00). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PT.
All tickets, group outings and suites packages for the 2016 season are available for purchase in-person at the Cheney Stadium Box Office, online at www.tacomarainiers.com, or over the phone at (253) 752-7707. The most up-to-date news and notes about the Rainiers throughout the season can be found by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand) or liking the team on Facebook.