TACOMA, Wash. – The Tacoma Rainiers (52-40) won their fifth consecutive game with a 7-2 decision over the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (44-46) on Saturday night at Cheney Stadium.
Starting pitcher Jarrett Grube (1-1) recorded his first win of the year, holding the Sky Sox to just two runs on three hits over 5.0 innings of work – he issued two walks and struck out five.
The Rainiers offense was led by centerfielder Norichika Aoki (4-4), catcher Rob Brantly (3×4), and first baseman D.J. Peterson (1×4). The trio combined for five runs and five RBI.
The Rainiers opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the first inning when Stefen Romero lined a one-out single to center field scoring Aoki, giving Tacoma the early 1-0 advantage.
Zach Shank led off the home half of the second inning with a double down the right field line and came around to score on an RBI single from Brantly, extending the Rainiers lead to 2-0.
Peterson smashed a two-run home run over the left field fence in the bottom of the third inning to put the Rainiers up 4-0.
The Sky Sox answered in the top of the fourth inning with an RBI single to center field from Josmil Pinto to plate Kyle Wren, cutting the Rainiers lead to three runs at 4-1.
The Rainiers scored two runs with a trio of doubles from Brantly, Aoki, and Guillermo Heredia to push their lead to 6-1.
Colorado Springs added a run in the top of the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly to left field from Wren to score Garin Cecchini, cutting Tacoma’s lead to 6-2.
Brantly launched a two-out solo home run to right field in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Rainiers the 7-2 advantage.
Kevin Munson, Charlie Furbush, Paul Fry, and Guido Knudson worked the final 4.0 innings for Tacoma, holding Colorado Springs hitless, while allowing two walks and striking out four.
The Rainiers and Sky Sox conclude their series tomorrow, Sunday, July 17. Right-hander Joe Wieland (6-5, 6.63) will take the mound for Tacoma opposite Colorado Springs righty Jorge Lopez (1-6, 6.33). First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 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.