TACOMA, Wash. – The Tacoma Rainiers (53-40) earned a four-game series sweep with a 7-3 decision over the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (44-47) on Sunday afternoon at Cheney Stadium.
The victory marks the first Rainiers sweep of Colorado Springs since 2013, and the first four-game sweep of the Sky Sox since the 2006 season. The win also marks the sixth consecutive Rainiers victory, matching the season club’s high.
Starting pitcher Joe Wieland (7-5) contributed 6.2 innings of work while allowing three runs on seven hits – he walked one and struck out five to secure his seventh win of the season.
Third baseman Patrick Kivlehan (2×4), Guillermo Heredia (2×3), Dario Pizzano (2×3), and D.J. Peterson (1×3) led Tacoma’s offense while combining for five runs and five RBI.
The Rainiers struck first with five runs in the bottom of the first inning. Pizzano began the scoring frenzy with a single to center field scoring Heredia, followed by a two-run single from Luis Sardinas to plate Rob Brantly and Peterson. Kivlehan then smashed a two-out, two-run home run to left field, giving Tacoma the early 5-0 advantage.
The Sky Sox got on the scoreboard with a run in the top of the second inning on back-to-back one-out doubles from Garin Cecchini and Keon Broxton, making it 5-1 in favor of the Rainiers.
Kivlehan belted his second home run of the game, a solo blast over the field fence, in the bottom of the fourth inning to extend Tacoma’s lead to 6-1.
Colorado Springs plated a run in the top of the fifth inning on a RBI groundout from Eric Young Jr. to push Rene Garcia across home plate, cutting the Rainiers lead to four runs at 6-2.
Peterson belted a solo home run over the left field fence to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning, pushing Tacoma’s lead to 7-2.
Brandon Macias registered a one-out RBI groundout to score Michael Reed in the top of the seventh inning to cut the Rainiers lead to 7-3.
Relievers Kraig Sitton, Emilio Pagan, and Blake Parker worked a combined 2.1 innings for Tacoma, holding opposing batters hitless while striking out four.
Tacoma kicks off a four-game series against the Oklahoma City Dodgers tomorrow, Monday, July 18. The Rainiers will send right-hander Zach Lee (0-2, 7.58) to the mound to square off against Dodgers righty Trevor Oaks (2-0, 4.05). First pitch is scheduled 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.