Colorado Springs Sky Sox - COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The Sky Sox duplicated their early offensive production from a night ago, plating nine runs over their first four frames en route to a 9-3 series-opening defeat of the Tacoma Rainiers before a crowd of 1,838 at Security Service Field on Wednesday night.
The Sox jumped out to an immediate 2-0 advantage against Tacoma starter Adrian Sampson (1-3, 6.56) on three first inning singles and a walk with Juan Centeno ultimately cashing in on a two-run single to center.
Colorado Springs starter Brent Suter (2-0, 2.95) tossed two scoreless frames before the Rainiers offense knotted the ballgame in the third on the strength of a John Hicks solo shot and a run-scoring double play off the bat of infielder Chris Taylor.
The Sky Sox would take the field for good in the very next frame, scoring three times off of Sampson to take a 5-2 lead after three innings of play. Two of the runs would score via fielding error in the third with Michael Reed collecting the only RBI on a one-out base knock.
Suter surrendered another solo blast; this time to outfielder Jabari Blash in the Tacoma fourth. Blash's 15th round-tripper of the season cut Tacoma's deficit to 5-3 heading into the home half of the inning.
The Sox would help themselves to a big four-run fourth to put Tacoma away for good. Colorado Springs would plate two on a one-out RBI double by Domingo Santana before Sampson and Rainiers manager Pat Listach were ejected by home plate umpire Alex Ortiz. Logan Kensing took over with a runner one second, getting Matt Clark to fly out before allowing back-to-back runs-scoring extra-base-hits to Michael Reed and Juan Centeno. Centeno's RBI triple gave the catcher three runs driven in on the night and the Sky Sox a 9-3 lead. In all, Sampson was tagged for eight runs (six earned) on nine hits and walk while striking out two over an abbreviated 3.1 inning performance.
Suter gave up the last of his four runs in the Tacoma sixth when Stefan Romero plated Taylor with a sacrifice flyout to Matt Long in left. The Sox southpaw would depart after seven innings, allowing the four runs (three earned) on five hits and two walks while striking out two on his way to his second win in three starts since being called up to Colorado Springs.
The trio of J.C. Ramirez, Rob Rasmussen and Tony Zych combined to allow just four base runners over the game's final three innings to finish out the evening for the Rainiers bullpen.
Preston Guilmet tossed two perfect innings of relief to secure the Sky Sox series-opening 9-4 victory, helping improve his team to 52-72 while dropping Tacoma to 58-67 on the season.
Colorado Springs will look to make it two in a row as they play these same Tacoma Rainiers in game two of this current four game set on Thursday evening. Hiram Burgos (2-2, 3.28) leads the way against former Cy Young Award runner-up Chien-Ming Wang (2-3, 5.14) with first pitch set for 6:35 PM MDT from Security Service Field.