Runs were scarce for the Tacoma Rainiers on Sunday at Security Service Field, as the Sky Sox won their fourth game in a row, 5-1.
Drew Pomeranz (4-4), who tossed six hitless innings in his last start, survived the high-90s heat to leave the mound after 5 1/3 innings allowing one earned run. The Rockies’ top pitching prospect has now given up one earned run or less in six of his nine starts with Colorado Springs.
“I almost felt too good today,” Pomeranz said. “I felt like crap last time, pitched real well, and then I felt real good and was a little too amped up out there today. Good location with my fastball, good location with my breaking ball at times. I’m fairly happy with it.”
The southpaw hurler loaded the bases in the fourth inning when Darren Ford singled to left fielder Andrew Brown. One run scored, but Brown gunned out the would-be second scorer with the help of a dive from catcher Wilkin Castillo in front of home plate. In the bottom half of the inning, with the score tied at 1, Brown followed his lead-preserving throw with a single that turned into the Sky Sox (38-38) second run.
“Every pitcher is thankful for it, and I feel much better when the defensive side picks up if my offense isn’t there that day,” Brown said. “And today, didn’t really have it, we scored a minimal amount of runs but we did enough damage to come away with the win.”
In the sixth, Brown stopped the same runner — Tacoma shortstop Carlos Triunfel — short of home plate for the second time on a second run-saving throw into the glove of Castillo.
“It was 2-1, 3-1 there for a good while, and those are big points in the game where you get outs like that,” Pomeranz said. “Kind of shuts them down a little bit.”
For the second straight night, fan favorite Vinny Castilla manned the first base line. Castilla, who serves as an assistant to Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd, said most players didn’t need his advice in the batter’s box.
Notching a 2-0 record as the Sky Sox hitting coach, the two-time MLB All-Star enjoyed stepping out of the office and into a baseball uniform.
“It feels great, back in action,” Castilla said. “I haven’t been coaching since the (2009 World Baseball) Classic. But it feels good, even if it’s just for two days. And we won both games so that always feels better.”
After racking up at least eight runs in each of their last three games, Colorado Springs had to wait until the seventh inning to grab run No. 3 off a homer from first baseman Chad Tracy.
First baseman Chad Tracy had two hits Sunday to give him at least two hits for the sixth game in the last seven ... DJ LeMahieu finished 2-for-4 in his first appearance with Colorado Springs since late May after spending several weeks with the Rockies.
Drew Pomeranz awaits call-up: “I have thought about it, but there’s nothing I can do about it at the end of the day,” he said. “Just got to keep going out there and throwing the ball, and it will happen when it happens I guess.” ... The Sky Sox are offering free tickets to Waldo Canyon Fire evacuees for Monday’s game.