TACOMA, Wash. -- Michael Saunders collected three hits and drove in two runs as the Tacoma Rainiers dropped their series finale with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox 11-4 at Cheney Stadium on Friday night.
Saunders, in the first game of his Major League rehab assignment at Tacoma, went 3-for-4 with three singles, one walk and a pair of RBI. He led off the bottom of the first inning with a single, and then went on to score the Rainiers first run of the night on a single hit by Ty Kelly with two outs.
The outfielder later pelted an RBI single that plated Jesus Sucre in the fourth inning. Saunders drove in another run with a single lined to right field that again scored Sucre in the eighth.
As a team, Tacoma's lineup combined to collect a total of 14 hits against the Sky Sox. Outfielder Xavier Nady turned in the club's other three-hit effort after going 3-for-5 with a double. The catcher Sucre delivered a pair of doubles, and second baseman Nick Franklin hit a solo home run in the ninth inning - his eighth with the Rainiers this season.
Matt Palmer (1-4) was dealt the loss in his first start since going on the disabled list with a shoulder injury on May 13. The right-hander surrendered five runs on a season-high nine hits in 2.1 innings. He walked one and struck out one.
The Rainiers (33-41) open the next leg of an eight-game homestand when Oklahoma City heads to Cheney for a four-game set that begins tomorrow, June 21. Right-hander Andrew Carraway (3-4, 4.45) is expected to start for Tacoma in the series opener against RedHawks left-hander Brett Oberholtzer (1-2, 4.88). First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.
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