LOVES PARK, Ill. - Rockford starter Drew Rucinski threw six innings of shutout ball to lead the Rockford RiverHawks to a 5-2 win over the Joliet Slammers.
Rucinski (4-1) allowed four hits and two walks while striking out seven, throwing 58 of his 87 pitches for strikes.
Rockford scored twice in the first inning on a pair of RBI doubles by Evan Button and Javier Herrera. The RiverHawks added two more in the second, the first on an error by Slammers' starter Steven Maxwell trying to pick Ted Obregon off first base with runners at first and third base. Button hit an RBI single to extend the lead to 4-0.
Maxwell (4-4) was handed the defeat, giving up three earned runs on six hits and striking out five in six innings pitched.
The Slammers trailed 4-0 into the eighth inning, but Chretien Matz led off the inning with a pinch-hit home run off Andrew Armstrong to cut the Rockford lead to 4-1. The Slammers then loaded the bases with no one out. Erik Lis hit a sacrifice fly off Armstrong to make it a 4-2 game. Armstrong was pulled for Jordan Goldschmidt, and Goldschmidt got Kyle Maunus to bounce into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.
The RiverHawks added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly by Michael Hur to make it 5-2.
Rockford's Garrett Granitz pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn his first save of the season.
Button went 2-for-3 with two RBI, and Javier Herrera was 2-for-4 with an RBI, his 45th of the season.
The RiverHawks head to Washington, Pennsylvania to open up a three-game series with the Washington Wild Things beginning Tuesday. Rockford sends Mike Lee (3-0, 2.41 ERA) to the mound in the opener, and Washington counters with Gary Lee (2-3, 2.78 ERA). First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. CDT.