Iannetta homers in five-inning rehab debut

June 2, 2009 | 10:30 pm  

Chris Iannetta began what is expected to be a six-game rehab stint with the Triple-A Sky Sox by slamming a solo home run in his second at bat of an 8-6 loss to the visiting Fresno Grizzlies (29-24).

The Sky Sox, who have now registered double digit hits in 32 of 51 games, are 31-20 on the season.

Playing in his first game since being placed on the disabled list May 24, after straining his right hamstring, the 26-year-old catcher was 1 for 3 with two strikeouts in what was a scheduled five-inning appearance.

“He swung the bat well and saw a lot of pitches,” said Sky Sox skipper Stu Cole, “so, I think, he’s on the right track on doing what he wants to do to get himself ready.”

The Grizzlies got an opportunity to test Iannetta’s arm and accuracy only once.

That came in the top half off the third inning when Eugenio Velez stole second and advanced to third when the rehabbing catcher skipped a one-hopper past second and into centerfield on an errant throw from the plate.

“I thought he looked good,” said Cole, who was managing just his third game with Sox. “He moved around very good, back behind the plate.”

Iannetta was injured in an interleague game against the Detroit Tigers when he was trying to score from second base on a Garrett Atkins single. Iannetta, who acquired in the fourth round of the 2004 June draft, pulled up just a couple steps past third because of the tightening.

Prior to the injury, Iannetta was batting .231 in 31 games with the Rockies, including 8 homeruns and 18 RBI. He had struck out 27 times in 104 big league plate appearances this year.

He will be available to pinch hit for the Sox Sky on Wednesday and catch seven innings on Thursday before traveling with the team for the first three games of a four-game series with Sacramento. He’ll be available to pinch hit again on Friday before catching nine innings on Saturday and Sunday.

“We’re just trying to get him out there and get him into game playing shape,” Cole said. “He hasn’t played for awhile so we’re just kind of working him in slowly.

“When he’s ready to go we’ll let that big league team make decision of when they want him to come up there.”

At that point he’ll be reevaluated and could rejoin the Rockies in Milwaukee on Tuesday, June 9. Iannetta is signed with the Rockies through 2009.