Tacoma, WA (5/23/23) – The Tacoma Rainiers (22-24) overcame an early deficit on Tuesday to record their 12th home win and beat the Las Vegas Aviators (21-25), 5-4. Tacoma has now come from behind to win in three straight games. The Rainiers are 6-3 in the first game of a
Tacoma, WA (5/23/23) – The Tacoma Rainiers (22-24) overcame an early deficit on Tuesday to record their 12th home win and beat the Las Vegas Aviators (21-25), 5-4. Tacoma has now come from behind to win in three straight games. The Rainiers are 6-3 in the first game of a series this season, continuing a trend from last year when they went 18-9 in such games.
Las Vegas drew five walks over the first two innings, leading to three runs. Cody Thomas (RF), drove in two runs in the second with a bases loaded single.
The Rainiers fought back right away in the bottom of the first, getting back-to-back RBI doubles from Brian O’Keefe and Mike Ford to give Tacoma a 2-1 lead. Ford’s 47th RBI put him back in sole possession of the PCL RBI lead, for the time being. Thomas’s two RBI gave him 48 to pass Ford.
Rainiers right-hander Marcus Walden retired six of the final eight batters he faced, exiting after 3.1 IP in his debut for the club (six strikeouts).
With O’Keefe (walk) and Cade Marlowe (double) on first and second base in fifth inning, Jake Scheiner broke his bat on a single to left field, scoring Marlowe and moving O’Keefe over to third. Zach DeLoach then came up to the plate with only one out. Despite a diving bid from Thomas in right field, DeLoach laced a ball all the way to the wall and made his way to third for a 2-RBI triple and a 5-3 lead.
DeLoach’s triple, his first of the season, extended his hitting streak to 10 games, the longest for any Rainier in 2023.
The Tacoma bullpen was tasked with recording the last 17 outs of the game and they did not disappoint the 4,460 fans in attendance. Eric Stout, Nolan Blackwood, Rob Kaminsky, Taylor Williams, Riley O’Brien and Matt Festa combined to pitch 5.2 innings and gave up only two hits and one ER while striking out eight Aviators. Festa recorded his ninth save of the season and now has saves in the last three games, lowering his ERA to 0.47. Festa has not blown a save, and nine leads the league (retried side in order in 9th, with a K).
The 14 combined strikeouts from Walden and the bullpen were only one shy of tying Tacoma’s season-high for strikeouts in a game.
The Rainiers are just starting a 12-game homestand at Cheney Stadium. Game two will be on Tuesday against Las Vegas, with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m. PT. Tacoma’s starting pitcher will be RHP Darren McCaughan. RHP Paul Blackburn (MLB Rehab) is scheduled to start for Vegas.
Rainiers broadcaster Mike Curto will have full coverage on TacomaRainiers.com. All 2023 Rainiers games, home and away, can also be heard for free on the MiLB First Pitch app. HD video broadcasts of every home game can be viewed with a MiLB.TV subscription.
About the Tacoma Rainiers
The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. The Rainiers are a member of the Pacific Coast League and have been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.
The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.