Albuquerque, NM (5/21/23) – The Tacoma Rainiers (21-24) rallied from a 4-0 first inning hole on Sunday to snatch the series finale from the Albuquerque Isotopes (19-26) with six unanswered runs, and evened their week on the road at 3-3. Tacoma has come from at least three runs back to
Albuquerque, NM (5/21/23) – The Tacoma Rainiers (21-24) rallied from a 4-0 first inning hole on Sunday to snatch the series finale from the Albuquerque Isotopes (19-26) with six unanswered runs, and evened their week on the road at 3-3. Tacoma has come from at least three runs back to win each of its last two games; the four-run deficit marks their largest come-from-behind win this season.
Amidst showers and a brief delay to begin the game, the skies opened up into a downpour during the middle of the first inning. A 90-minute rain delay ensued; when play resumed Rainiers RHP Darren McCaughan did not return to the mound after being fully warmed up and then having to sit. McCaughan was credited with a game started – his 67th career for Tacoma, ninth-most in franchise history – despite not throwing a pitch. Albuquerque lefty Ben Braymer pitched only a scoreless first inning in his debut for the club, under the same circumstances (1 BB, 2 K).
Things went sideways when play resumed; the Isotopes began the home first with a walk and a pair of one-out singles, before Aaron Schunk hit a grand slam to left-center, his seventh homer. Tacoma took two runs back in the second however, on a Zach DeLoach solo shot (4th HR) and a Cesar Hernandez RBI single, making the score 4-2.
With Mike Ford on base after a leadoff single in the fifth, Jake Scheiner tied the game with his club-leading 13th home run, smacked to left center.
Still even at 4-4 in the ninth, Scheiner worked a leadoff walk, and DeLoach singled him to third base. Pat Valaika (sac fly) and Jack Larsen (single) each had RBI in consecutive at-bats for the winning run and an insurance tally.
DeLoach added four base hits to his second inning homer (2 runs scored), and achieved Tacoma’s first five-hit game since Jantzen Witte on August 16, 2021 at home vs. Las Vegas. DeLoach has also hit safely in nine consecutive games, which equals Brian O’Keefe and Cade Marlowe for the longest streak by a Rainier this season.
Following the first inning grand slam, Albuquerque would collect only three more hits the remainder of the game, and were out-hit by the Rainiers 13-6. On what became a sudden bullpen day, LHP Blake Weiman (2.0 IP), RHP Nolan Blackwood (1.0 IP), RHP Diego Castillo (2.0 IP), RHP Ryder Ryan (1.0 IP) and RHP Matt Festa (1.0 IP) combined for seven scoreless frames totaling nine strikeouts and only three walks. Pitching on consecutive days, Festa retired the side in order with a strikeout for the second time in fewer than 24 hours for his PCL-leading eighth save. He saved all three Tacoma wins of the road trip with zero drama, and without any baserunners.
Following an off-day on Monday, the Rainiers will begin the first of two 12-game homestands at Cheney Stadium this season, on Tuesday against Las Vegas. First pitch will be at 11:35 a.m.; Tacoma’s starting pitcher is to be determined following Sunday’s situation. RHP Colton Eastman 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.