SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Tacoma Rainiers (39-32) held the Sacramento River Cats (30-43) to just four hits, but ultimately fell by a score of 5-2 in the series opener on Tuesday night at Raley Field.
Rainiers starting pitcher Brad Mills (3-2) allowed just two hits – both home runs – over 6.0 innings of work and took his second loss of the season. The lefty yielded four runs and four walks while striking out four.
Tacoma catcher Rob Brantly, who finished the night 2-for-3 with a home run and a double, scored both of the Rainiers runs.
Sacramento struck early, with Goryks Hernandez hitting a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the first inning and give the River Cats a 1-0 edge.
Brantly evened the contest at 1-1 with a solo home run of his own in the top of the third inning. It was his sixth home run of the year, four of which have come on the road.
With two outs in the top of the fifth inning, the Rainiers snagged a 2-1 lead when Brantly and center fielder Boog Powell roped back-to-back doubles.
However, Sacramento quickly retook the lead in the bottom half of the frame. Juan Ciriaco and Hernandez both drew walks to set up a three-run dinger from Ruben Tejada, vaulting the River Cats out in front 4-2.
The River Cats extended their lead to the final margin of 5-2 when Rainiers reliever Emilio Pagan issued a bases-loaded walk to Ryan Lollis, scoring Austin Slater from third.
The Rainiers will send right-hander Joe Wieland (5-4, 7.52) to the mound tomorrow to face off against River Cats southpaw Ty Blach (6-4, 4.41) as the series continues. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. PT.
All tickets, group outings and suites packages for the 2016 season are available for purchase in-person at the Cheney Stadium Box Office, online at www.tacomarainiers.com, or over the phone at (253) 752-7707. The most up-to-date news and notes about the Rainiers throughout the season can be found by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand) or liking the team on Facebook.