SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Tacoma Rainiers (41-32) scattered 14 hits and took down the Sacramento River Cats (30-45) by a score of 10-5 on Thursday night at Raley Field.
Rainiers starting pitcher Zach Lee, making his Seattle organizational debut, worked 6.0 innings for Tacoma while allowing five runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out three but did not factor into the decision.
Right fielder Stefen Romero (3×5) and third baseman Patrick Kivlehan (3×4) combined for five runs and six RBI to pace the Rainiers offense. Catcher Mike Zunino (2×5) and left fielder Zach Shank (2×5) also contributed multi-hit efforts.
Tacoma and Sacramento both worked across single runs in the first inning, but the River Cats jumped out to a 4-1 lead with a three-run rally in the bottom of the second. Back-to-back singles and a walk loaded the bases for Sacramento, setting up a pair of RBI groundouts from Rando Moreno and Gorkys Hernandez before Ruben Tejada smacked an RBI single to polish off the rally.
Kivlehan sent a two-run home run over the left-center field wall in the top of the fourth inning, scoring first baseman Efren Navarro and bringing Tacoma within one run at 4-3.
The River Cats pushed their lead back out to two runs on an RBI single from Hernandez in the bottom of the fourth – the base knock scored Juan Ciriaco, who opened the frame with a single of his own.
Second baseman Daniel Robertson delivered a bases-loaded, two-out single in the top of the seventh to drive in a pair of Rainiers runs and knot up the game at 5-5.
RBI singles from Kivlehan – his third hit of the night – and Shank in the top of the 8th gave the Rainiers their first lead of the contest at 7-5.
Romero jumped on a pitch from River Cats lefty Alex Torres and sent out a three-run home run in the top of the ninth, extending the Rainiers lead to the final margin of 10-5.
Paul Fry and Jonathan Aro worked the final 3.0 innings for Tacoma, holding Sacramento scoreless on two hits while striking out one. Aro was awarded the win, his third of the season.
The Rainiers and River Cats wrap up their series tomorrow, Friday, June 24 with a first pitched scheduled for 7:05 p.m. PT. Tacoma right-hander Jarrett Grube (0-0, 3.52) and Sacramento righty Joan Gregorio (1-4, 6.54) are slated to start.
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.