SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A 7-3 victory over the Sacramento River Cats (30-46) gave the Tacoma Rainiers (42-32) their first road series victory of the season on Friday night at Raley Field.
Tacoma entered the top of the eighth inning trailing Sacramento 3-1, but went on to score six runs over the final two frames to grab a victory and get back to 10 games over .500.
Rainiers starter Jarrett Grube fired 6.2 innings of three-run ball and carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning. He allowed five hits – two home runs – with one walk while striking out eight.
Right fielder Stefen Romero led the Rainiers offense, going 3-for-5 with two runs and one double. Center fielder Guillermo Heredia, making his Triple-A debut, finished the night 2-for-5 with two runs and an RBI double.
Third baseman Patrick Kivlehan broke open the scoreless tie with an RBI single in the top of the fourth inning, scoring Romero who doubled to open the frame and giving the Rainiers a 1-0 lead.
Andrew Susac opened the bottom of the fifth with a solo home run for Sacramento, giving the River Cats their first hit of the game and tying the contest at 1-1. Rando Moreno notched an RBI single later in the frame to vault the River Cats out in front, 2-1.
Another leadoff home run, this time off the bat of Miguel Olivo, extended the River Cats lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Rainiers quickly responded with four runs in the top of the eighth to claim a 5-3 lead. A pair of fielding errors and a single from Romero loaded the bases with no outs for first baseman Efren Navarro, who promptly laced an RBI single to left field. A sacrifice fly from designated hitter Mike Zunino, a wild pitch, and an RBI single from catcher Rob Brantly wrapped up the scoring.
Guillermo Heredia – making his Triple-A debut – sprayed an RBI double down the first base line in the top of the ninth to secure the Rainiers an insurance run. Following a bunt single from shortstop Luis Sardinas, Romero grounded into a double play that scored another run, giving Tacoma a 7-3 lead.
Blake Parker closed out the night for Tacoma, striking out all four batters he faced to earn his team-leading 14th save of the season.
Tacoma makes a short trip south to kick off a four-game series against the Fresno Grizzlies tomorrow, Saturday, June 25. Rainiers right-hander Cody Martin (5-5, 4.82) is slated to start opposite Grizzlies righty Mike Hauschild (5-6, 3.18). 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.