TACOMA, Wash. – The Tacoma Rainiers (44-35) dropped a 7-3 decision to the Las Vegas 51s (42-37) on Thursday night at Cheney Stadium.
Designated hitter Stefen Romero (2×4), center fielder Guillermo Heredia (2×4), and first baseman D.J. Peterson (1×4) led the Rainiers offense, combining to reach base five times and knock-in two RBI.
The Rainiers ventured onto the scoreboard with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Norichika Aoki led off the frame with a double to right-center field and came around to score two batters later on an RBI groundout from Luis Sardinas, giving Tacoma the 1-0 lead.
The 51s answered with three runs in the top of the third inning when Gavin Cecchini sent a two-out double down the left field line scoring Ty Kelly, followed by a two-run home run to right field from Michael Conforto, giving Las Vegas the 3-1 advantage.
Las Vegas added a pair of runs in the top of the fourth inning, one run in the top of the sixth inning, and one run in the top of the ninth inning en route to a 7-1 lead.
Peterson lined a two-out, two-run double down the left field line in the bottom of the ninth inning to plate Sardinas and Daniel Robertson, cutting the Rainiers deficit to four runs at 7-3.
Starting pitcher Jarrett Grube worked 4.0 innings for Tacoma, allowing five runs on six hits – He issued no walks and struck out three.
Relievers Emilio Pagan, Paul Fry, Jonathan Aro, and Casey Coleman combined to hold Las Vegas to two runs on four hits over the final 5.0 innings of the game, surrendering four walks, while striking out three.
Tacoma and Las Vegas square off again tomorrow, Friday, July 1 at 7:05 p.m. PT. The Rainiers are scheduled to start right-hander Cody Martin (6-5, 4.33), while the 51s are slated to go with righty Rafael Montero (4-4, 6.13).
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.