TACOMA, Wash. – The Tacoma Rainiers (46-36) dropped the final game of the series to the Las Vegas 51s (43-39) by a score of 8-5 on Sunday night at Cheney Stadium.
Starting pitcher Joe Wieland tossed 5.2 innings for Tacoma while allowing one run on five hits. He walked three and struck out one but did not factor into the decision.
Catcher Rob Brantly (2×4), first baseman D.J. Peterson (1×2) who worked two walks, and designated hitter Dario Pizzano (1×4) led the Rainiers offense, combining for five runs and three RBI.
The Rainiers struck first with two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Luis Sardinas lined a one-out single into center field to score Peterson and Brantly came around to score on an RBI groundout from Pizzano, giving Tacoma the 2-0 lead.
Travis Taijeron smacked a two-out solo home run over the left-center field fence in the top of the sixth inning, cutting the Rainiers lead to one run at 2-1.
Peterson smashed his first Triple-A home run, a solo shot, over the left-center field wall to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning. Brantly followed with a solo home run of his own, this time over the right field wall. Pizzano then roped a double to the left-center field gap, and came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Norichika Aoki, giving the Rainiers a 5-1 advantage.
Las Vegas gained the lead with six runs in the top of the seventh inning, sending 11 batters to the plate in the process. Michael Conforto sent a two-run single into right field, followed by three-consecutive singles from Eric Campbell, T.J. Rivera, Taijeron, a bases loaded walk from Kevin Plawecki, and a sacrifice fly ball from Roger Bernadina to score Rivera all culminated in a six run inning to give the 51s the 7-5 lead.
The 51s added a run in the bottom of the eighth inning after Gavin Cecchini smacked a triple to right-center field and scored on a single from Conforto, pushing Las Vegas’ lead to 8-5.
Paul Fry, Kevin Munson, Guido Knudson, and Blake Parker worked the final 3.1 frames, surrendering seven runs on seven hits – the four relievers struck out three and walked four.
Tacoma hits the road to kick off a four-game series against the Reno Aces tomorrow, Monday, July 4. Rainiers right-hander Zach Lee (0-1, 9.00) is slated to start opposite Aces righty Braden Shipley (6-4, 3.81). First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 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 http://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.