RENO, Nev. – The Tacoma Rainiers (47-38) dropped the finale in a three-game series with the Reno Aces (45-41) by a score of 3-2 on Wednesday night at Greater Nevada Field.
Rainiers starting pitcher Cody Martin contributed 5.0 innings of one-run ball while allowing just four hits – he walked three and struck out six while not factoring into the decision.
Left fielder Norichika Aoki (2×4), shortstop Luis Sardinas (2×3), and second baseman Tyler Smith (2×3) gave the club a trio of multi-hit performances. Catcher Mike Zunino finished the night 1-for-3 with one run and a walk in his first game back with the Rainiers.
Andrew Kittredge, the only man out of the Rainiers bullpen, allowed two runs on three hits over the final 3.0 frames of the night. He took his first loss of the season.
After four innings of scoreless baseball, the Rainiers finally broke through for the first run of the game in the top of the fifth inning. Back-to-back one-out singles from Smith and Aoki put a runner in scoring position for designated hitter Stefen Romero, who laced an RBI single to center field to give Tacoma a 1-0 lead.
However, the Aces immediately answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the fifth. Two consecutive singles to open the frame and a groundout to second put former Rainier Ed Lucas on third base. Mitch Haniger lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to even the score at 1-1.
Tacoma retook the lead in the top of the sixth when Zunino drew a leadoff walk and came around to score from first on an RBI double from Sardinas, making the score 2-1.
Again, Reno answered to tie the game in the bottom of the frame. Kyle Jenson blasted his 17th home run of the season to lead off the inning, pulling the Aces even with the Rainiers at 2-2.
The Aces took their first lead of the night with a single run in the bottom of the seventh inning. A single from Mike Freeman set up a two-out RBI double from Haniger scoring Freeman, who was running on contact. The go-ahead base knock created the final score of 3-2 in favor of the Aces.
Tacoma travels to kick off a four-game set against the Sacramento River Cats tomorrow, Thursday, July 7. The Rainiers will send right-hander Donn Roach (5-4, 4.23) to the mound to square off against River Cats lefty Ty Blach (8-5, 4.12). 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.