SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Tacoma Rainiers (47-40) dropped their third straight game, a 7-4 decision, to the Sacramento River Cats (38-51) at Raley Field on Friday night.
The Rainiers received just five base hits from their offense, including a 2-for-4 night from shortstop Luis Sardinas and a two-run double from right fielder Stefen Romero.
Tacoma starting pitcher Joe Wieland allowed five runs (three earned) on nine hits over 5.0 innings of work. He walked one and struck out one while being tagged with the loss, his fifth of the year.
Sacramento jumped out to an early 4-0 lead with two runs in the bottom of the first and second innings. All three run-scoring hits in the frames came with two outs.
Andrew Susac added to the River Cats lead with a two-out solo home run in the bottom of the fifth – the solo shot was his third homer the year, and put Sacramento on top 3-0.
With one man down in the top of the sixth, newly acquired center fielder Ryan Strausborger drew a one-out walk and moved to second on a single from Sardinas two batters later. Romero drilled a double into center field to score Strausborger and Sardinas, cutting the River Cats lead to 5-2.
Sacramento quickly pushed their lead back out to five runs in the bottom of the sixth. Chris Denorfia opened the frame with a single and came around to score on an RBI triple from Myles Schroder. Rando Moreno drove in Schroder with a sacrifice fly to right field, pushing the River Cats lead to 7-2.
The Rainiers rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth inning, but were cut short with runners on second and third when left fielder Norichika Aoki struck out swinging.
The Rainiers and River Cats square off again tomorrow, Saturday, July 9 for the third game of a four-game set. Tacoma will send right-hander Zach Lee (0-2, 9.00) to the mound to work against Sacramento righty Chris Stratton (5-4, 5.79). 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.