TACOMA, Wash. – Dan Vogelbach smacked a two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning to catapult the Tacoma Rainiers (63-44) to a 7-6 victory over the Albuquerque Isotopes (46-60) on Saturday night at Cheney Stadium.
The Rainiers offense was led by left fielder Patrick Kivlehan (2×3), second baseman Daniel Robertson (1×3), and Vogelbach (1×4). The trio combined for five runs scored and four RBI.
Albuquerque opened the scoring with a run in the top of the first inning on a double to right-center field from Stephen Cardullo to score Jordan Patterson, giving the Isotopes the early 1-0 advantage.
For the second-consecutive game the Rainiers got on the scoreboard with a solo home run to left field from Patrick Kivlehan, this time in the bottom of the second inning, knotting the game at 1-1.
The Isotopes regained the lead with a run in the top of the fourth inning when Dustin Garneau led off the inning with a walk and came around to score on a single to center field from Alex Castellanos, giving Albuquerque the 2-1 lead.
The Rainiers drew even once again in the bottom half of the fourth inning when Kivlehan sent a one-out single into left field to plate Dan Vogelbach, evening the score at 2-2.
Albuquerque scored four runs in the top of the fifth inning, sending 10 batters to the plate in the process. The frame was highlighted by RBI singles from Ben Paulsen, Garneau, Mike Tauchman, and Castellanos, pushing the Isotopes ahead 6-2.
Tacoma answered with three runs in the home half of the seventh inning on a groundout RBI off the bat of Tyler Smith plating Kivlehan, followed by a bases loaded two-run, two-out single to centerfield from Stefen Romero, cutting the Isotopes lead to one run at 6-5.
The Rainiers loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning against Isotopes righty Brian Schlitter. Vogelbach then lined a two-run single to right field to score Dario Pizzano and Robertson, producing the final margin of 7-6.
Left-hander Kraig Sitton, making a spot start for Tacoma and his first career start, worked 3.0 innings and allowed one run on three hits while walking one – he did not factor into the decision.
Kevin Munson, Paul Fry, Robert Dugger, and David Rollins covered the final 6.0 innings out of the Rainiers bullpen and allowed a combined five runs on nine hits.
Tacoma right-hander Jarrett Grube (1-2, 4.46) and Albuquerque righty Christian Bergman (1-3, 5.20) will square off as the Rainiers and Isotopes continue their series tomorrow, Sunday, July 31. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 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 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.