SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – An inside-the-park home run from first baseman D.J. Peterson highlighted a dominant 9-2 victory for the Tacoma Rainiers (65-46) over the El Paso Chihuahuas (62-50) on Wednesday night at Southwest University Park.
Peterson, playing first base for the Rainiers, posted a career high five hits and finished the night 5-for-5 with two runs, one double, one home run, and three RBI. It marked the Rainiers second five-hit performance of the season, and the first since Chris Taylor logged five base knocks on June 15 at Salt Lake.
Tacoma tallied 17 total base hits on the night, and boasted multi-hit outings from center fielder Daniel Robertson (2×6), second baseman Mike Freeman (2×6), Peterson (5×5), third baseman Zach Shank (4×5), and shortstop Tyler Smith (2×5).
Starting pitcher Sam Gaviglio allowed just one run on a solo home run and struck out five over 6.0 innings of work, earning his first save of the season with Tacoma.
El Paso’s Nick Torres kicked off the scoring with a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning, putting the Chihuahuas out in front, 1-0.
Back-to-back doubles from Peterson and Shank drove in the Rainiers first run in the top of the fourth inning and tied the game at 1-1.
Designated hitter Dan Vogelbach put Tacoma out in front 2-1 with a bases-loaded groundout in the bottom of the fifth, scoring Ryan Strausborger from third base. Peterson quickly followed with a two-run single to right field to extend the visitors lead to 4-1.
An RBI double from second baseman Mike Freeman scored center fielder Daniel Robertson, who was on first base following a one-out single, and pushed the Rainiers advantage out to 5-1 in the top of the sixth.
Peterson’s inside-the-park home run, the Rainiers first since Wladimir Balentien in April 2008, kicked off a four-run top of the seventh inning for Tacoma. Four singles and a fielding error by El Paso led to the Rainiers final three runs of the game and pushed their lead out to 9-1.
A leadoff double from Carlos Asuaje eventually came around to score on an RBI two-bagger from Hunter Renfroe in the bottom of the eighth. It was the Chihuahuas final offensive push, and created the final score of 9-2.
Kraig Sitton and Marvin Gorgas combined to hold the Chihuahuas scoreless over the final 3.0 innings, allowing four hits and striking out three.
Tacoma and El Paso continue their series tomorrow, Thursday, August 4 with a first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m. PT. The Rainiers have not yet named a starting pitcher, while the Chihuahuas are set to hand the ball to right-hander Aaron Northcraft (5-1, 4.70).
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.