TACOMA, Wash. – The Tacoma Rainiers (73-54) fell by a score of 4-3 to the Las Vegas 51s (60-68) in the series opener at Cheney Stadium on Saturday night.
Rainiers starting pitcher James Paxton, on a rehab assignment from Seattle, worked 3.0 scoreless innings while holding Las Vegas to just two hits. He issued one walk and struck out three on 53 pitches, 37 of which were strikes.
Designated hitter Dan Vogelbach produced his third multi-hit performance in the last four games, finishing the night 3-for-5 with a solo home run and two RBI. Center fielder Guillermo Heredia (2×4), first baseman Dae-Ho Lee (2×4), and right fielder Ryan Strausborger all chipped in multiple hits of their own.
Solo home runs from third baseman D.J. Peterson in the bottom of the second and Vogelbach in the in the bottom of the third propelled the Rainiers out to a 2-0 lead.
Vogelbach extended the home club’s lead to 3-0 with an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth that scored Strausborger.
Las Vegas pulled even with the Rainiers with a three-run top of the fifth inning. Matt Reynolds got the 51s on the board with an RBI groundout to shortstop. An RBI triple from Brandon Nimmo and an RBI double off the bat of Gavin Cecchini tied the game.
Nimmo posted another run-scoring extra base hit, this time a double to the right-center field gap, in the top of the seventh inning to push the 51s out in front of the Rainiers, 4-3.
Tacoma’s Sam Gaviglio (3-1) took the loss after allowing four runs on seven hits over 4.2 innings of relief. Kraig Sitton wrapped up the game, striking out two in 1.1 innings.
Tacoma right-hander Joe Wieland (11-5, 5.38) and Las Vegas lefty Sean Gilmartin (9-6, 4.80) square off when the series continues tomorrow, Sunday, August 21. 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.