TACOMA, Wash. – The Tacoma Rainiers (74-54) posted a 7-3 victory over the Las Vegas 51s (60-69) on Sunday afternoon at Cheney Stadium.
Tacoma starting pitcher Joe Wieland (12-5) became the club’s first 12-game winner since 2006 after working 6.0 innings of two-run ball. He limited Las Vegas to just four hits, issued two walks, and struck out four.
Shortstop Tyler Smith led the offense after finishing 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI. His multi-hit effort was joined by center fielder Daniel Robertson (2×5), first baseman Dae-Ho Lee (2×3), and third baseman D.J. Peterson (2×4).
Las Vegas started the scoring in the top of the first inning when back-to-back singles set up a sacrifice fly from T.J. Rivera that gave that 51s an early 1-0 lead.
The Rainiers jumped out to a 3-1 lead with a trio of runs in the bottom of the second inning, kick-started by a leadoff solo home run from Lee. Smith followed two batters later with an RBI double, and catcher Marcus Littlewood capped off the rally with an RBI groundout to shortstop.
Michael Conforto brought Las Vegas back within one run of the Rainiers with a two-out, solo home run over the right field wall in the top of the third that made the score 3-2.
Tacoma pushed their lead out to 5-2 on an RBI single from Smith in the bottom of the sixth inning and a bases-loaded balk in the seventh that scored right fielder Guillermo Heredia.
Las Vegas scraped across a run in the top of the eighth inning – a bases-loaded groundout back to the pitcher from Johnny Monell plated Brandon Nimmo and cut the Rainiers lead to 5-3.
A pair of singles and a hit batter loaded the bases for Robertson in the bottom of the eighth inning, setting up a two-run single to left that would move the Rainiers advantage out to 7-3.
Tony Zych made his second rehab appearance with the Rainiers and posted a perfect seventh inning that included two strikeouts. Andrew Kittredge allowed one run over 2.0 innings of work, ultimately earning his fourth save of the season.
The Rainiers and 51s continue their series tomorrow night, Monday, August 22 with a first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. PT. Tacoma right-hander Jarrett Grube (1-3, 3.88) and Las Vegas righty Robert Gsellman (1-5, 5.73) will take the mound.
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.