TACOMA, Wash. – The Tacoma Rainiers (78-60) earned their third shutout victory of the season over the Fresno Grizzlies (70-68), a 5-0 decision, on Wednesday night at Cheney Stadium.
With the Rainiers victory and the Reno Aces 5-3 loss to the Sacramento River Cats, Tacoma’s magic number to clinch the Pacific Northern Division falls to one with five games remaining in the season. One more Tacoma win or Reno loss will send the Rainiers to the postseason for the first time since 2010.
Tacoma starting pitcher Joe Wieland (13-6) became the first Rainiers pitcher to earn 13 wins in a season since 2006 after working 5.0 scoreless innings. He held the Grizzlies to just two hits while issuing three walks and striking out eight.
Catcher Jesus Sucre finished the night 3-for-4 with one run and a double while driving in a season-high three RBI. First baseman Dan Vogelbach (1×3) notched a base hit and drew a walk to extend his on-base streak to 27 games.
With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the third inning, Vogelbach grounded out to first base and scored Sucre from third base, giving the Rainiers a 1-0 head start.
A three-run outburst in the bottom of the sixth pushed Tacoma’s lead out to 4-0. A bases-loaded fielding error by Fresno first baseman Jon Singleton scored a run, and Sucre capped the rally with a two-run double down the left field line.
Sucre’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the Rainiers an insurance run and created the final score of 5-0.
Emilio Pagan (2.0) and Kraig Sitton (2.0) combined to allow just one hit over the final four frames, walking one and striking out three.
The Rainiers close out their series with the Grizzlies tomorrow, Thursday, September 1. Right-hander Jarrett Grube (1-4, 3.93) gets the start for Tacoma against Fresno righty David Paulino (0-2, 6.00). 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.