TACOMA, Wash. – The Tacoma Rainiers (81-62) wrapped up their regular season slate with a 5-3 victory over the Reno Aces (76-68) on Monday afternoon at Cheney Stadium.
Despite being out-hit by the Aces, 9-5, the Rainiers were lifted to victory by a solo home run from catcher Rob Brantly and a grand slam home run from designated hitter Dan Vogelbach.
Rainiers starting pitcher Joe Wieland (14-6) recorded nine strikes and allowed just two runs on six hits over 5.2 innings of work. He earned his 14th win of the season, making him Tacoma’s first 14-game winner since Denny Stark in 2001, who finished the year 14-2.
Brantly finished the afternoon with the club’s only multi-hit outing, going 2-for-4 with one run, one home run, and one RBI.
The Aces jumped on Wieland early, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. Jack Reinheimer roped an RBI double off the left field wall in the second at-bat of the game, and Zach Borenstein followed three batters later with an RBI single to make the score 2-0.
Brantly chipped into Reno’s lead with a towering solo home run down the right field line in the bottom of the second inning.
A single from left fielder Mike Baxter, a double off the bat of third baseman Zach Shank, and a walk drawn newly-promoted center fielder Eric Filia loaded the bases for Vogelbach. He blasted the fifth pitch he saw over the right-center field wall and off the face of the scoreboard to give the Rainiers a 5-2 edge.
Former Rainiers third baseman Carlos Rivero provided the final run of the afternoon on a solo home run to left field in the top of the seventh inning – the solo shot cut the Rainiers lead to 5-3.
The bullpen was represented by Mayckol Guaipe (0.2), Al Alburquerque (0.1), Paul Fry (0.2), Emilio Pagan (1.1), and Andrew Kittredge (0.1) in covering the remainder of the game. The group combined to strike out five while allowing just three hits.
The Rainiers will take tomorrow off before traveling to El Paso to take on the Chihuahuas in the Pacific Conference Championship Series beginning Wednesday, September 7. Tacoma is expected to hand the ball to right-hander Jarrett Grube (1-4, 3.62), while El Paso is scheduled to start lefty Frank Garces (6-8, 4.41). First pitch is scheduled for 5:35 p.m. PT.
Tickets for the Rainiers 2016 home playoff dates can be purchased by visiting the Cheney Stadium Box Office, calling 1-800-745-300, or by visiting www.tacomarainiers.com. 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.