WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Tacoma Rainiers (1-3) and Sacramento River Cats (3-1) split a doubleheader on scores of 3-1 and 4-0, respectively, on Monday night at Raley Field.
The Rainiers took the first half of the twin bill from the River Cats by a score of 3-1, giving the club their first win of the young season. Third baseman Mike Freeman and first baseman Daniel Vogelbach both notched a pair of hits in the short seven-inning contest, while designated hitter Dario Pizzano reached base three times on a hit, a walk, and a hit by pitch.
Tacoma took their first lead of the game in the top of the fourth inning when left fielder Tyler O’Neill and Vogelbach swatted back-to-back doubles to give the Rainiers a 1-0 advantage.
Game one starter Chase De Jong carried a no-hitter into the bottom of the fifth inning before giving up his first knock of the evening, a solo home run hit by Carlos Moncrief that tied the score at 1-1.
Pizzano drew his hit by pitch with one out in the top of the sixth and advanced all the way to third on a lined double off the bat of shortstop Tyler Smith, putting a pair of runners in scoring position for Tacoma. Right fielder Zach Shank brought in Pizzano with a sacrifice fly to left, and catcher Tuffy Gosewisch followed with an RBI single to score Smith and push the Rainiers lead out to the final margin of 3-1.
De Jong ultimately worked 5.1 innings for Tacoma in game one, allowing one run on two hits while walking three and striking out four. Evan Marshall (0.2), Dean Kiekhefer (0.1), and Jean Machi (0.2) held the River Cats to just one hit over the remainder from the Rainiers bullpen. Machi closed out the game, earning his first save of the season.
Tacoma scraped together just three hits in the second game, two of which were contributed by center fielder Ben Gamel, who went 2-for-3.
Sacramento jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth on a ground-rule double to straightaway center from Ali Castillo that scored Kyle Blanks from second base.
One inning later in the bottom of the fifth the River Cats rattled off three more runs, extending their edge over the Rainiers to 4-0. Back-to-back singles from Orlando Calixte and Christian Arroyo set up a two-run double off the bat of Jae-Gyun Hwang, who in turn came around to score two batters later on an RBI single from Austin Slater.
The score held through seven complete, giving the River Cats the game two victory and leading to a split of the doubleheader.
Rainiers game two starting pitcher Ryan Weber, making his season debut, held Sacramento scoreless on just two hits with four strikeouts over 3.0 innings of work. Paul Fry (2.0 IP) surrendered four runs on six hits over the middle innings before giving way to Nick Hagadone, who struck out the side in his first return to game action since July 2015.
The Rainiers return to Tacoma to host the El Paso Chihuahuas (3-2) for the home opener at Cheney Stadium tomorrow, Tuesday, April 11. Right-hander Christian Bergman (0-0, -.–) will make his season debut on the mound for Tacoma, going up against El Paso righty Walker Lockett (1-0, 1.50). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. PT.
All tickets, group outings and suites packages for the 2017 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.