TACOMA, Wash. – The Tacoma Rainiers (6-4) again rode strong pitching to take down the Albuquerque Isotopes (6-5) by a final score of 3-1 on Sunday afternoon at Cheney Stadium. It was the fourth consecutive winning effort for the Rainiers.
Right fielder Ben Gamel paced the offense with a 2-for-4 afternoon that included a run scored. Catcher Steven Baron collected two RBI on a 1-for-3 performance, and second baseman Gordon Beckham contributed a solo home run.
Rainiers starting pitcher Chase De Jong moved to 2-0 on the year after working 5.0 innings of one-run ball – the right-hander allowed five hits, walked two, and struck out six.
Tacoma got their offense rolling early. Singles from Gamel and shortstop Tyler Smith put a pair of runners in scoring position for Baron with two outs in the bottom of the second inning. Baron proceed to rope a two-run single into center field, vaulting the Rainiers out in front 2-0.
Albuquerque scraped together their only run of the afternoon in the top of the third inning on a one-out solo home run from Mike Tauchman, cutting Tacoma’s lead to 2-1.
Beckham tacked on an insurance run for the Rainiers with a solo home run to right field in the bottom of the eighth. His second home run of the season pushed Tacoma’s lead out to the final margin of 3-1.
Ryne Harper (1.2), Nick Hagadone (1.1), Mark Lowe (0.2), and Dean Kiekhefer (0.1) held the Isotopes off the scoreboard in relief – the group combined to allow just three hits while striking out six. Kiekhefer escaped an inherited bases-loaded jam in the top of the ninth to earn his first save of the season. With four strikeouts this afternoon, Hagadone has now retired 10-of-11 batters faced this season via the strikeout.
Tacoma goes for the series sweep of Albuquerque on Monday morning, with a first pitch set for 11:35 a.m. PT. Rainiers right-hander Christian Bergman (1-0, 0.00) will start opposite Isotopes righty Zach Jemiola (1-0, 7.94).
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.