TACOMA, Wash. – The Tacoma Rainiers (7-4) mashed three home runs on the way to a 4-3 victory and a series sweep of the Albuquerque Isotopes (6-6) on Monday afternoon at Cheney Stadium.
Tacoma has now won five consecutive games, and vaulted themselves to the top of the Pacific Coast League Pacific Northern Division.
Rainiers starting pitcher Christian Bergman turned in the club’s first quality start of the season, working 6.2 innings and allowing three runs on six hits – he struck out four and walked two to improve his record to 2-0.
Right fielder Ben Gamel (2×4, R, HR, RBI) and catcher Steven Baron (2×3, R, HR, RBI) both notched multi-hit games and collected their first home runs of the season.
Baron kicked the Rainiers out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning, lining a laser home run into left field that slammed off the lower video board component for his first long ball of the year.
The Isotopes promptly responded with a pair of runs scored on a ground out and an RBI single from Anthony Bemboom in the top of the fourth inning to snatch a 2-1 lead over the Rainiers.
The Rainiers mounted a power-fueled rally in the bottom of the sixth inning on the backs of third baseman D.J. Peterson’s two-run home run and Gamel’s solo shot to right field. The back-to-back long balls picked up three runs for Tacoma and pushed them out in front, 4-3, where they would remain through the end of the contest.
Casey Fien (0.1) and Dean Kiekhefer (1.0) both picked up holds out of the Rainiers bullpen, while Jean Machi locked down his third save of the season with a perfect ninth inning. The trio of relief arms did not allow an Isotopes hit.
Tacoma now heads to El Paso to begin a four-game series against the Chihuahuas on Tuesday, April 18. The Rainiers are slated to start right-hander Sam Gaviglio (0-1, 1.29), while the Chihuahuas will hand the ball to righty Matt Magill (1-0, 0.75). First pitch is set for 5:35 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.