TACOMA, Wash. – An offensive outburst coupled with a strong start from Sam Gaviglio lifted the Tacoma Rainiers (17-9) to their third consecutive road victory, an 8-1 decision against the Las Vegas 51s (13-15), on Thursday night at Cashman Field
Gaviglio earned his second win of the year after working 7.2 innings and allowing just one run on three hits. He issued no walks and struck out five – at one point, he sat down 18 consecutive Las Vegas batters.
Second baseman Mike Freeman fell just shy of hitting for the cycle to lead the offense, going 3-for-5 with two runs, one double, one triple, and three RBI. Center fielder Leonys Martin (2×5, R, 2 2B, 2 RBI), third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean (2×4, R, 2B, RBI), and right fielder Zach Shank (2×3, 2 R, 3B, BB) all collected multiple hits.
Las Vegas jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a pair of singles and a hit batter in the bottom of the second inning. Desmond Jennings drove in the 51s lone run of the night with a two-out single.
The Rainiers rallied for two runs in the top of the third inning to take a 2-1 lead, kick-started by a leadoff single from Shank. Two batters later, Freeman brought home Shank with an RBI triple to right center field. First baseman D.J. Peterson wrapped the scoring with an RBI ground ball force out at second base, vaulting Tacoma out in front.
Freeman tacked onto the Rainiers lead with a two-out, two-run double in the top of the fifth inning. Peterson checked in with an RBI double of his own two batters later to make the lead 5-1.
Tacoma send eight batters to the plate and scraped together three more runs in the top of the eighth inning to cap the scoring and polish off an 8-1 victory. Mejias-Brean drove in a run on an RBI double, while Martin collected a pair of RBI with his own double three batters later.
Nick Hagadone notched the final out in the eighth inning and sat down Las Vegas in the ninth to close out the Rainiers win from the bullpen.
Rainiers right-hander Chris Heston (2-0, 2.38) and 51s righty Tyler Pill (1-0, 0.00) take the mound as Tacoma and Las Vegas wrap up their series on Friday night. 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.