Zunino Homers In 11-8 Victory Over New Orleans

TACOMA, Wash. – The Tacoma Rainiers (20-11) pushed a season-high six runs across in the third inning during an 11-8 victory over the New Orleans Baby Cakes (11-21) Tuesday night at Cheney Stadium.

Right fielder Boog Powell (2×4, 3 RBI), shortstop Tyler Smith (2×4, 2RBI), and second baseman Zach Shank (2×4, 1 RBI) all tallied multi-hit games for the Rainiers as Tacoma improved to 13-3 at home.

In his Triple-A debut, 22-year-old right-hander Andrew Moore (1-0, 4.76) – the sixth ranked prospect in the Mariners organization according to Baseball America – tossed 5.2 innings and allowed five hits, three earned runs, and tallied five strikeouts. Moore was credited with the victory.

The Baby Cakes struck first in the top half of the second when Moises Sierra launched a towering two-run home run down the left field line to take a 2-0 lead.

Tacoma would strike back in the third, scoring six runs on six hits en route to the most productive offensive frame this season.

Center fielder Leonys Martin doubled down the right field line, his fifth two-bagger in just 12 games for the Rainiers, scoring Shank. Powell then singled to center, scoring catcher Steve Baron and Martin as Tacoma took a 3-2 lead. Two batters later first baseman Daniel Vogelbach singled to center, scoring Powell and third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean and increasing his team-leading RBI mark to 17. The Rainiers capped off the inning with a Smith single that scored Vogelbach and increased the Tacoma lead to 6-2.

New Orleans grabbed a run back in the top of the fifth but Tacoma designated hitter Mike Zunino countered with a solo home run in the bottom half to extend the Rainiers lead to 7-3.

Powell would add his third RBI of the contest after singling to right field in the sixth and increasing the Tacoma lead to 8-3.

The Baby Cakes threatened in the top of the seventh after back-to-back walks to lead off the inning, but   left-hander Nick Hagadone (0-1, 4.76) induced a key double play to escape the inning allowing just one run, as the score moved to 8-4.

The offensive showcase extended into the seventh inning for the Rainiers. Smith singled on a line drive to center field to score Mejias-Brean and Shank would ground into a fielder’s choice as Zunino came across to increase the Tacoma lead to 10-4.

Tacoma added a run in the top of the eighth when a Zunino pop up fell in between multiple Baby Cakes infielders and scored Powell from third, as the Rainiers lead grew to 11-4.

New Orleans would notch two RBI doubles and an RBI single in the top of the ninth inning, but the two-out rally ultimately fell short with a final score of 11-8.

The Rainiers have the day off Wednesday and will return to action against the Round Rock Express for a four-game series beginning on Thursday. Tacoma will send right-hander Sam Gaviglio (2-3, 3.31) to the mound and Round Rock will hand the ball to Eddie Gamboa (2-2, 5.51). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

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.

www.tacomarainiers.com

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