TACOMA, Wash. – The Tacoma Rainiers (55-56) fell in the series opener against the Memphis Redbirds (71-38) on Thursday night at Cheney Stadium, losing 10-4.
Tacoma was led on offense by second baseman Shawn O’Malley (2×4, 2 RBI, R, BB), third baseman Gordon Beckham (2×4, 2B, RBI, R), and center fielder Boog Powell (2×5).
The Redbirds got off to a hot start in the top of the first, scoring four quick runs off of Rainiers starter Christian Bergman.
Memphis struck again in the top of the third, scoring two runs, then scored another in the top of the fourth, giving the Redbirds a comfortable 7-0 lead.
Tacoma got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning off of an RBI double from Beckham, scoring O’Malley from first base. Designated hitter Dario Pizzano followed Beckham’s lead by driving him in with his own RBI double, cutting Memphis’ lead to 7-2.
O’Malley then drove in left fielder Ian Miller with an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth, giving the Rainiers three unanswered runs.
Memphis’ Breyvic Valera added two insurance runs in the top of the seventh with a two run home run, while Aledmys Diaz hit a solo home run of his own in the top of the ninth, giving the Redbirds a 10-3 lead.
Right fielder Danny Muno scored the final run for the Rainiers in the bottom of the ninth off of an RBI fielder’s choice grounded into by O’Malley.
The Rainiers face off against the Redbirds again in the second contest of a four-game series on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. PT. Tacoma right-hander Sam Gaviglio (3-4, 3.44) and Memphis right-hander John Gant (3-5, 4.19) will pitch.
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.