Tacoma, WA (9/24/22) – The Tacoma Rainiers (71-75) had their three-game win streak snapped on Saturday evening, with a 7-6 loss to the Round Rock Express (77-69). Tacoma still leads the weeklong series 3-2, heading into the 2022 home finale at Cheney Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Rainiers will need
Tacoma, WA (9/24/22) – The Tacoma Rainiers (71-75) had their three-game win streak snapped on Saturday evening, with a 7-6 loss to the Round Rock Express (77-69). Tacoma still leads the weeklong series 3-2, heading into the 2022 home finale at Cheney Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Rainiers will need to win their final four to finish at .500 (season ends with three games at Reno, Monday-Wednesday). Saturday was also the final Copa de la Diversion game of Tacoma’s season, as the Rainiers took the field in their “Familia de Tacoma” alternate threads.
Tacoma took a 1-0 lead in the first inning; Forrest Wall led off with a single and stole second base. Mason McCoy promptly brought Wall home with a run-scoring double. Wall, who has spent the duration of 2022 with Tacoma, stole his 48th and 49th base on Saturday, which ties him for the overall Triple-A lead. 49 is also his career-high (by 11, 38 in 2018), and the second-most steals in a season in franchise history; Jimmy Sexton of the 1981 Tacoma Tigers (PCL, Oakland A’s affiliate) swiped 56 bags.
After being held to single run in each of the last two games, the Express bats awoke in the visiting fourth. An eight-batter inning featured three consecutive one-out hits, including a Sandro Fabian RBI double. Elier Hernandez stroked a two-run double to wall in left field with two out, and then scored on an Ezequiel Duran RBI single, the punctuation mark on a five-run frame.
With Tacoma trailing 5-1 in the fourth, McCoy drew a bases loaded walk. The deficit was back to four runs in the sixth, when Davis Wendzel led off with his 17th homer, a solo shot to left for a 6-2 Round Rock lead. La Familia drew closer again in the home sixth however, when Cade Marlowe picked up a pair of runners in scoring position with a two-RBI base hit; Marlowe has 10 RBI (3 HR) in only nine games since his late-season promotion to the Rainiers from Double-A Arkansas.
In the top of the seventh Hernandez led off with a walk, later scoring on a Meibrys Viloria RBI single. But once again Tacoma held serve and responded; Erick Mejia singled, Drew Ellis walked, and each moved up a base on a passed ball. Zach Green drove in a run with a groundout, and the score was 7-5 after seven innings. It was 7-6 in the eighth after McCoy singled and eventually scored on an errant pickoff throw to first, moving to third on a Jonathan Villar base hit. It was the final scoring play of the night.
Wall, McCoy and Green each had multiple hits for the home side. Wendzel had a three-hit night for Round Rock.
The clubs used a combined 11 pitchers on Saturday, and Tacoma right-handers Drew Steckenrider and Matt Koch each worked a scoreless frame in the eighth and ninth innings. Demarcus Evans retired Tacoma in order in the bottom of the ninth, ending his third save with a strikeout.
The series finale will commence at Cheney Stadium with a 1:35 p.m. PT first pitch on Sunday. RHP Zak Kent will start for the Express, the Rainiers bullpen will handle the other side.
Rainiers broadcaster Mike Curto will have full coverage on TacomaRainiers.com. All 2022 Rainiers games, home and away, can also be heard for free on the MiLB First Pitch app. HD video broadcasts of every game can be viewed with a MiLB.TV subscription.
About the Tacoma Rainiers
The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. The Rainiers are a member of the Pacific Coast League and have been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.
The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found at WeRTacoma.com, or by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.