Salt Lake City, UT (9/5/23) – The Tacoma Rainiers (71-62, 34-24) rallied from a five-run deficit on Tuesday, but were ultimately defeated by a ninth inning single, dropping their road trip opener to the Salt Lake Bees (60-72, 23-35) by a 7-6 final. Tacoma’s struggles continue in one-run games on
Salt Lake City, UT (9/5/23) – The Tacoma Rainiers (71-62, 34-24) rallied from a five-run deficit on Tuesday, but were ultimately defeated by a ninth inning single, dropping their road trip opener to the Salt Lake Bees (60-72, 23-35) by a 7-6 final. Tacoma’s struggles continue in one-run games on the road (5-17), while slipping to 14-11 away from home in the second half. With Round Rock’s 9-5 loss at El Paso, the Rainiers remain one game back of the Pacific Coast League’s only second half playoff spot.
Seven of Tacoma’s nine batters reached base multiple times and all four Salt Lake pitchers allowed runs, despite Tuesday’s outcome.
The Bees bolted to a 5-0 lead on four home runs, each hit in each of the first four innings. Zach Neto (1) and Jared Oliva (7) both hit solo shots, before David Fletcher (4) homered after a walk to former Rainier Kevin Padlo in the third (4-0). Brett Phillips (6) added another solo blast an inning later.
Tacoma made it a new game in the fifth, loading the bases with nobody out on singles from Riley Unroe and Ryan Bliss; Jarred Kelenic (MLB rehab) walked, and scored when Zach DeLoach drove in a run with a walk behind him. Salt Lake’s lead was down to 5-3 after Taylor Trammell ripped an opposite field double into the corner in left, scoring Bliss and Kelenic.
It was 5-4 in the sixth when Bliss homered for the third time in two games, yanking out a solo shot to left with two down. Bliss has a five-game hitting streak, and has registered multiple knocks in three of his last four games. Tuesday was Bliss’s first three-hit effort with the Rainiers, since joining the Mariners organization following the July 31 trade with Arizona (2 H, 10x).
The sixth inning continued with Kelenic ripping a double down the line in right field, moving to third on an error. He strolled home a batter later when fellow lefty DeLoach singled to right, tying the score 5-5. DeLoach’s second RBI extended his career-high total to 77, keeping him PCL top-10.
The clubs traded runs in the seventh and eighth; Jack Lopez blooped a single to center, scoring Padlo (single) and giving the Bees a brief 6-5 lead. It was tied again after Unroe led off with a base hit, stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. Bliss then lifted a sac fly to center, his second RBI of the evening. Unroe joined Bliss and DeLoach as Rainiers with multiple hits.
Rainiers RHP Stephen Kolek struck out all four batters he faced in the eighth, with the aid of a wild pitch that got away to the backstop. With his scoreless inning, Kolek has not allowed a run in 20 of his last 23 appearances, and has allowed only three ER over his past 31.0 IP (0.87 ERA).
Still 6-6 in the ninth, Salt Lake loaded the bases with nobody out on a single by Livan Soto and two walks. Zach Humphreys then singled up the middle, and the Bees walked off winners. Had Tacoma won, it would’ve matched both their largest comeback victory this season and against Salt Lake. Soto joined Fletcher (3 H), Padlo and Neto with multiple knocks for the home side.
The weeklong series in Utah will continue with game two on Wednesday. Lefty Logan S. Allen is due to take the mound for Tacoma, opposite Salt Lake RHP Brett Kerry, scheduled to make his Triple-A debut with a 5:35 PT/6:35 MT first pitch at Smith’s Ballpark.
Rainiers broadcaster Mike Curto will have full coverage on TacomaRainiers.com. All 2023 Rainiers games, home and away, can also be heard for free on the MiLB First Pitch app. HD video broadcasts of every home 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 by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.