The Tacoma Rainiers were three runs down after facing three batters and five down before recording three outs.
However, they chipped away from there, eventually adding a five-run rally of their own to finally beat the Salt Lake Bees, 8-7, Friday before a crowd of 4,197 at Cheney Stadium.
“It’s about how you finish up,” Tacoma manager Daren Brown said. “I think giving up five in the first our guys kept battling and finally got a chance to get ourselves back in it.”
The game turned in the seventh.
Salt Lake began the inning leading 7-3. Then the Rainiers got four straight hits off 7-foot-1 reliever Loek Van Mil. His replacement, Francisco Rodriguez, didn’t stop the charge. In all, 10 Rainiers came to the plate. Vinnie Catricala scored the winning run, advancing from third on a wild pitch by Rodriguez, who got the loss.
Trayvon Robinson and Carlos Peguero led Tacoma’s hitting assault with three hits each.
Tacoma starting pitcher Jeff Marquez got into trouble early. Leadoff hitter Mike Trout doubled, Kole Calhoun tripled, and Hank Conger homered to right-center field to give the Bees a three-run lead. And they tacked on a couple more runs before the inning was out.
Last season, including some rehab work, Marquez pitched in classes A, Double-A, Triple-A and three relief appearances with the New York Yankees. The Mariners signed him as a minor league free agent on Nov. 11.
On Friday, he lasted four innings, giving up eight hits and seven runs, all earned.
He was relieved by Charlie Furbush who struck out the first four men he faced, allowing no runs over three innings to earn the win. Shawn Kelley got the save with scoreless eighth and ninth innings.
“It was a rough start for Marquez, but he was able to give us four innings, which was important,” Brown said. “We had Peguero and Trayvon with big nights, and had a lot of guys contribute. ... You have to keep going after them and hoping things will happen. … The way the seventh inning started with (four) hits in a row, we kind of felt like that was the time.”
The Rainiers (1-1) and Bees (1-1) play the third game of their four-game series at 7:05 p.m. today. Probable starting pitchers are left-hander Mauricio Robles for Tacoma and right-hander Erick Hurley.
This will be Shield Night, held each year to celebrate the men and women of local law enforcement. The Rainiers will wear specialty jerseys that will be auctioned off throughout the first six innings. Proceeds will benefit the Police Guild’s Make a Difference Fund.
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