SACRAMENTO – Early-season injuries continue to take their toll on the Tacoma Rainiers, which was evident again in a 5-1 loss to Sacramento on Tuesday night at Raley Field.
With Carlos Peguero, Mike Wilson, and now Adam Moore out of the lineup, the Rainiers have had trouble scoring runs.
Even though scheduled starting pitcher Tyson Ross was called up to Oakland, the River Cats held Tacoma to one run on nine hits.
Sacramento (10-3) used four relief pitchers to keep the Rainiers in check. Bruce Billings started and went three innings, giving up a two-out RBI single to Vinnie Catricala in the top of the first.
Carlos Hernandez (2-0) was next, working three scoreless innings and earning the win. Evan Scibner pitched scoreless ball in the seventh and eighth, and Erick Threets closed it out.
Tacoma’s struggling offense wasted a solid performance from starting pitcher Mauricio Robles, who continues to take small steps forward as he recovers from an injury-plagued 2011 campaign.
Robles (0-1) lasted five innings, allowing two runs on three hits. He walked four batters, but three of them came in the third inning when Sacramento took a 2-1 lead on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Brandon Moss.
Robles finished strong, retiring seven of the last eight batters he faced, four by strikeout.
“We’re seeing the arm strength come back,” said Rainiers manager Daren Brown. “He spent most of last year hurt. Command and stuff – you’ve got to be healthy to work on it. I think we’ll only see him get better.”
Shortstop Carlos Triunfel had another strong game for Tacoma. Triunfel hit two singles to extend his hitting streak to eight games. He also stole second base to put the tying run in scoring position in the top of the eighth, and he made a spectacular defensive play up the middle to rob Grant Green of a single.
It was the third straight loss for Tacoma, which fell three games under .500 for the first time this season.
Moore flew back to Seattle to have his right knee checked by Mariners doctors. Moore felt soreness in the joint and left the game after the first inning Monday in Fresno. He missed the 2011 season with a torn medial meniscus in the same knee. … Catricala is playing in front of friends and family. He grew up in Sacramento and graduated from the city’s Jesuit High School.
The series continues today with a matinee beginning at 12:05 p.m. Tacoma will start Forrest Snow (0-2, 10.13 ERA) against Sacramento’s Brad Peacock (1-1, 1.50). Peacock is considered one of the Oakland A’s top prospects.
Mike Curto is play-by-play broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.