LAS VEGAS – One night after Tacoma could do nothing wrong in a five-run first inning in a victory over Las Vegas, the Rainiers did little right for the first five innings of a 5-0 Pacific Coast League loss to the 51s on Friday night at Cashman Field.
Las Vegas pitcher Jesse Chavez took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Luis Rodriguez – who was a late scratch Thursday after suffering a allergic reaction during batting practice – broke things up with a single to right.
That first hit didn’t help much, though, as Las Vegas had already done enough damage to record its second shutout of the season. The game coincidently was the second shutout Tacoma (9-13) has suffered this season.
51s outfielder Danny Perales – filling in for PCL RBI leader Travis Snider, a graduate of Jackson High in Mill Creek who had to leave Thursday’s game after injuring his wrist in the third inning – tripled to left to start the third.
A single by Ruben Gotay brought Perales home and gave the 51s the only run they’d need as Chavez shut down the Rainiers with five strikeouts and two hits in seven innings.
“He threw the ball well. Obviously that got them off to a good start, but we didn’t do a whole lot to help ourselves,” said Tacoma manager Daren Brown.
Lacking in the Rainiers’ first two games against the 51s has been the long ball. Last year, Tacoma hit 25 home runs in 16 games against the 51s. But then again, Las Vegas is 0-for-the series, as well.
“I know what it (Cashman) plays like most of the time. It doesn’t surprise me much we haven’t hit one,” Brown said. “They can come in bunches here, so I’m not gonna say anything.”
Two of Tacoma’s biggest bashers from a year ago, Mike Carp and Luiz Jimenez, are struggling at the plate.
Carp, who sprained his shoulder diving for a ball in the Mariners’ season opener in Japan, entered Friday with a .128 average. But he did get the team’s second hit on an infield single in the seventh off Chavez. Jimenez, who had a .417 average, five homers and 16 RBI in eight games against the 51s in 2011, is 0-for-5 in the series.
“It’s still early, less than 30 games in the season. Carp’s here rehabbing and hasn’t done anything in two weeks. I’m not too concerned with him,” Brown said. “Jimenez just has to get it going. We got a few guys that need to get going.”
The last no-hitter at hitter-friendly Cashman Field was on June 13, 2003 when Lindsay Gulin, a 1995 graduate of Issaquah High School and a former Mariners minor leaguer, threw one for the 51s in a 7-0 victory over the Rainiers.
Tacoma plays at Las Vegas today at 7:05 p.m. in a game broadcast on 850-AM. Tacoma will start left-hander Mauricio Robles (0-2, 6.88 ERA) against right-hander Joel Carreno (2-1, 3.32).