Las Vegas – Tacoma manager Daren Brown knows better than most anyone that you’ve got to score runs to win baseball games.
That didn’t happen much over the weekend, and it definitely didn’t happen Sunday.
Las Vegas starter Scott Richmond allowed three hits while striking out nine over 62/3 innings to lead the 51s to a 5-2 victory before an crowd of 7,232 at Cashman Field.
The loss was the third in a row for the Rainiers (9-15), who won the first game of the four-game series before dropping the remainder as their bats fell silent.
“Las Vegas is a good place to hit,” said Brown, whose squad was held to a combined seven runs on 13 hits in the last three games of the series. “We just didn’t do it.”
The 51s (9-15) took a 1-0 lead in the second inning by way of back-to-back doubles by Danny Perales and Yan Gomes off Tacoma starter Forrest Snow.
Richmond, who maintained a one-hitter through the first six innings, was treated to a 5-0 lead in the fourth when Las Vegas scored four runs on three hits and a pair of walks. Adeiny Hechavarria capped the inning with a two-run double.
But the Rainiers finally got to Richmond in the seventh, cutting the deficit to 5-2 when Chih-Hsien Chiang lined a two-run homer just inside the right-field foul pole.
The 51s remained relatively quiet offensively after the fourth, as Snow recovered and then gave way to Cesar Jimenez, who allowed just one hit in tossing two scoreless innings of relief.
“Our bullpen has been good all year,” Brown said. “We’ve just had to stretch them a bit because our starters have gone out so early. Now we need to swing the bats and get some pitching on the same day.”
Tacoma mounted a threat in the eight when Trayvon Robinson hit a two-out single up the middle and Carlos Triunfel followed with a walk.
But Las Vegas manager Marty Brown brought in reliever Ryota Igarashi to end the threat by getting Mike Carp to ground out on one pitch.
“When you’re down, you want to get the tying run to the plate,” Tacoma’s Brown said. “We did that a couple of times, but we didn’t make anything happen. We didn’t get done what we needed to get done.”
Tacoma’s last opportunity came after Chiang and Guillermo Quiros drew two-out walks off 51s reliever Chad Beck in the ninth. But Beck earned the save when he got Johan Limonta to ground out to end the game.
Robinson went 2-for-4 for Tacoma, which finished with four hits. Snow (0-3) suffered the loss. Perales went 2-for-3 with a walk to lead Las Vegas, while Richmond (2-2) earned the win.
Tacoma plays Tucson at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday in a game that will be broadcast on 850-AM. Probable starters to be announced.