The Tacoma Rainiers continue to find ways to lose games.
The Rainiers had leads of 2-0 after three innings and 6-3 after six but couldn’t hold them, ultimately dropping a 9-7 decision to the Albuquerque Isotopes on Wednesday at Cheney Stadium to extend their losing streak to six games.
The skid, their longest of the season, is the Rainiers’ longest since they lost eight consecutive games from Aug. 16-23 last season.
During the streak, the Rainiers have lost games when they’ve hit – twice they’ve scored 10 runs – and lost games when they didn’t – four times they’ve lost while scoring four or fewer runs.
Pitching has been an issue, too, and was again on Wednesday. The Rainiers are last in the Pacific Coast League in ERA at 6.17, and starters have especially struggled, posting a 7.30 ERA.
Tacoma starter Forrest Snow gave up five earned runs for the fourth consecutive start. Still, he left in the seventh inning with a 6-5 lead after surrendering a two-run homer to Jerry Sands.
After getting one out, struggling reliever Chance Ruffin gave up a double to Justin Sellers and a two-run homer to Matt Angle to surrender the lead.
Ruffin, whose ERA jumped to 9.00, has given up eight earned runs in his past four appearances.
“He’s a guy that needs to pitch right now and work it out,” Rainiers manager Daren Brown said. “We need him to figure it out.”
One positive for the Rainiers was the return of outfielder Carlos Peguero from the disabled list.
Peguero played for the first time since April 8 after undergoing surgery on his left knee to repair a torn meniscus.
He went 2-for-5 with three strikeouts.
“It was great to be back,” Peuguero said. “It felt great because I was out for a long time. I love baseball and when something happens to me … I just tried to think about coming back as quickly as I can.”
Rainiers infielders Carlos Triunfel and Luis Jimenez each extended their hitting streaks.
Triunfel led the Rainiers’ 14-hit attack with three hits – including his fifth homer – and four RBI. Jimenez doubled in the first inning to extend his team-high hitting streak to 10 games.
Tacoma and Albuquerque meet again at 7:05 p.m. today at Cheney Stadium. Tacoma’s Jarrett Grube (0-1, 12.00 ERA) will opose Albuquerque’s John Ely (2-2, 4.64) in a duel between right-handers. The game will be broadcast on 850-AM.firstname.lastname@example.org 360-754-5473 Twitter: @megwochnick