PAPILLION, Neb. – The wind giveth, and the wind taketh away – particularly at the Pacific Coast League’s windiest ballpark, Werner Park outside of Omaha.
One day after winning a one-run game due to a pair of wind-blown hits, the Rainiers dropped a 5-4 decision to Omaha on Friday on – you guessed it – a wind-blown hit.
With a firm wind blowing out to left field at 30 mph, Tacoma took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning.
Cesar Jimenez relieved starter Andrew Carraway and retired the first batter he faced.
With one out, Wil Myers drove a deep fly ball to right field. Chih-Hsien Chiang went back on the ball, stopped under it, and reached up to make the catch. The ball clanged off the side of his glove and caromed away, and Myers ended up at third base with a generously scored triple.
“Chiang usually catches that ball, but the conditions here with the wind … any ball in the air isn’t an easy play,” said Tacoma manager Daren Brown.
Tacoma was forced to bring the infield in with the tying runner at third base, and Clint Robinson blooped a single over second baseman Luis Rodriguez to score the tying run.
Tony Abreau followed with a single to right, and David Lough smacked a two-run double down the left-field line to give Omaha a 5-3 lead.
The Rainiers rallied in the ninth, scoring one run and advancing Trayvon Robinson to third with two outs, but Omaha reliever Francisley Bueno got Luis Jimenez to ground out to second to end the game.
Carraway pitched well in his second Triple-A start, although he did not match the six perfect innings and 7 shutout innings in his Rainiers debut.
Carraway lasted seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out two, and did a nice job getting key outs with runners on base.
“I thought Carraway did a good job,” Brown said. “He went seven innings, and he got a couple of big double plays to get him out of innings.”
“We should have had more runs on the board for him than we did,” he added. “We had some situations we should have capitalized on and we didn’t. We left 10 runners on base and we were 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position. We had our chances.”
Omaha starter Jake Odorizzi pitched 62/3 innings in his Triple-A debut, giving up three runs on nine hits. He walked one and struck out four while showing a fastball that the Rainiers clocked at 90-94 mph.
Carlos Peguero welcomed Odorizzi to the PCL with a line-drive homer – his fourth – to right field in the second inning. Peguero was 2-for-3 with two walks.
Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to 14 games with an RBI single in the fifth inning. … Robinson and Johan Limonta each had three hits for Tacoma. … Omaha’s roster includes left-handed reliever Blaine Hardy, a 2005 graduate of Edmonds-Woodway High School.
The series continues at 5:05 p.m. PDT on 850-AM. Tacoma starts Anthony Vasquez (4-2, 5.22 ERA) against Omaha’s Sean O’Sullivan (3-2, 6.91).Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Rainiers.