DES MOINES, Iowa – On Monday, the Rainiers won a game while issuing 10 walks for the first time in four years. Tuesday, they tried to win a game in which they made seven errors.
That plan didn’t work out so well.
Tacoma dropped the second game of the series to the Iowa Cubs, 18-8, in a comedy of errors that quickly turned ugly.
“If you can’t play catch, it’s hard to win at any level,” Tacoma manager Daren Brown said. “We didn’t handle the ball very good today.”
Five of the errors came in the third inning when Iowa scored six runs to take a 7-1 lead. The inning started when third baseman Vinnie Catricala booted a routine grounder off the bat of Nate Samson, who scored on a hit-and-run double by Alfred Amezaga.
Matt Tolbert tried to bunt Amezaga to third, but pitcher Erasmo Ramirez fielded the ball and threw it into Tolbert’s legs. The ball bounced into right field, and Amezaga scored on the inning’s second error.
Next, Steve Clevenger hit a grounder to the backhand side of shortstop Carlos Triunfel. Triunfel tried to throw out Clevenger at first, but his throw went wild and bounced into foul territory, enabling Tolbert to score from second.
Then, Anthony Rizzo grounded to the mound – where Ramirez dropped the ball, picked it up, and threw it into right field for two errors, allowing Clevenger to score and leaving a runner on third base– Tacoma’s fifth miscue of the inning.
Luis Jimenez made a wild throw home in the fourth inning on a bases-loaded grounder by Rizzo, bringing in two more runs and leading to four unearned tallies.
Things got so bad that sure-handed veteran infielder Luis Rodriguez got into the act, throwing away a routine grounder with two outs in the fifth inning, enabling Iowa to take a 16-1 lead. It was only the second error of the season for the second baseman.
The spree of errors came after Tacoma had strung together five games without making any errors, and had made just four errors in the previous 13 games.
Tacoma came alive in the late innings, blasting three homers and scoring seven runs over the final four innings.
Rodriguez went 3-for-4, extending his hitting streak to 17 consecutive games. ... Carlos Peguero has three homers in the first two games in Iowa... Rehabilitating Mariners catcher Miguel Olivo served as the designated hitter, going 0-for-5 with three strikeouts.
The teams meet at 10:05 a.m. (PDT). Andrew Carraway (1-0, 1.26 ERA) starts for Tacoma, while Iowa starter Brooks Raley will be making his Triple-A debut.Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.