RENO – The Tacoma Rainiers returned to Aces Ballpark to open a four-game series Tuesday night, and it was the same old result.
Reno scored seven early runs and hung on for a 7-5 win over Tacoma. Reno has won 11 consecutive games against the Rainiers, dating back to last year, and the Aces are 23-6 against Tacoma all-time at Aces Ballpark.
The Aces were the first team to get to Andrew Carraway, who was making his fourth Triple-A start.
Carraway had trouble putting away innings, as Reno scored six runs on two-out hits while jumping out to a 7-1 lead at the end of the third inning.
Carraway (2-1) did get things under control and make it through five innings, giving up 12 hits and seven runs, four of them earned. He walked one and struck out two while taking his first loss of the season – he was 4-0 for Double-A Jackson before being promoted to Tacoma.
The Rainiers were shut down by Reno starter Joe Martinez, who allowed one run in 52/3 innings. Martinez struck out seven batters – all swinging strikeouts, six by right-handed batters chasing low-and-away sliders.
Tacoma’s bats came alive against the Reno bullpen. Trayvon Robinson finished a 10-pitch at-bat with a home run to right field off Reno reliever Sam Demel in the seventh inning, making it 7-2.
A pair of walks proceeded Casper Wells’ two-out, two-run triple in the seventh, and suddenly it was 7-4.
Reno reliever Jensen Lewis retired the side in the eighth, and Jonathan Albaladejo worked the ninth inning and earned his ninth save.
Tacoma utility man Leury Bonilla hit an opposite-field home run in the ninth off Albaladejo for his first Triple-A homer. Bonilla was only playing because Luis Jimenez left the game after fouling a pitch off his right ankle in the seventh inning.
The Rainiers (23-29) fell 41/2 games behind the first-place Aces in the Pacific-North division standings.
In a stroke of luck, Tacoma will not face Arizona Diamondbacks phenom Trevor Bauer in the series. Bauer has made three starts since being promoted to Reno, going 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 19 innings.
The teams meet today in Reno at 1:05. Tacoma starts Anthony Vasquez (5-2, 5.15 ERA) against Reno’s Charles Brewer (1-4, 6.75).Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.