RENO – Reno’s Mike Jacobs is a left-handed batter. Tacoma left-handed reliever Cesar Jimenez was on the mound. Jacobs was 2-for-12 against left-handed pitchers.
Sounds like a matchup right out of the baseball manager’s guide.
Tacoma intentionally walked Cole Gillespie to load the bases with two outs in the seventh inning, and Jacobs made the Rainiers pay with a two-run single that broke open a one-run game and led the Aces to an 8-3 victory Thursday night.
“It’s lefty-on-lefty, and you’ve also got a guy who’s 2-for-12 against them,” said Tacoma manager Daren Brown. “I thought it was a good matchup for (Jimenez), but he left a fastball out over the plate and paid for it.”
Jacobs’ hit swung the momentum in a game that appeared to be going the Rainiers’ way.
Tacoma fell behind early as Reno struck for four runs over the first three innings against Tacoma starter Jeff Marquez.
But Marquez (4-5) settled down, pitching scoreless baseball in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. He left after six innings, giving up four runs – not a bad start in hitter-friendly Aces Ballpark.
“Marquez gave us a shot to win it,” said Brown. “He gave up some runs early but shut them down for the last part of his outing.”
Vinnie Catricala launched his third home run of the season, in the fourth inning off Reno starter Patrick Corbin, making it 4-1.
In the sixth, Catricala singled in another run, and the Rainiers loaded the bases for Mike Wilson, who also singled in a run to make it 4-3.
That left the bases loaded with nobody out and Guillermo Quiroz at the plate. Quiroz hit a grounder that third baseman Rusty Ryal picked up near the bag. He stepped on third to force out one runner, then threw home to Konrad Schmidt who tagged Catricala to complete a double play. Trayvon Robinson would later line out to second to end the inning.
Tacoma (23-31) lost to Reno for the 13th time in a row, dating back to July 9, 2011. Tacoma is 0-7 against the first-place Aces this season.
Former Seattle Mariners manager John McLaren has been in attendance, scouting both teams for the Oakland A’s. … Tacoma slugger Luis Jimenez missed his second straight game after fouling a ball off his right ankle on Tuesday. He’s day-to-day. … Manny Ramirez is expected to be with Sacramento when the River Cats come to Cheney Stadium for a four-game series beginning Saturday.
The series concludes with a 7:05 game tonight. Tacoma is scheduled to start Forrest Snow (1-4, 7.79 ERA) against Reno’s Barry Enright (4-3, 4.66).Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Rainiers.