Bad inning dooms Rainiers
Tacoma’s worst inning of the season erased an early lead and sent the Rainiers to their sixth loss in seven games Monday night.
Sacramento’s eight-run sixth-inning powered the River Cats to a 13-4 win at Cheney Stadium. The eight runs in the sixth were the most runs scored in an inning against Tacoma this season.
“Walks bit us a few times,” Rainiers manager Daren Brown said.
Tacoma started the sixth inning with a 3-1 lead when its pitching fell apart.
Starter Anthony Vasquez and reliever Josh Kinney combined to allow eight runs on five hits and five walks as the River Cats (37-22) took a 9-3 lead.
Vasquez (5-4) had pitched well until the sixth, allowing one run on four hits and no walks, and appeared on track to end a skid that had seen him give up 15 runs on 23 hits in his previous two starts.
Instead, he lost control. Vasquez twice issued walks that loaded the bases in the sixth and was pulled after the second instance.
Kinney didn’t fare any better. Entering with two outs and the bases loaded, he allowed a two-RBI single to Grant Green with his first pitch. Kinney faced five hitters, alllowed three hits and two walks, and recorded no outs. Kinney’s outing was an abnormality – he had allowed one run in his previous nine appearances.
“First pitch went for a base hit and he just didn’t have it,” Brown said. “He’s been really good for us the past month.”
Sacramento added two runs in the seventh when reliever Jarrett Grube was tagged for a single, double, triple and a walk.
Brian Sweeney came on to pitch the ninth and gave up a two-run homer to Green.
A day after his Pacific Coast League-leading on-base streak ended at 30 games, Tacoma’s Luis Rodriguez went 1-for-4 with an RBI. Johan Limonta hit a solo homer in the ninth for the Rainiers (24-34).
Sacramento starter Tyson Ross (1-1) overcame an early rough patch and earned the win. A passed ball helped the Rainiers score two runs in the fourth. Ross threw 90 pitches in seven innings, scattering two earned runs, five hits, one walk and a strikeout.
Rainiers starting pitcher Erasmo Ramirez was named the PCL pitcher of the week.
Ramirez won two starts and posted a 1.37 ERA with 15 strikeouts and two walks.
Tacoma ends its four-game series with Sacramento at 11:35 a.m. today when Rainiers right-hander Jeff Marquez (4-5, 6.47 ERA) faces right-hander Graham Godfrey (3-0, 1.19).
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