WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Tacoma Rainiers turned Raley Field into their own paradise, defeating Sacramento, 11-5, on Jimmy Buffett Tribute Night.
Trailing 3-2 after six innings, Tacoma scored four runs in the seventh inning and five more in the eighth to build a big lead.
Luis Rodriguez and Alex Liddi each launched two-out, two-run homers in the top of the seventh inning off Sacramento reliever Fautino De Los Santos, giving Tacoma a 6-3 lead.
Sacramento tightened the score by pushing two runs across the plate in the bottom of the seventh against a wild Steve Delabar. Delabar, optioned to Tacoma from Seattle earlier in the day, walked three batters and allowed two runs despite giving up just one hit.
The Rainiers rallied for five runs in the top of the eighth, breaking the game open.
Adam Moore drove in the first run with a double to right, one of his three hits.
Carlos Triunfel brought in a run with a sacrifice fly, and Darren Ford, Luis Jimenez and Liddi all had RBI singles during the rally.
Tacoma (28-41) is 4-2 so far on a seven-game road trip through Salt Lake and Sacramento.
Blake Beavan made his first start for the Rainiers since being optioned to Tacoma on Wednesday. Beavan was erratic with his command, allowing eight hits, three walks and three runs in five innings.
Sacramento slugger Chris Carter launched a tape-measure home run to left off Beavan in the second inning. It was Carter’s 11th home run of the season, increasing his Sacramento franchise record total to 64.
New Rainiers reliever Bobby LaFromboise retired both batters he faced in the bottom of the sixth inning – and he ended up earning his first Triple-A win.
The River Cats wore blue jerseys designed to look like Hawaiian shirts in honor of Jimmy Buffett Tribute Night. Buffett songs were played on the stadium PA system.
Former Tacoma Tigers pitcher Rich Bordi was in attendance, scouting for the Cincinnati Reds. Bordi pitched in the starting rotation for the 1981 Tacoma team that reached the PCL finals, and he returned to Tacoma as a reliever in 1988 and 1989. … Rodriguez (hit in the right knee by a pitch) and Carlos Peguero (foul ball off right leg) left the game with injuries.
The road trip ends with a game at 1:05 p.m. today. Tacoma starts Brian Sweeney (2-1, 3.92 ERA) against Sacramento’s Brad Peacock (6-3, 5.09).Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Rainiers.