WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Tacoma Rainiers pitchers combined to issue 11 walks and blow a four-run lead at Raley Field on Sunday afternoon, and the Rainiers celebrated their most successful road trip of the year.
Wait a minute, what?
Despite that set-up, the Rainiers managed to pull off a 12-10 Father’s Day victory, concluding a trip that saw Tacoma go 5-2. The team won the series in Sacramento, three games to one.
Tacoma held a 9-5 lead at the seventh inning stretch, but that was gone a half-inning later. Sacramento scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh despite getting just two hits – both singles. Tacoma pitchers issued four walks and there was a costly error in the field.
“It was tough to watch,” said Rainiers manager Daren Brown. “We had two four-run leads, and we just didn’t make it easy on ourselves.”
Tacoma walked a season-high 11. It was the second time Tacoma had issued at least 10 walks this year – and the Rainiers have won both.
“That’s not the way you draw it up – I know I don’t like watching it,” Brown said. “I’m proud of the way our guys battled offensively and kept putting up good at-bats.”
Shortstop Carlos Triunfel was the hitting star, going 4-for-5, including a two-run single in the top of the eighth to give Tacoma an 11-10 lead.
It was a clutch hit for Triunfel, who is 9-for-21 his last five games after snapping a 1-for-48 slump.
“He’s a young kid and we’re trying to get that consistency where we know what to expect every day,” said Brown. “It’s good to see him swing the bat like he did today.”
Scott Savastano followed Triunfel’s single with an RBI base hit of his own to make it 12-10. Savastano was 3-for-4 with three RBI.
Tacoma’s pitching star was Josh Kinney, who worked scoreless relief in the eighth and ninth innings to earn his third save. Kinney retired the side in order in the ninth, mercifully ending the 4 hour, 7 minute game.
Trayvon Robinson drove in four runs for the Rainiers, including a bases-loaded triple in the top of the fourth inning that gave Tacoma a 6-3 lead.
Tacoma starter Brian Sweeney was uncharacteristically wild, issuing five walks in 42/3 innings.
After a day off, the Rainiers return to Cheney Stadium on Tuesday to face one of the top pitching prospects in the game: Trevor Bauer (4-0, 2.68 ERA) of the Reno Aces. Tacoma will start Andrew Carraway (2-2, 3.59) in the 7:05 p.m. game.Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.