The Tacoma Rainiers had already weathered the Trevor Bauer storm. And when Trayvon Robinson’s two-out solo home run in the eighth sailed over the right-field wall to break a tie, it looked as if Tacoma was finally going to notch a victory this season over the visiting Reno Aces.
However, the Pacific Coast League Pacific North Division-leading Aces simply didn’t concede defeat – and things went sour quickly in the ninth for Tacoma.
Reno scored five runs in the inning, one on a wild pitch and another on an error, to continue its mastery over the Rainiers with a 7-3 victory Tuesday at Cheney Stadium.
After pitching a scoreless eighth, Tacoma reliever Steve Delabar gave up a single and a walk to begin the ninth. A.J. Pollock loaded the bases with a single.
The Reno runs poured in from there, capped by a Jake Elmore two-run triple, giving the Aces a four-run cushion.
Tacoma (29-42) was able to get runners on first and second in its half of ninth, but a Vinnie Catricala fly ball to right ended the game.
Reno (44-29) entered the game as one of the PCL’s hottest clubs, posting a 12-2 record over the last 14 games and winning the previous eight meetings this season with the Rainiers. The Aces had scored seven or more runs in all eight contests.
Making things significantly tougher for Tacoma was the fact that Bauer, last year’s No. 3 overall selection in the Major League Baseball draft and MLB.com’s No. 8 prospect in all of baseball, was pitching for the Aces.
Bauer, looking to post his fifth consecutive Triple-A victory, had been lights out all season – first in Double-A Mobile before arriving in Reno in mid-May.
Bauer, college baseball’s Golden Spikes Award winner as player of the year while at UCLA in 2011, lasted just five innings – matching his shortest Triple-A outing. He gave up two runs and five hits with seven strikeouts and four walks.
Alex Liddi and Carlos Peguero hit back-to-back home runs in the third inning – the second time the Rainiers have done it this season – to get Tacoma on the scoreboard. It was Liddi’s second home run on the season and Peguero’s team-leading 12th.
Reno second baseman Elmore extended his hitting streak to 27 games – an Aces franchise record and the second-longest streak, active or otherwise, in the minor leagues this season – with a single in the fourth.
Aided by a Robinson throwing error, Elmore later scored, as did Adam Eaton, on a Ryan Wheeler single, tying the game at 2.
Tacoma continues its home series with the Aces today at 7:05 p.m. Jeff Marquez (4-8, 6.91 ERA) gets the start for the Rainiers, while Reno counters with Joe Martinez (6-3, 5.07).