SALT LAKE CITY – Five days earlier, Tacoma Rainiers starter Andrew Carraway pitched a complete-game two-hitter.
Things were a little different on Thursday night in Salt Lake City.
Carraway allowed eight runs in the first three innings, and Tacoma went on to lose to the Salt Lake Bees, 9-5.
A little bit of everything went wrong for Carraway.
In the first inning, a bloop double by Doug Deeds and a bunt single by Matt Long led to a Salt Lake run.
In the second, Carraway walked the leadoff hitter, ending a streak of 24 consecutive innings in which he did not walk a batter. That leadoff walk – and another walk four batters later – helped lead to a five-run inning.
In the third, Efren Navarro and Paul McAnulty greeted Carraway with back-to-back home runs onto the berm behind the right-field wall.
“He left some pitches up in the zone and wasn’t as sharp as he was his last time out,” Tacoma manager Daren Brown said. “They found some holes on him, and they also squared some balls up.”
Carraway (3-4) took the loss, allowing eight runs in four innings.
Tacoma had solid relief, giving the team a chance for a comeback that never developed.
Particularly impressive was Chance Ruffin, who pitched two perfect innings.
Ruffin, a former first-round draft pick of the Detroit Tigers who was acquired when the Mariners traded Doug Fister last year, had struggled for nearly three months. Recently, he has turned things around.
Ruffin has not allowed an earned run in his past five appearances, spanning seven innings. He’s dropped his ERA to 7.71 – it’s been over 9.00 for much of the season.
“The last couple of times out have been steps in the right direction,” Brown said. “He’s had some success and started to get some confidence. Right now, he expects good things to happen every time he goes on the mound, and that’s the kind of mindset you need to have.”
Alex Liddi and Mike Wilson each homered for Tacoma. Wilson’s was a two-run shot with nobody out in the sixth inning, making the score 9-5 and giving the Rainiers some hope of a comeback.
Salt Lake relievers Francisco Rodriguez and Ryan Brasier pitched perfect relief over the final three innings, extinguishing those comeback hopes.
Hector Noesi,optioned to Tacoma from Seattle, arrived in Salt Lake City on Thursday. Noesi started on Wednesday for the Mariners, so he will not make his first Tacoma start until after the All-Star break. … The Rainiers plan to use relief pitchers for the entire game Sunday. Danny Hultzen was scheduled to start that game, but he will pitch in the MLB Futures Game in Kansas City instead.
The series resumes with a 6:05 p.m. (PDT) game today. Tacoma sends Steve Garrison (0-1, 10.80) to the mound against Salt Lake’s Jerome Williams (0-1, 22.50). Williams is making his second rehabilitation start after spending most of the season in the Los Angeles Angels’ starting rotation.Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Rainiers.