The Tacoma Rainiers have put in the time the past five games.
Yet, they have nothing to show for it.
The Rainiers lost in extra innings for the third time the past five games as Eric Sogards home run in the top of the 13th inning would give the Sacramento River Cats a 9-8 victory Tuesday at Cheney Stadium in a game that took 4 hours, 43 minutes to finish -- Tacomas longest this year.
Tacoma reliever Steven Hensley entered in the 13th and Sogard sent the first pitch he saw over the right field fence for his second homer of the game.
It was an all too familiar scene for Hensley. He earned the loss in each of Tacomas past three extra inning battles -- all by giving up home runs.
Alex Liddi had an opportune chance to end it with two outs in the bottom of the 10th. But with the bases juiced, he sent a hard ground ball to short as the threat ended on his fielders choice.
Tacoma had another chance in the 13th as Darren Ford reached third base on a wild pitch. But Luis Jimenez struck out to end the game.
For all the Rainiers struggles late, it could have been much worse.
Tacoma rallied back from a five-run deficit in the fifth inning capped by a 2-out, 3-run homer from Trayvon Robinson in the seventh. It gave the Rainiers an 8-7 lead -- their first lead of the game.
Tacoma trailed 6-1 in the fifth until Franklin provided some much needed spark. He jumped on a 1-1 pitch over middle of the plate and sent it sailing over the right field wall for a solo homer.
The River Cats answered with Sogards first home run of the game in the sixth, but handed the Rainiers plenty of runs the bottom of the frame.
Tacoma closed the gap with three runs in the sixth with the help of some errors. Carlos Truiinfels sacrifice fly scored Jimenez and the Rainiers added two more runs on a pair of grounders that could have been double play balls off the bats of Luis Rodriguez and Guillermo Quiroz.
But Sacramentos errors on both plays allowed runners to score, and the Rainiers cut the lead to 7-5, which set up Robinsons go-ahead 3-run homer in the seventh.
Collin Cowgill tied the game at 8-all in the eighth with a home run off Brian Moran. He finished the game 4-for-6 at the plate with three runs and three RBI.
Of the five runs scored against Sacramentos Tyson Ross, only two were earned as he had outdueled Tacomas Brian Sweeney, who left after allowing five earned in four innings.
Jeff Marquez replaced Sweeney in the fifth, but gave up a home run to the first batter he faced -- Michael Taylor.
Tacoma transitions from the 38-year-old Sweeney to 22-year-old Danny Hultzen today. Hultzen takes the start on four days of rest since Blake Beaven was called up to the Mariners today.
And speaking of Mariners, Mike Carp sat out his first game since joining the Rainiers for his injury-rehab assignment on June 13. Carp is looking to get back in Seattle since he first hit the disabled list with a sprained right shoulder against Oakland in the first game of the season.
Carp has batted .220 with seven RBI in the 10 games with Tacoma since starting the rehab assignment.
The last time the Rainiers played a game as long as yesterday was last year, when they won 3-2 in 14 innings against the Round Rock Express.
Hultzen (1-1, 4.24 ERA) takes the mound for the Rainiers against Sacramentos probable starter Dan Straily (3-2, 1.09 ERA). Game time is 7:05 p.m. and will be broadcast on 850-AM.