Hector Noesi’s pitching performance hasn’t improved since he was demoted to the Tacoma Rainiers. It has gotten worse.
That’s quite a feat, considering he entered Thursday’s 14-3 loss to Sacramento with the most losses in major league baseball (11), even though he hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since July 5.
“Obviously, he had a tough time at the big league level, and he has still had a tough time,” Rainiers manager Daren Brown said. “We’ve just got to work on getting him in the right direction.”
One day after a 2-1 Rainiers victory that lasted 18 innings and more than five hours, this one was over much sooner.
Noesi allowed a bases-loaded walk in the third inning for the first run of the game, then he imploded in the fourth as Sacramento scored eight runs – all earned – on seven hits to take a 9-2 lead. It was the most runs the Rainiers have allowed in one inning this season.
Noesi’s wild pitch with the bases loaded started the scoring barrage, and Grant Green and Kila Ka’aihue hit home runs for the River Cats in the inning.
Despite Noesi’s struggles, he headed to the mound in the fifth. Brown needed Noesi to go one more inning to provide a break for a depleted bullpen after four extra-innings games in the previous six days.
“We needed that out of him,” Brown said. “Under normal circumstances, he probably wouldn’t have finished that inning. It was good to see him give us five.”
Sacramento scored an unearned run in the fifth, and Noesi left having thrown 104 pitches and allowing 10 runs – nine earned – and nine hits.
Before things took a sharp turn for the worse, the Rainiers held a 2-1 lead. Darren Ford’s single drove home Carlos Triunfel in the third, and a single by Luis Jimenez drove in Luis Rodriguez.
That bottom of the third was as long as the lead would last, though, before the River Cats hammered Noesi.
The loss was the seventh consecutive for Noesi dating to June 13, when he was in the Seattle Mariners’ rotation. He was demoted after falling to 2-11 in 17 starts with a 5.77 ERA.
Noesi lasted 3 innings Saturday in his Rainiers debut, when he allowed seven runs – five earned – and five walks.
His command issues continued Thursday, when his ERA rose to 15.12.
If there is any consolation, it can’t get much worse.
“He will get better,” Brown said. “He is just struggling right now.”
Among the batters to get a day off after Wednesday’s 18-inning contest was shortstop Nick Franklin, who went 0-for-6 with five strikeouts. It was the first time Franklin sat out a game since he was promoted from Double-A Jackson on June 20. Jandy Sena was called up from Jackson on Thursday and threw four innings of relief. He allowed three earned runs and struck out four.
The Rainiers send Andrew Carraway (4-4, 4.08 ERA) to the mound in the first of a five-game series at Colorado Springs. He faces probable starter Rob Scahill (7-9, 5.44) at 5:05 p.m. The game will be broadcast on 850-AM.