TUCSON, Ariz. – It was death by a thousand singles for Tacoma starter Hector Noesi in the opening game of Sunday night’s doubleheader in Tucson.
Noesi allowed 11 hits – 10 of them singles – and five runs, absorbing the loss in the Tucson Padres’ 5-3 victory over Tacoma in the first game of a doubleheader.
Four Tucson relievers combined to shut out Tacoma in the second game, 2-0.
Josh Spence, making his first start in two year, tossed three scoreless innings.
Neil Wagner, Nick Vincent, and Cory Burns combined to go the rest of the way permitting one more hit.
Noesi (0-3) has struggled since being sent to Tacoma by the Seattle Mariners, posting a 10.31 ERA. But Sunday, he appeared more unlucky than anything else.
Seven of the 10 singles he allowed were ground balls through the infield, and many of them were not hit sharply. Tucson’s batters were simply able to find holes in the infield, and it cost Tacoma dearly.
Tucson scored single runs in each of the first three innings, getting a leadoff hit in each frame.
After a scoreless fourth, Tacoma made it a one-run game when Guillermo Quiroz launched his 11th home run of the season to left field off Tucson starter Jorge Reyes.
Noesi allowed consecutive ground-ball singles to the first two batters in the bottom of the fifth, but he retired the next two batters and was one out away from escaping the jam and keeping it a 3-2 game.
But Blake Tekotte pulled a ground ball single between first and second, driving in two runs and making it 5-2.
Tacoma loaded the bases with one out in the seventh for Luis Rodriguez.
Tucson brought in closer Erik Hamren, who gave up a walk-off home run to Rodriguez in Tacoma on Friday.
This time, Hamren got Rodriguez to ground out, and he got Justin Smoak to pop up to end the game.
The series continues today with a 7:05 p.m. (PDT) game. Tacoma starts rehabilitating Mariners pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (3-2, 2.88 ERA) against Tucson’s Matt Palmer (6-7, 6.18).Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.