NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For Tacoma starting pitcher Andrew Carraway, the Rainiers’ trip to Tennessee included both a feast and a famine.
The latter occurred in Nashville on Friday night, when he lasted just one inning and allowed five runs in Tacoma’s 7-2 loss to the Sounds. Nashville won the series, three games to one.
Carraway was coming off an excellent start Sunday in Memphis, in which he allowed just four singles and one run in seven innings.
In the first inning on Friday at Greer Stadium, Carraway got the first batter in the first inning to ground out – and then the next five had extra-base hits.
Eric Farris, Khris Davis, and Jordan Brown hit consecutive doubles, making it 2-0. Then Taylor Green and Jeff Bianchi hit back-to-back home runs, and it was 5-0 just six batters into the first inning.
Carraway struck out the next two batters to end the inning, but after a 45-pitch, five-run first he did not return to the mound for the second inning.
“He got the first guy, but after that he was behind in the count, and he left pitches up in the zone,” said Tacoma manager Daren Brown. “He just didn’t have it today.”
Green, the Milwaukee Brewers minor league player of the year last season who is having a disappointing 2012 campaign, homered again in the fifth inning and went 3-for-4 with three RBI.
Nashville starting pitcher Brian Baker kept the Rainiers off-balance for six innings, allowing two singles and two walks to earn the win.
“Baker obviously did a good job,” said Brown. “We just didn’t get anything going tonight.”
Tacoma (53-74) did not get a runner past first base until the eighth inning, when Nick Franklin doubled home Brandon Bantz with two outs. Luis Jimenez drove home Franklin with a single for Tacoma’s second run.
Steven Hensley was a bright spot for the Rainiers. The right-handed reliever pitched two perfect innings, striking out three of the six batters he faced.
The Rainiers have been mathematically eliminated from the Northern Division race, but the team has a chance to play a “spoiler” role when they host Reno in a four-game series starting today. … Tacoma pitchers have made 18 errors this year, including three Thursday. That’s the second-highest total in the PCL, behind Tucson’s 19. … Prospect watchers should enjoy Sunday’s game in Tacoma, when Danny Hultzen faces off against Reno’s Tyler Skaggs in a battle between highly regarded left-handers.
Tacoma’s final homestand of 2012 opens today, with the Reno Aces arriving for the first of four games. Tacoma starts Hector Noesi (1-4, 7.04) against Reno’s Joe Martinez (10-10, 5.79).Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Rainiers.