RENO – On a day when the Rainiers connected for 17 hits and lost, it was only appropriate that the game ended with a hit.
Brandon Bantz was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double to end the game that Tacoma lost to the Reno Aces, 6-5, on Sunday night.
The Rainiers left 12 runners on base, including leaving the base loaded in three innings.
Bantz’s mistake was hardly the only one as Tacoma bumbled its way out of an eighth-inning scoring opportunity when apparently players missed signs on the same play.
Down 6-5, Ty Kelly and Franklin Gutierrez opened the inning with singles.
With Rich Poythress at the plate, Kelly made a delayed attempt to steal third, and Poythress swung and missed at the pitch after it was in the catcher’s glove. Kelly was easily thrown out at third – and Gutierrez remained at first base.
Was it supposed to be a hit-and-run? A double-steal? Nothing?
Rainiers players and coaches were not available for comment immediately after the game because of a loud closed-door “meeting.”
Andrew Carraway, starting for Tacoma, served up a three-run homer to Juan Rivera in the bottom of the first. Carraway recovered to hold Reno down over the next three innings while Tacoma made a comeback.
Bantz singled in a run with two outs in the second, and Nate Tenbrink launched a three-run homer to right-center field in the third to give the Rainiers a 4-3 lead.
Tenbrink’s 11th home run of the year was also his fourth in his past eight games. The ball traveled roughly 450 feet, flying over the 424 sign in the deepest part of Aces Ballpark.
Reno rallied in the sixth to take the lead. Alfredo Marte doubled in the tying run, and scored the go-ahead run on Abraham Almonte’s error. The center fielder dropped Brad Snyder’s single in shallow center, allowing Marte to race home from third.
Rehabilitating outfielder Michael Morse was in the Tacoma lineup, but he was a late scratch as he gets set to rejoin the Mariners. … Reno third baseman Matt Davidson missed the first three games of the series to attend to family matters. Davidson was Most Valuable Player of the Futures Game and won the Triple-A home run derby.
The series concludes at 1:05 p.m. Monday Tacoma starts Hector Noesi (2-1, 7.20 ERA) against Reno’s Nate Adcock (5-5, 7.48).Mike Curto is the radio announcer for the Tacoma Rainiers.