The Tacoma Rainiers fell three games behind the division-leading Salt Lake Bees after an 8-0 loss to the Omaha Storm Chasers on Wednesday night at Cheney Stadium.
The Rainiers have not been so far out of first place since April 23.
The Rainiers lost their fifth in a row and have lost nine of 14 games since the All-Star break to drop out of first in the Pacific North Division of the Pacific Coast League.
Most of the trouble came when rehabilitating pitcher Stephen Pryor allowed five runs in the seventh inning after making 19 scoreless appearances for Tacoma.
Pryor relieved Blake Beavan, who held Omaha to three runs on seven hits in six innings. Pryor did not record an out.
“Pryor came in and just didn’t get it done tonight,” Tacoma manager John Stearns said. “He got hit around and didn’t command the ball well.”
Beavan (4-4) took the loss after he allowed three two-out singles in the fourth inning – by Max Ramirez, former Mariners player Ben Broussard (2006-07) and Pedro Ciriaco – accounting for two runs.
The Tacoma offense was no help. Chris Dwyer (8-8) and a pair of relievers held the Rainiers to two hits. It was the third time this season Tacoma was held to two hits. The Rainiers struck out nine times.
Broussard was the catalyst for Omaha with three hits, including a double. The Storm Chasers had 15 hits.
One bright spot for the Rainiers’ offense was leadoff hitter Abraham Almonte, who had a hit and three walks.
Almonte also put on a display with his glove.
“Almonte put on a show defensively in center field tonight,” Stearns said.
“He caught a couple balls on the warning track that were just tremendous plays. This guy is really an impressive young player who continues to go out every night and play the game the right way.”
In a duel of left-handers at 7:05 p.m. Thursday at Cheney Stadium, the Rainiers will send James Paxton (7-8, 4.17 ERA) to the mound to oppose Omaha’s Everett Teaford. The game will be broadcast on 850-AM.San Horn: 253-306-9209 firstname.lastname@example.org