Tom Wilhelmsen’s first start of the season didn’t go as planned for the Tacoma Rainiers.
Darnell McDonald homered on Wilhelmsen’s first pitch Tuesday, and the scoring — and homers — didn’t stop there as the Iowa Cubs won, 10-3, at Cheney Stadium.
The Rainiers gave up a season-high six home runs, three of them to Edgar Gonzalez. The last time Tacoma gave up six homers was Aug. 6, 2011, against the Albuquerque Isotopes.
With one on in the first inning, Gonzalez homered to extend the Cubs’ lead to 3-0. He homered again in the fifth off James Paxton and in the seventh off Brian Moran.
The Cubs hit back-to-back homers off Jonathan Arias in the sixth, when Dave Sappelt’s two-run shot was followed by Mike Olt’s blast to left field.
Wilhelmsen (0-1) was demoted to Tacoma on Monday. He was 0-3 with 24 saves and a 4.37 earned-run average in 47 relief appearances for Seattle.
In two innings against Iowa, Wilhelmsen gave up three hits and three earned runs, striking out four.
“My location was better than it’s been in the past,” Wilhelmsen said. “I want to improve on throwing more strikes, though.”
In the third, Paxton came in for the first relief appearance of his career and allowed three runs and six hits in 2 2/3 innings.
Carlos Triunfel took advantage of two Iowa errors to give Tacoma its first run in the third. Later in the inning, Abraham Almonte scored on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Peguero.
Nate Tenbrink was a bright spot for the Rainiers, going 3-for-4 with a double and a sixth-inning homer.
“He has power, speed and a strong arm,” Tacoma manager John Stearns said. “The only thing he can improve on is cutting down on his strikeouts. He’s a guy that can be a great utility player on a major-league team.”
Tacoma’s Ty Kelly failed to extend his eight-game hitting streak. He went 0-for-5 with one strikeout.
The Rainiers will send right-hander Andrew Carraway (6-5, 4.87 ERA) to the mound at 6:05 p.m. Thursday against host Albuquerque, whose starter is to be announced. The game will be broadcast on 850-AM.