Considering the Tacoma Rainiers had 10 of their 19 scheduled home games postponed or suspended because of rain, it seemed ominous Monday night when the Las Vegas 51s sent to the mound a pitcher named Noah.
Noah Syndergaard, a highly regarded New York Mets prospect, started the game for Las Vegas, but Tacoma starter Andrew Carraway dueled him evenly into the sixth inning.
And in the end, neither starter was around when Las Vegas reliever Jeff Walters walked in the winning run in the Rainiers’ 3-2 Pacific Coast League victory at Cheney Stadium.
Walters gave up three singles and two walks in the bottom of the ninth as the Rainiers overcame some botched base running in the eighth to improve to 15-12.
“A win’s a win, some are prettier than others,” Rainiers manager Roy Howell said. “We didn’t execute when we needed all the time and then they didn’t execute at the end.”
The Rainiers appeared to take control of the game in the eighth inning with two outs gone and the game tied at 1.
Rainier Endy Chavez came up with Leury Bonilla on second.
Chavez poked a blooper into right field and tried to stretch it into a double as Bonilla loped around third with what appeared to be the go-ahead run.
But Chavez was thrown out at second for the third out before Bonilla crossed the plate, leaving the score tied at 1.
There was shared culpability in this one: Chavez didn’t have to try to make it to second and Bonilla looked as if he could have made it home with better effort.
“It was poor base running and bad judgment,” Howell said. “Sometimes you take things for granted when you should just keep playing hard.”
The 51s capitalized quickly, as Taylor Teagarden homered in the ninth to give Las Vegas the 2-1 advantage.
In their last at-bats, though, the Rainiers got consecutive singles from Xavier Avery, Chris Taylor and pinch-hitter Humberto Quintero to load the bases.
Walters then consecutively walked Jesus Montero and Ty Kelly to give Tacoma the 3-2 win.
“We always talk about there not being a clock in our game; you just can’t waste outs,” Howell said. “But they stayed calm and did a good job being patient. We didn’t execute, but we came out on top.”
Carraway pitched 5 innings with two hits and seven strikeouts and one earned run.
Before getting to the evening’s full nine-inning contest, the teams had to finish the final five outs of a game suspended from Sunday because of rain. The 51s held onto their 7-5 lead to make it the final score. Las Vegas pitcher Jeff Walters (5-3) got the win and Zach Miner (0-1) got the loss.
The Rainiers begin their longest trip of the season, 12 games over 13 days, when right-hander Jordan Pries (1-1, 2.70 ERA) is scheduled to start against Reno Aces right-hander Charles Brewer (2-4, 6.60) at Reno at 6:35 tonight.Dave Boling: 253-597-8440 firstname.lastname@example.org @DaveBoling