Rainiers hit jackpot with shutout victory

Contributing writerMay 7, 2014 

RENO — Wins in Reno have been tough enough for the Tacoma Rainiers to get.

A shutout victory seemed like too much to ask for.

Jordan Pries, Stephen Pryor, and Logan Bawcom combined on a seven-hit shutout as Tacoma won the opening game of a 12-game trip, 7-0.

It was the first shutout Tacoma has ever pitched at Aces Ballpark, which opened in 2009. Mere Tacoma wins in the ballpark have been rare: the Rainiers are now 10-31 all time in Reno.

“Pitching, defense, throwing strikes – we’re going to win,” Tacoma manager Roy Howell said. “But (a) shutout? I don’t know.”

Pries (2-1) went five innings, allowing five hits. He was in trouble in three of the five innings, but he was able to bear down and keep Reno off the scoreboard.

Stephen Pryor followed with three innings, allowing one hit in the longest outing of his professional career.

“Pryor’s doing better each time out,” Howell said. “He was efficient. He had two innings when he threw 10 pitches in each one.”

Pryor retired nine of the 10 batters he faced, getting one strikeout. He needed just 41 pitches.

Catcher Humberto Quintero provided the spark. Not only did he catch a shutout, but he also went 3-for-4 at the plate, driving in four runs.

Quintero had a two-out single to drive in Jabari Blash in the third inning. Quintero’s two-out double in the fifth drove home Ty Kelly. He singled in a pair of runs in the eighth, making it 7-0.

Each of the three hits went to right field, and each came with two strikes.

“Good two-strike hitting,” Howell said. “He hit the ball hard the other way, and he found some holes.”

Nick Franklin was the other hitting star, going 3-for-5.

Franklin pulled a home run to right field off Reno starter Charles Brewer (2-5) in the fourth inning – his fifth homer of the season.

SHORT HOPS

Veteran starting pitcher Mark Rogers was released by the Mariners after two appearances for Tacoma. Taking his spot in the rotation will be left-hander James Gillheeney. ... Gillheeney opened the season with Tacoma, was transferred to Double-A Jackson on April 24, and now he’ll be back to start Friday’s game in Reno.

ON TAP

The second game of the series in Reno is at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday. Tacoma will start Chance Ruffin (0-3, 9.43 ERA) against Reno’s Bo Schultz (2-3, 5.30).

Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.

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