MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Tacoma Rainiers’ starting lineup and bullpen are both improving, but the defense continued to struggle in a 7-4 loss at Memphis on Tuesday night.
Tacoma made three errors leading to a pair of unearned runs. That raises the team’s Pacific Coast League-leading error total to 68.
The defensive problems spoiled what was looking like a possible comeback victory.
After trailing 3-0 in the early innings, Tacoma scored a run in the fourth and added three in the fifth to take a 4-3 lead.
Logan Morrison led off the fifth with an opposite-field home run, and Jabari Blash hit the go-ahead two-run double after Chris Taylor was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Blash was 3-for-4 and continues to swing a hot bat. However, he was caught sleeping on a play in the bottom of the fifth that allowed Memphis to take the lead.
After Jermaine Curtis singled to tie the game at 4, the bases were loaded for Memphis catcher Audry Perez. Perez hit a fly to shallow right, and Blash made the catch. After the runners returned to their bases, Blash was caught holding the ball and looking away while veteran Scott Moore tagged at third base and bolted home.
“We made some mistakes defensively,” Tacoma manager Roy Howell said. “They were mental mistakes more than physical mistakes.”
Memphis scored another run that inning, and added an unearned run in the seventh.
Meanwhile, the offense was unable to score after the three-run rally in the fifth inning.
Tacoma has re-shaped the roster. Starting pitcher Taijuan Walker was optioned from Seattle, and infielder Chris Taylor and left-handed reliever Clay Rapada were activated from the disabled list.
To make room, veteran relievers Zach Miner and Mike MacDougal were released, and infielder Patrick Brady was transferred to Advanced-A High Desert.
The third game of the four-game series in Memphis starts at 5:05 (PDT) on Wednesday. Tacoma starts Andrew Carraway (2-4, 4.61 ERA) against Memphis right-hander Scott McGregor (1-6, 6.22).Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.