Chase De Jong, in his first start back with Tacoma Rainiers after a recent stint in the majors, was not greeted kindly by the Pacific Coast League hitters on Monday. The Iowa Cubs, en route to a 7-6 win at Principal Park, scored five times in the first against De Jong to hand him his first Triple-A loss of the year.
De Jong (2-1, 4.70 ERA with Tacoma) managed to get through five innings but was rocked for seven runs (six earned) on seven hits. He allowed three home runs – two coming in the first inning.
Handed a 1-0 lead thanks to an RBI ground out by Danny Muno, De Jong wobbled out of the gate. The big blows were two-run homers by Jeimer Candelario and Chris Dominguez.
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The Rainiers (27-16) forced a 5-5 tie thanks to two-out rallies in the second and third innings. But Iowa (20-23) grabbed the lead back in the fourth when Stephen Bruno homered off De Jong.
Catcher Steve Baron led the Rainiers’ 12-hit attack with three hits and two RBIs. Designated hitter Dario Pizzano, who homered in the seventh inning to trim the Cubs’ lead to 7-6, had two hits.
The Rainiers return to Cheney Stadium for a quick four-game series against the Fresno Grizzlies that begins on Tuesday night at 6:05 p.m. Tacoma right-hander Tyler Cloyd (0-0, 0.00) and Fresno righty David Paulino (0-0, 3.00) are the scheduled starters.