After enduring a midsummer skid, the Rainiers have found themselves back on the positive side of .500.
Sunday’s 7-4 victory against Sacramento marks Tacoma’s fourth in a row.
Before reclaiming their status as a winning team, the Rainiers (51-50) suffered 18 losses in June and dropped 11 of 14 from July 5 until Wednesday.
Boog Powell drove in four runs and reached base twice, and he made a key play in center field, a sliding catch that was as impressive as it was timely.
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Sacramento (40-60) had already scored three runs in the seventh inning — cutting the Rainiers’ lead to 6-4 —when Chris Shaw stood in the batter’s box with the bases loaded.
With two outs, Shaw swung and sent the ball to deep center field. Powell tracked the ball, which seemed to be headed over his head toward the fence.
Powell swiftly backpedaled as he looked into the sky, reaching up and making the catch before falling to the grass.
Powell made his MLB debut in Seattle on April 29 and played in 23 games before returning to Tacoma. In seven games since his return July 18, Powell has batted .413 and scored eight runs.
“I think any time a guy goes up to the big leagues, they come back to the minor leagues with a little more confidence and desire to get back to the big leagues,” Rainiers manager Pat Listach said. “He’s had weeks like this before, a lot of them. This guy’s a really good player.”
Sam Gaviglio had a solid outing, allowing three runs with no walks in 6 1/3 innings.
Ian Miller, playing in his second game for Tacoma, showed off his speed in the sixth, earning a double after sending the ball to shallow center field. After he rounded first base, he darted toward second before diving headfirst.
“That’s what speed does,” Listash said. “It creates opportunities to score runs. That was one of the most impressive plays we’ve seen here all year.”
One inning earlier, Powell drove in a pair of runs with a one-out triple to make the score 5-1.
The River Cats scored three runs in the seventh inning, batting around.
The Rainiers haven’t had a winning streak of more than five games this season, but they have a chance to match their season-long Monday afternoon against Sacramento.