The Tacoma Rainiers showed signs of fatigue Tuesday, committing three errors in a 6-3, 10-inning loss to the Nashville Sounds at Cheney Stadium. The defeat came on the heals of a five-hour contest the night before that lasted 12 innings and ended after midnight.
Tacoma went into the top of the ninth inning with a 3-2 lead but failed to hold on. It was the fourth time this year the Rainiers have surrendered an eighth-inning advantage.
“It’s not a good feeling,” manager Pat Listach said afterward.
Tacoma (57-59) entered the bottom of the eighth down 2-1. But a two-run homer from shortstop Taylor Motter pushed the Rainiers ahead. It was Motter’s second home run in the series after hitting a solo shot Monday night in Tacoma’s 8-7, marathon win over Nashville.
The Sounds (55-60) tied the game 3-3 in the top of the ninth after Tacoma gave up a single and allowed three walks to the first four batters, walking in the tying score.
“Three walks, that will do it,” Listach said. “Anytime you walk three guys you expect to give up more than one run — we got lucky we only gave up one.”
The luck ran out in the top of the 10th.
Nashville led off the inning with a single by Renato Nunez. Joey Wendle followed with a double to right field and Kyle Waldrop fumbled the ball for the game’s final error, giving Nunez a clear path to home plate and his team a 4-3 lead.
That was just the beginning. With runners on third and second, Chris Castellanos gave up a soft single to Nashville’s Kenny Wilson that brought in two more runs and pushed the lead to 6-3.
Tacoma was retired in order in the bottom half of the inning to end the game.
Rainiers starter Christian Bergman pitched a solid seven innings allowing five hits, one home run and two earned runs while racking up six strikeouts with no walks.
Ryan Garton was credited with giving up the tying run to Nashville in the ninth after Evan Marshall walked Wilson and Chris Carter scored. Castellanos gave up all three runs in the 10th. The Rainiers used seven pitchers in Monday’s game and Listach said the team was feeling the strain.
“This bullpen’s been taxed,” he said. “I’ve been asking a lot from everybody in that bullpen — and that’s what happens when they get overworked ... they come out and they don’t have the command they normally have.”
Tacoma continues the four-game series against Nashville at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday at Cheney Stadium. Right-hander Sam Gaviglio (3-5, 3.79 ERA) will take the mound for the Rainiers against Frankie Montas (0-1, 4.62).
Tacoma will play at home through Monday, Aug. 14, hosting Reno over the weekend before leaving on a short, four-day trip to Salt Lake.