Bumped up one day in the Tacoma starting rotation, Erasmo Ramirez delivered a quality start in one of the Pacific Coast League’s most notorious bandboxes, helping the Rainiers to a 7-5 win over the Reno Aces.
It was the first game after the three-day All-Star break for the Rainiers, who continued their all-around good play. Tacoma has gone 21-11 over its past 32 games.
Ramirez (2-4) allowed eight hits over six innings, but kept the ball in the ballpark and didn’t walk a batter while allowing three runs. Ramirez struck out five and left the game with a 6-3 lead, picking up the win.
After three scoreless innings, the Rainiers took the lead in the fourth when Jesus Montero lifted a three-run homer to right field. Seemingly a routine fly ball off the bat, the ball kept carrying in the high elevation and a little push from the wind helped it clear the right field fence.
That was just the start for Montero, who also lined a two-run single in the fifth inning off Aces reliever Jess Todd to give Tacoma a 6-2 lead. Montero finished the game 3-for-5 with 5 RBIs, continuing the hot streak he carried into the break.
Montero is 24-for-52 with 21 RBIs in his past 12 games.
Taking over in the seventh inning, Tacoma’s bullpen was able to hold onto the lead. Reno loaded the bases with one out against Stephen Kohlscheen in the seventh inning, but the right-hander was able to escape the jam.
Blake Beavan made a rehabilitation appearance in the eighth inning, giving up one run on one hit after a leadoff walk. Beavan has been on the Mariners disabled list since mid-April with tendinitis in his right shoulder.
After Ty Kelly added an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning with a two-out single, the Rainiers turned to Todd Coffey to close it out.
Coffey allowed a leadoff homer to Roger Kieschnick, but he sat down the next three batters, nailing down his third save of the season.
Ramirez has had a quality start in five consecutive outings with the Rainiers. ... Tacoma opening day third baseman Nate Tenbrink appeared in Arizona Rookie League rehabilitation games during the break. Tenbrink has been on the disabled list with back problems since April 8.
Tacoma sends Taijuan Walker (3-1, 3.79) to the mound on Friday, 7:05 p.m., in Reno. The Aces are scheduled to start Charles Brewer (4-7, 6.12).