After just four Salt Lake Bees batters in the first inning, Tacoma starting pitcher Jordan Pries was in big trouble. He had already allowed three hits — including a two-run homer to Brennan Boesch — and was trailing by three runs.
But Pries rebounded to work seven innings without allowing anything else, and he earned the win as Tacoma claimed a 6-3 victory.
Pries (8-6) gave up 10 hits and three runs over seven innings. He walked one while striking out seven, and won his second consecutive start.
It was an impressive turnaround after the way it started Wednesday.
“In the first inning, I’m sure he wanted to punch himself in the eye,” Tacoma manager Roy Howell said. “He kept working at it — he started working down, throwing his change-up, and working both sides of the plate.”
Meanwhile, Salt Lake starter Caleb Clay had an opposite sort of game.
Clay carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning when John Hicks broke it up with a one-out single to left field. Leury Bonilla followed with a single, and Abraham Almonte pulled a three-run homer to right to tie the game, 3-3.
The Rainiers weren’t done in the inning. Ji-Man Choi followed Almonte’s homer with a double to deep left, and he scored the go-ahead run on a two-out RBI single by Jesus Montero.
Clay went from a 3-0 lead and a no-hit bid to a 4-3 deficit in a span of six batters.
“Clay was throwing a big curveball for strikes. Guys kept seeing it, and they finally got on it,” Howell said. “Hitters were paying attention to how they were being pitched, and they caught up to him.”
Almonte brought in another run with a single in the ninth inning, finishing with a season-high four RBIs. He was 2-for-3 with two walks.
Tacoma relievers Logan Kensing and Carson Smith each threw a scoreless inning, with Smith picking up his eighth save.
All was quiet on the trade deadline front, with no players unexpectedly not in the lineup or removed from the game. … Montero entered the game leading all Triple-A hitters with 32 RBIs in July. It’s the most RBIs by a Rainiers player in one month since Mike Carp drove in 37 runs in May 2011.
Tacoma sends Forrest Snow (1-2, 1.52 ERA) to the mound Thursday at 7:05 p.m. (PDT). Salt Lake is expected to start Chris Volstad (0-0, 5.40). The game will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network, and the radio broadcast is on 850-AM.