After some early season struggles, the Tacoma Rainiers have found their recipe for success: get a strong starting pitching performance, follow it up with some shutdown relief, and enjoy the taste of victory.
Tacoma took down Sacramento on Saturday night, 6-1, in the first of a four-game series at Raley Field. It was the third consecutive win for the Rainiers.
Pulled from the bullpen to fill Roenis Elias’ spot in the starting rotation, Forrest Snow delivered 42/3 innings with high-quality command and left the game with a 2-1 lead. Snow did not walk a batter, and 50 of his 67 pitches were strikes.
Joe Beimel followed Snow and earned the win. In his Tacoma Rainiers debut, Beimel struck out all three batters he faced including left-handed hitters John Bowker and Jarrett Parker.
With two outs in the sixth, Tacoma turned it over to Logan Bawcom. In the longest outing of his three seasons with the Rainiers, Bawcom tossed 31/3 scoreless innings to earn the save.
In the three game win streak, the Tacoma bullpen has pitched 10 shutout innings.
Offensively, Tacoma was opportunistic.
Carlos Rivera lined a two-out RBI single in the sixth off reliever Hunter Strickland to give the Rainiers a 3-1 lead. With Patrick Kivlehan at third and an 0-2 count on Jabari Blash, the Rainiers executed a delayed double-steal of home: Rivera took off on the pitch, and when catcher Trevor Brown threw down to second base Kivlehan sprinted home and scored.
Kivlehan reached base four times with a single and three walks. Leadoff man Chris Taylor was on base three times, Ketel Marte went 3-for-5, and John Hicks doubled and drove in a pair of runs.
The veteran left-hander Beimel reported to the Rainiers prior to the game, filling the active roster at 25. Beimel, 38, was signed to a minor league contract April 2 and has been working out in extended spring training. He appeared in 56 games for the Mariners last year, going 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA.
Daytime baseball is slated for 1:05 p.m. Sunday in Sacramento. Tacoma starts Sam Gaviglio (1-1, 3.60) against River Cats left-hander Ty Blach (0-2, 5.60). The game will be broadcast on 850 AM.