The Tacoma Rainiers beat the Las Vegas 51s, 5-4, Monday at Cheney Stadium for the 4,000th victory in the history of the franchise dating to 1960.
Players such as Willie McCovey, Mark McGwire and Juan Marichal contributed to some of those first 3,999 wins. In No. 4,000, the stars were Ketel Marte, Jesus Montero and Sam Gaviglio.
After the first two and a half innings ticked by without a base runner, the Rainiers rallied for five runs in the bottom of the third. Most of the damage came from Marte with a three-run home run to left field and Montero with a two-run homer to left-center.
It was Marte’s second home run of the season, and second in two games.
Four of Tacoma’s five hits came in the third. No Rainier had more than one hit on the night. Austin Jackson was 0 for 2 with a run scored and a pair of walks in his third rehab appearance.
“Two big home runs: Montero and Marte,” Tacoma manager Pat Listach said. “Anytime you get the three-run homers — you get the big inning — that usually means you win the game.”
On Monday it was enough to stand up. Las Vegas chipped away at Tacoma starter Gaviglio with a run in the fourth and three in the fifth. But the comeback stopped there, as Gaviglio got his third win of the season with the help of two scoreless innings from Logan Bawcom and Mayckol Guaipe’s third save.
Gaviglio, 24, had a season-high nine strikeouts, two short of his career high.
“I saw a guy come out and pound the strike zone the first three innings,” Listach said of the former Oregon State pitcher. “He had a really good slider going. I didn’t see the same guy in the fourth and fifth inning. And then he was the same guy in the sixth inning. They made some adjustments on him, and he wasn’t as quick to make the adjustments back until the sixth inning. But he did a very nice job. He’s really not a strikeout pitcher, and those first three innings he was striking everybody out. He was locating everything.”
Las Vegas fell to 25-13, with starter Darin Gorski taking the loss.
Tacoma improved to 17-22 this season, and 4,000-3,981 over the 56 seasons since the franchise arrived as the Giants.
“Somebody told me after the game I was the guy to get the 4,000th win,” Listach said. “We got the 4,000th win. That’s quite an accomplishment. … That’s a good win. That was fun.”
The Rainiers conclude their homestand with an 11:35 a.m. Tuesday game against the 51s. Probable starting pitchers are Tacoma right-hander Forrest Snow (1-3, 3.29 ERA) and Las Vegas right-hander Duane Below (2-2, 3.47). The game will be broadcast on 850-AM.