After giving up seven runs in the second inning, you don’t expect to take a frustrating loss in the bottom of the ninth inning — but that’s what happened to the Tacoma Rainiers in a 10-9 Pacific Coast League defeat to the Iowa Cubs on Friday night.
Tacoma overcame a four-run deficit, only to lose on Rafael Lopez’s two-out walk-off RBI single.
After a lot early scoring, Tacoma relievers Logan Bawcom and Mayckol Guaipe combined to retire 13 consecutive batters until there were two outs in the bottom of the ninth.
Christian Villanueva singled up the middle, and Taylor Davis reached on an infield single. Lopez worked a full count, so Villanueva got a running start on the next pitch. Lopez lined it softly to center, scoring Villanueva with the winning run.
“A typical PCL game,” Tacoma manager Pat Listach said. “When the ball is carrying in the PCL you score a lot of runs. We battled all the way back to tie it up but couldn’t pull it off.”
Tacoma had a two-run homer from Leon Landry and a solo shot by Carlos Rivero to take a 3-0 lead in the top of the second, but the bottom of the inning turned disastrous.
Iowa sent 12 men to the plate, had nine hits and scored seven runs, knocking out Tacoma starter Stephen Landazuri with two outs in the second inning.
“Landazuri didn’t walk anybody — he was getting hit,” Listach said. “He left too many pitches down the middle. When you locate your pitches on the corners and down in the zone, you get soft contact. There wasn’t any soft contact in that inning.”
Iowa took a 9-5 lead on a two-run homer by Javier Baez in the fourth.
Yet Tacoma battled back, scoring three times in the fifth inning and once in the seventh on Leury Bonilla’s RBI single to tie the score at 9.
After Bonilla’s hit, the Rainiers had the bases loaded with one out but were unable to drive in the go-ahead run when Iowa reliever Gonzalez Germen struck out Austin Jackson and James Jones to end the inning.
Brian Schlitter (1-0) pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the win for Iowa, and Guaipe (0-1) took the loss.
Jackson went 1 for 5 with a single, a walk, and three strikeouts. He’s batting .250 (6 for 24) in six games while rehabilitating a sprained right ankle. … Recently optioned relief pitcher Edgar Olmos is expected to report to the Rainiers on Saturday.
Tacoma’s Justin Germano (3-1, 1.46 ERA) will start on Saturday at 5:05 p.m. (PDT) against Iowa’s Dallas Beeler (0-3, 10.53). The game will be broadcast on 850-AM.
Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.