The Tacoma Rainiers were short a pair of relief pitchers on Friday after the Seattle Mariners summoned Lucas Luetge and Dominic Leone to the big leagues.
It was a perfect time, then, for the longest outing of right-handed starter Sam Gaviglio’s professional career.
Gaviglio allowed one run in 81/3 innings in a 5-3 Rainiers victory before a crowd of 6,346 at Cheney Stadium. It was the longest outing for a Rainiers starting pitcher this season.
“We were hoping to get five or six (innings), and he gave us eight there,” said Rainiers hitting coach Cory Snyder, who filled in as the team’s manager with Pat Listach out of town attending his son’s high school graduation. “He just did an amazing job. Kept them off balance, threw good pitches. When he got in tough situations, he got out of it, so it was a great outing for him tonight.”
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It’s been an inconsistent season for Gaviglio, who entered Friday’s game with a 3-4 record and a 5.63 ERA and had allowed seven runs on 10 hits in his previous start.
He said that in the four days since, he’s been working with pitching coach Jaime Navarro on “finishing my pitches.”
Gaviglio, who starred collegiately at Oregon State, allowed only five hits, walked three batters and struck out five before he was replaced by Danny Farquhar with one out and a runner on second base in the ninth inning.
At that point, Tacoma led 5-0, and Gaviglio was still hoping to finish the game.
“I haven’t had a (complete game) yet,” he said with a chuckle, “so I was trying to get there.”
Instead, Snyder said, “It’s just one of those things where you want to say, ‘You did a great job, unbelievable job. You took us this far. Let’s let somebody finish it up for you.’ He was good with that.”
The game didn’t end smoothly. Farquhar allowed the inherited runner to score on a double and an error before yielding a two-run homer to Jared Hoying to account for the final margin.
Tacoma (20-29) scored its first three runs via two sacrifice flies (one by leading hitter Ketel Marte) and a bases-loaded walk (also by Marte). Third baseman Carlos Rivero padded the lead with a one-out, two-run triple in the sixth.
Tacoma continues its four-game series against Round Rock at 5:05 p.m. Saturday. Rainiers right-hander Forrest Snow (1-4, 3.00 ERA) is scheduled to pitch against right-hander Alec Asher (0-0, 5.06). The game can be heard on 850-AM.