The Tacoma Rainiers are running hot right now, so normally disastrous situations become mere speed bumps.
Blow a lead on the road in the bottom of the seventh inning? No problem, just score two runs in the top of the eighth, add an insurance run in the ninth and claim yet another win.
That’s how it worked out on Tuesday night at Raley Field, where the Rainiers defeated the Sacramento River Cats, 6-3.
Tacoma is 9-3 over its last 12 games. The team has won three consecutive four-game series — each by a margin of three games to one.
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Pitching has been key during the hot stretch. The Rainiers are flashing a 3.02 team ERA over the last 12 games.
Forrest Snow started for Tacoma on Tuesday, allowing one run over five innings and leaving with a 3-1 lead. Lucas Luetge followed with a clean 1-2-3 frame in the sixth.
Danny Farquhar pitched the bottom of the seventh, and that’s when Sacramento rallied. Juan Ciriaco fell behind in the count 0-2, then reached on an infield dribbler. Carlos Triunfel followed with the only hard-hit ball of the inning, a loud triple to left-center that scored Ciriaco.
After a walk to Ryan Lollis, Triunfel scored the tying run on a double-play grounder hit by Kevin Frandsen — and the Rainiers’ lead was gone.
No problem, though. This team is hot right now, after all.
Jesus Montero opened the eighth by ripping an Erik Cordier fastball into the left-center alley for a double, and he took third when Stefen Romero’s looper to right field fell in for a double.
With the infield drawn in, Leon Landry grounded a single to right, bringing in Montero with the go-ahead run. A Patrick Kivlehan sacrifice fly scored Romero to make it 5-3. Steven Baron ensured the final margin by scoring on a wild pitch in the ninth.
Farquhar coasted through the bottom of the eighth, and Mayckol Guaipe pitched a perfect ninth to earn his fourth save.
Regulars Franklin Gutierrez, Chris Taylor and John Hicks all had the day off as manager Pat Listach wanted to give them the equivalent of two full days of rest, with the entire league inactive on Wednesday… Romero went 3 for 4 in each of the final two games of the Sacramento series, boosting his batting average from .272 to .293.
Tacoma has an off day on Wednesday before hosting Albuquerque in a four-game series at Cheney Stadium beginning with Thursday’s 7:05 game. Tacoma is scheduled to start Tyler Olson (0-1, 0.00 ERA) against Albuquerque’s Jon Gray (3-5, 5.10).