Some pre-Fourth of July fireworks erupted for 7,081 Tacoma Rainiers fans to enjoy after the game at Cheney Stadium on Friday night.
And those fans got to take in some in-game fireworks during the wacky, back-and-forth affair. The bats of the Rainiers and the Las Vegas 51s came alive to combine for 19 runs and 25 hits in a 12-7 Tacoma win.
Both teams combined for five home runs, six hit batters — which resulted in both benches being warned — and nine walks to add to the madness.
The Rainiers started the game down quickly, 2-0. Starter Stephen Landazuri struggled with his pitch count, ringing up 62 pitches through three innings, and control, plunking four 51s hitters and walking three more.
Landazuri’s struggles were mitigated by the Tacoma offense, which surged to four third-inning runs behind a ground-rule double from third baseman Leury Bonilla.
Bonilla scored after center fielder Leon Landry hit a double. That double was followed by Stefen Romero’s two-run home run.
The highlight of the inning was a Jesus Montero triple to dead center. He eventually scored to put the Rainiers up, 4-2.
Landazuri’s pitch count exploded to 88 in the fourth inning after he walked two 51s batters and hit another one to load the bases. The 51s took advantage of the wild pitching and piled on another two runs to tie the game.
The Rainiers quickly regained the lead, 7-4, when catcher Steve Baron hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
In the fifth, Lucas Luetge replaced Landazuri. Luetge didn’t have much control over his pitches either, and walked two batters in 12/3 innings. He ended up allowing three runs in his short shift, allowing the 51s to tie the game again at 7-all.
If the game didn’t have enough twists and turns already, the Rainiers broke the tie right away when left fielder Patrick Kivlehan hit a solo shot to put the Rainiers up, 8-7. The Rainiers tacked on another three runs later that inning to push their advantage to 11-7.
The Rainiers added one more run to pad their lead, 12-7, late in the game, and relievers Danny Farquhar and Tony Zych combined to allow no runs in three innings to preserve the win.
The Rainiers will begin their four-game road series at 7:05 p.m. Saturday against the Fresno Grizzlies. The Grizzlies will start Brett Oberholtzer (1-2, 5.68 ERA). The Rainiers have not decided who will take the mound for them.