In the sixth inning, Tacoma third baseman Carlos Rivero had his sights set on a routine infield popup.
Only problem being, the ball landed in the dirt five feet in front of him.
It was that kind of forgettable night for the 3,114 fans that clamored into Cheney Stadium on Monday evening, with the Rainiers dropping the series opener to Salt Lake, 8-2.The Bees racked up 17 hits and lit up Rainiers All-Star pitcher Forrest Snow.
“It was one of our worst games of the year to be honest,” manager Pat Listach said. “We didn’t pitch, we didn’t play defense, we lost balls in the twilight, we made base running mistakes down six runs. It was one of our worst games.”
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The Rainiers didn’t get much help from their starting pitching. Snow took the mound for Tacoma, fresh off his selection for the Triple-A All-Star Game. But his first start since the three-day trip to Omaha, Nebraska, didn’t go as planned.
Things escalated in the fourth after a laborious two-run second. Snow lost control of his pitches and couldn’t hit his spots. Sacramento took advantage as Josh Rutledge reached on a pop fly on the infield, Ryan Jackson homered, Kyle Kubtiza doubled and Snow walked Efren Navarro.
Andrew Kittredge came on and promptly gave up a double and a single before getting out of the inning with a strikeout — but not before the Bees had scored five runs and blown the game wide open.
Listach said Snow was missing “everything.”
“He didn’t have good stuff,” he said. “He didn’t have command. He didn’t work fast. It just wasn’t very typical of him. It was a bad night.”
Snow’s pitch count soared early. He threw 95 pitches in 32/3 innings. He allowed six runs on seven hits, two walks and struck out seven. His ERA soared from 3.03 to 3.51 following the loss.
The defense behind Snow did not do him any favors, though. Rivero and John Hicks had fielding errors and Snow threw two wild pitches.
Meanwhile, the Rainiers’ bats fell silent in their drubbing. Tacoma mustered five hits and was 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position. Starting pitcher Tyler DeLoach and relievers Edgar Ibarra and Kurt Spomer smothered the Rainiers’ lineup.
Listach wasn’t enamored by their work.
“It’s nothing we haven’t seen before,” he said. “We hit a lot of balls hard right at them and we made a lot of hard outs.”
Patrick Kivlehan rejoined the Rainiers on Monday after participating in the Pan Am Games. He represented the United States, hitting .342 with three home runs for the silver medal-winning squad. ... Jesus Montero will also be rejoining the Rainiers after a five-game stint with the Mariners where he hit .300 and drove in one run. He still leads the PCL in hits and is second in batting average and RBIs. Each is expected to play Tuesday.
The Rainiers continue their four-game series with the Bees at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday with right-hander Jordan Pries (4-3, 5.63 ERA) facing righty Nick Tropeano (3-3, 4.43 ERA).