Late-inning woes continue for the Tacoma Rainiers.
The bullpen gave up three runs in the ninth inning for a 6-5 loss to the Salt Lake Bees on Tuesday.
After striking out the side in the eighth, things got dicey for Tacoma’s Tyler Olson in the ninth. Clinging to a 5-3 lead, Olson walked the Kaleb Cowart, pegged Jeff Bandy and gave up a single to Alex Yarbrough to load the bases.
Tacoma’s Mayckol Guiape came in hoping to minimize the damage, but the Bees capitalized. Josh Rutledge cranked a three-run double to take the lead for good.
Rainiers manager Pat Listach said the matchup for Olson was good in the ninth. Combined with the way he pitched in the eighth, Listach didn’t hesitate sending Olson back out in the ninth.
It ruined an excellent start from Jordan Pries.
Pries delivered seven strong innings for Tacoma, but looked shaky early on. He labored through a 19-pitch first inning in which he surrendered a run and three hits.
After the first, Pries settled into a groove. He worked quickly and effectively, with five of his seven innings appearing as zeroes on the scoreboard. He gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out six.
The Rainiers collected 13 hits, eight more than the previous night. Justin Ruggiano went 3 for 4. Included was a solo home run in the fifth that tied the game at 3-3.
Later in the fifth, Patrick Kivlehan roped a ball into Cheney Stadium’s cavernous center field. Jabari Blash scored and Kivlehan reached third standing. The Rainiers led, 4-3.
It wouldn’t be enough.
Game three of the series against Salt Lake is at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday. Left-hander Roenis Elias (2-0, 7.12 ERA) will start for Tacoma and face Salt Lake right-hander Drew Rucinski (5-4, 5.05 ERA).