The Tacoma Rainiers saw their five-game win streak come to an end with a 5-1 loss Thursday night, although there is some question about who ended it.
Did the El Paso Chihuahuas end it, or did the nature of Triple-A baseball end it?
Red-hot Tacoma hitters Jesus Montero, Ketel Marte, and Jabari Blash were all out of the starting lineup.
Montero and Marte were held out due to uncertainty with the Seattle Mariners’ roster amid injuries and the wheeling and dealing of the trade deadline, while Blash suffered a head injury Wednesday night.
Tacoma became even more short-handed when scheduled starting pitcher Forrest Snow couldn’t shake a stiff back which bothered him all day, and he was scratched from the start.
“It really put us behind the eight-ball when Snow couldn’t make the start because of back spasms,” Tacoma manager Pat Listach said.
Ninety minutes before the game, reliever Edgar Olmos was named the emergency starter and he came through with four shutout innings, leaving after 61 pitches with a 1-0 lead.
“I was expecting two innings (from Olmos), hoping for three, and we got four shutout (innings),” Listach said. “That was outstanding. A big outing for him.”
It was the first start for Olmos since June 20, 2012, when he was in Single-A in the Miami Marlins’ organization.
Tacoma scored in the third inning when John Hicks singled, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, tagged and advanced to third on a fly out, and scored on a wild pitch by Robbie Erlin.
Hicks went 2 for 3 — accounting for 40 percent of Tacoma’s five hits. The Rainiers had 10 or more hits in all five games of the win streak.
El Paso scored the tying run in the fifth when Travis Jankowski tripled with one out and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ramiro Pena.
Cody Decker led off the sixth inning with a home run to left field against Rainiers reliever Logan Bawcom, giving El Paso the lead.
The Chihuahuas rallied for three more runs in the inning, getting help from an error at third base by Tacoma’s D.J. Peterson, which led to two unearned runs.
Outfielder Blash is day-to-day after taking a knee to his head while attempting a diving catch in shallow right field during Wednesday’s game. … Prior to the game, Listach said he did not know yet when new outfielder Ramon Flores and reliever Jose Ramirez would join the team. Both were acquired via the Dustin Ackley trade on Thursday afternoon.
The series in El Paso wraps up with a 6:05 p.m. (PDT) game Friday. Tacoma starts Jordan Pries (5-3, 5.48 ERA) against El Paso’s Bryan Rodriguez (1-1, 9.39).
Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.