Some of the best ways to describe the ridiculousness of the Tacoma Rainiers’ 16-15 win over El Paso on Thursday night is to look at it from the Chihuahuas’ perspective.
For example, El Paso hit a leadoff home run in each of the first three innings, and lost.
The Chihuahuas out-hit the Rainiers, 20-16, and out-homered Tacoma 5-2. Yes, they hit five homers and lost.
El Paso leadoff man Manuel Margot went 5 for 6, with two doubles, two homers, four runs scored and four runs batted in. In a losing effort.
Tacoma took advantage of El Paso’s mistakes to claim the victory.
Eight of the Rainiers 16 runs were unearned to El Paso’s pitchers, due to errors which extended Tacoma’s rallies.
The Rainiers held a 10-4 lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning, thanks to three run-scoring singles by Stefen Romero, a pair of two-out run scoring hits by Dan Vogelbach, and a three-run homer by Rob Brantly.
El Paso rallied to score six runs in the bottom of the seventh, tying the game 10-10. Eight of the 10 batters who came to the plate had hits, with Tacoma shortstop Mike Freeman throwing out the go-ahead run at home to end the inning.
Tacoma responded with a six-run top of the eighth. The rally started with a two-run homer by Romero, who went 4 for 6 with five runs batted in. Freeman was on base — he scored five runs.
The Rainiers kept tacking on runs after El Paso’s third error of the game extended the inning. Tyler Smith added a two-run single — his fourth hit of the night.
“I’m glad we won,” Tacoma manager Pat Listach said. “The biggest key to that game was when they scored six, we came back and put our own six-spot up. This team doesn’t give up.”
Still, a 16-10 lead in the eighth didn’t feel safe. El Paso had a run in when Hector Sanchez blasted a two-run homer in the eighth, making it 16-13. Margot’s second homer of the night came with two outs and a runner on in the ninth, and it was 16-15.
Finally, Andrew Kittredge got Carlos Asuaje to fly out to center for the final out of the game.
Tacoma improved to 66-46, marking the first time the Rainiers have been 20 games over .500 since the final day of the 2001 season (85-59).
Tacoma added outfielder James Ramsey in a trade from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ramsey, a first round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012, has spent the entire season with Oklahoma City. He batted .264 with eight homers and 38 RBI for Oklahoma City, while posting a .339 on-base percentage. He struck out 80 times in 254 at-bats. ... Reliever Marvin Gorgas was transferred to Everett.
Tacoma sends Jarrett Grube (1-2, 3.83) to the mound at 6:05 p.m. (PDT) Friday against El Paso’s Carlos Pimentel (11-5, 5.37).
Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Rainiers.