It took Sam Gaviglio a moment to remember a performance as strong as Monday night’s.
“Yeah,” Gaviglio recalled after a pause, “I had a few in college. But pro ball I hadn’t been able to get it done, even in seven innings.”
Gaviglio burned the River Cats for a four-hit shutout, his first of the kind in his six-year pro career as Tacoma defeated the River Cats, 4-0, in front of 3,302 at Cheney Stadium.
Going into the ninth with a four-run lead, with relief pitcher Andrew Kittredge warming up in the bullpen, manager Pat Listach gave Gaviglio 12-13 pitches to close out: he did it in 13.
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“It felt great,” Gaviglio said. “(Catcher Jesus Sucre) did a helluva job holding stuff in. Did a great job pitch calling, a lot of credit goes to him and the defense. (Zach) Shank made a couple of nice plays that really helped me out.”
In his longest outing of the season, Gaviglio threw 110 pitches, 69 strikes, striking out six with one walk.
“Wasn’t too sharp to begin with,” Gaviglio said, “but once I got it rolling, got the slider going and just kept throwing strikes and let the defense keep making plays.”
Measuring Listach’s response, Gaviglio may have sold himself short.
“It was incredible,” Listach said. “You don’t see too many complete game shutouts at this level. He was phenomenal.”
Both starting pitchers kept the first four innings scoreless. Joan Gregorio allowed just two hits and a walk, while striking out three. Then Tacoma struck in the fifth and sixth.
Shank hit a line-drive triple to center field in the fifth, which Sacramento center fielder Myles Schroder missed, allowing Sucre to score from third. .
In the sixth, Dan Vogelbach singled to right field. Two batters later, Rob Brantly knocked a triple to the left field corner, beating a sprinting effort from left fielder Austin Slater. Vogelbach scored all the way from first, just beating a muffed throw to the plate to put the Rainiers up two.
“It’s probably going to take a triple to score Sucre from first, and same thing for Vogelbach,” Listach said, half-jokingly. “They’re not going to score from first a whole lot with their speed, but it ended up working in our favor that they did.”
Tacoma pushed the lead to 4-0 when Daniel Robertson hit a two-RBI double in the seventh.
DJ Peterson participated in batting practice and a light workout Monday and could return to the lineup Tuesday. Peterson missed the past two games after contracting what the staff believes is food poisoning in El Paso, Texas, during the road trip. … Taijuan Walker was optioned to Tacoma on Monday and has 72 hours to report. He turns 24 years old on Friday, which aligns with his next scheduled start if the organization decides to stick with the calendar. Walker, who went on the DL with tendinitis July 6 and missed the month of July, made a rehab start in Tacoma Aug. and was held to 69 pitches.
The Rainiers and River Cats play the third of a four game series Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. Tacoma’s Forrest Snow (0-0, 9.00 ERA) makes his second start since his promotion from Double-A Jackson on Aug. 4, while Sacramento will likely go to its bullpen to start lefty Alex Torres (0-0, 1.17). The game will be broadcast on 850-AM.