The first two games of the key five-game series between Tacoma and Reno have not gone well for the Rainiers. And that might be a bit of an understatement.
For the second consecutive day, the Rainiers jumped out to an early lead — this time a 4-0 advantage in the top of the second inning Thursday. And for the second consecutive day, Tacoma’s pitching could not prevent Reno from scoring at will.
The Aces scored 10 unanswered runs from the second inning through the fifth inning and coasted to an 11-5 win over the Rainiers.
Reno pulled within 4 1/2 games of first-place Tacoma, with 11 games left in the Pacific Coast League season.
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The Rainiers looked good early. Dan Vogelbach’s two-out, two-run double in the top of the second inning gave Tacoma a 4-0 lead.
By the time Reno starter Shelby Miller recorded the final out of the second, he had thrown 60 pitches, and it was evident he wasn’t going to have a long outing.
Rainiers starter Sam Gaviglio pitched a perfect first inning, but Reno tied the game in a span of four batters in the second. Three straight Aces had hits and a run was in before Todd Glaesmann launched a three-run homer to left field, knotting the score at 4-4.
The Aces took the lead on a two-out RBI single by Peter O’Brien in the third inning, added three more runs in the fourth, and tacked on two more in the fifth to make it 10-4.
Gaviglio (3-2) was charged with 10 runs in five innings, taking the loss. Tacoma starting pitchers have allowed 19 runs in the first two games of the series.
Tacoma’s offense connected for 14 hits but managed just the five runs. Vogelbach went 3 for 4 with three RBIs.
Peterson out for season
Rainiers first baseman D.J. Peterson will miss the remainder of the season — including potential playoff games — because of a fractured left pinky finger.
Peterson suffered the injury while attempting to make a diving catch of a line drive on Monday.
There was hope that Peterson might be able to serve as a designated hitter in the playoffs, but manager Pat Listach said that after viewing the X-rays doctors determined Peterson would need to wear a splint on his finger for five weeks.
For the third game of the series, Tacoma will start right-hander Joe Wieland (12-5, 5.25 ERA) against Reno right-hander Billy Buckner (0-0, 9.00). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. Friday. The radio broadcast is on 850-AM.
Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Rainiers.