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“I walked over and told him great job the last four innings,” Listach said. “Zach needs to come out and put up zeroes early but he did a lot to save our bullpen after we abused them down in Reno (where the Rainiers lost four of five games during their last series).”
Fresno scored twice more in the second as Tyler Heineman and Nolan Fontana started the inning with back-to-back singles. After a one-out walk to Tyler White, Jon Kemmer drove a first-pitch liner to center to score Heineman before Worth smoked a liner right at Rainiers center fielder Daniel Robertson for a sacrifice fly.
The Grizzlies made it 5-0 in the fourth. Fontana, batting just .190 coming in, lined his second single of the night to center. Fisher followed with a towering fly over Robertson’s head in center, scoring Fontana on a close play at the plate. When Fisher tried to take third on the throw, he was gunned down by Rainiers’ catcher Rob Brantly.
Fresno starter Mike Hauschild (9-10) got the win, shutting Tacoma out for five innings on five hits.
The Rainiers created some excitement in the bottom of the fifth. Zach Shank led off with a lined single to left that skipped off the glove of Fontana at shortstop. The Rainiers loaded the bases on an infield single by Robertson and a two-out walk to Dan Vogelbach.
That brought up Rainiers clean-up hitter Stefen Romero, who struck out to end the threat.
Tacoma finally scored, finally getting to left-handed reliever Albert Minnis in the seventh.
Shank started the rally with his third hit of the night, a double into the right-field corner and went to third on a ground ball single to left by Aoki. Robertson grounded to short and avoided the double play, driving in Shank.
“It’s funny because I don’t think I’ve been swinging the bat that well the last three weeks or so,” said Shank, now batting an even .300. “I need to make solid contact more consistently. I don’t think I see the ball exceptionally well against Fresno’s staff. It’s just one of those things.”
After Lee left after six innings, left-hander Paul Fry came in to pitch two perfect innings before Al Alburquerque added a scoreless ninth.
“Our bullpen’s been our strength all season,” Listach said. “Paul got to face a bunch of lefties for a change tonight. Getting lefties out is going to be his job when he gets to the big leagues, so it was good to see him have a chance to pitch to some tonight.”
Fry struck out left-handed batters Kemmer and Jon Singleton.
The Rainiers and Grizzlies meet in the second game of a four-game series Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. Tacoma will start right-hander Sam Gaviglio (3-2, 3.93 ERA) against Fresno righty Cesar Valdez (12-1, 3.08). The game can be heard on 850-AM.