Tacoma Rainiers right-hander Ryan Weber finally gave up a run.
But only one. And Tacoma’s bullpen pitched four scoreless innings to make D.J. Peterson’s two-run double hold up as the decisive play in a 2-1 victory Friday night over the Sacramento River Cats at Cheney Stadium.
Weber, who entered Friday’s game with a consecutive scoreless innings streak of 13 2/3, allowed his first run of the season when Sacramento (7-14) designated hitter Carlos Moncrief doubled to lead off the third inning, then scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Juan Ciriaco.
But the Rainiers (12-8) took the lead in the bottom half of that inning, shortstop Tyler Smith and third baseman Mike Freeman each singling before Peterson doubled to right-center with two outs to drive in both runners.
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The location of Peterson’s hit was just as important to Tacoma manager Pat Listach as the fact that it drove in two runs.
“We talked about that – there’s a lot of RBIs and a lot of base hits out there,” Listach said. “To see him use right-center and drive in two runs to win a game for us is huge for us for preaching ‘use the whole field,’ and for him to be able to do it and see what kind of success he can have doing that.”
Weber pitched five innings, allowing four hits and one run while striking out five with zero walks. His consecutive scoreless inning streak was halted at 16, but he recorded his first victory of the season, threw a season-high 73 pitches and still has not walked a batter in four appearances — three of them starts — and 18 2/3 innings pitched this season.
“Especially coming into the season, where he really wasn’t a starter,” Listach said, “for him to come in and start now is really, really good.”
Mark Lowe, Dean Kiekhefer (though he faced only one batter, and walked him), Dan Altavilla and Jean Machi combined to throw four scoreless innings in relief. Machi pitched the ninth to earn his fourth save.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Peterson’s double in the third, which came on a 3-1 pitch from River Cats starter Michael Roth. It was the game’s only run-scoring hit, but it was enough to provide Tacoma with the winning margin.
PLUS: Center fielder Leonys Martin, optioned to Tacoma this week after being designated for assignment by the Mariners, led off the bottom of the first inning with a double into the left center-field gap. He later walked. … Peterson went 3-for- 4 and drove in both of Tacoma’s runs.
MINUS: Tacoma had runners at second and third with two outs in the sixth inning but stranded them when right-fielder Zach Shank grounded out to shortstop. … Machi allowed a one-out single and allowed the runner to advance to second base on an errant pickoff attempt, adding some unwanted drama in the ninth inning.
STAT PACK: Peterson’s 3-for-4 night upped his season batting average from .203 to .235. … Tacoma is now 10-1 in its past 11 Friday-night home games.
QUOTABLE: “You can credit that to (Mariners general manager) Jerry Dipoto doing his homework. Jerry likes guys who throw strikes, and this is one of those guys. (Christian) Bergman, (Chris) Heston, Weber, they don’t walk guys. If you look at last year’s guys — Donnie Roach — they didn’t walk guys. Jerry likes guys that throw strikes, and that’s what we preach in this organization — strike one. And that’s what these guys do. And it’s not just a down-the- middle strike. It’s a quality strike. If they do swing at it, they’re not going to do much damage with it.” — Listach on Weber allowing no walks in three starts.