After digging itself a hole early, Tacoma came back to tie the game against El Paso, but the Chihuahuas had the last laugh, cashing in on Ryan Cook’s wildness to win 5-4.
With the game tied 4-4, Cook came in to pitch the top of the ninth, but didn’t bring his control with him from the bullpen. Three straight walks loaded the bases, and despite retiring the next three batters, the Chihuahuas were able to bring in the winning run on a fielder’s choice.
“That’s not typical of him,” Rainiers manager Pat Listach said after the game. “There’s something going on there that we need to get to the bottom of, but we’ll figure it out.”
Starter Ross Detwiler retired the first eight batters he faced in a row, but a two-out rally in the top of the third gave El Paso all the runs it would need. Five straight men reached base, four runs scored, and only an Adam Law sliding catch on a line drive a second base could end the big inning.
“That’s a tough one right there,” Listach said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that many hits in a row with two outs and nobody on.”
Aside from that, Detwiler had a good return after his first outing with the Mariners, going six innings and allowing just three knocks outside of the third.
“He was good,” Listach said. “He kept us in the game after giving up the four... and we battled back.”
Tacoma, which couldn’t manage a hit against El Paso starter Walker Lockett in the first three innings, started chipping away in the fourth on an Andrew Aplin two-run home run.
Another two-spot tied the game up in the seventh, this time on a Cameron Perkins home run and an RBI double by Seth Mejias-Brean.
Mike Morin allowed a single in the seventh, but still pitched a 1-2-3 inning on a caught-stealing by Cameron Rupp behind the plate. James Pazos came in for his second dose of game action with Tacoma, going three-up, three-down, and living between 91 and 93 miles per hour on his fastball.
“He’s down here for a reason, and that’s to get his velocity back,” Listach said. “When he’s up around 96 or 97, he’s pretty much untouchable.
“He came in and got his inning in. Threw a few more pitches than he probably wanted to, but he got through it.”
Tacoma’s final home game of the 2018 season is scheduled for 7:05 pm Monday. Christian Bergman, who started Opening Day for the Rainiers, is slated to pitch.