Ljay Newsome looked like way more than a call-up from high Single-A making a spot appearance, but once again, the Tacoma Rainiers wasted a good start late, losing to El Paso 8-7 on a go-ahead grand slam by the Chihuahuas’ Ty France.
With two on and two outs in the the seventh, Urias popped Ryan Garton’s 3-2 offering into foul territory about halfway to third base. Neither third baseman Chris Mariscal nor catcher Jose Lobaton could get to it, and the ball dropped between them to keep Urias and the inning alive. Garton’s next pitch missed the zone to load the bases, and Ty France lasered the second pitch he saw into the party deck in left field to turn a 7-4 Tacoma lead into a loss.
Newsome started off hot, striking out the side in the top of the first, and didn’t slow down. Seven Chihuahuas ended their first at-bats of the game with a slow walk back to the dugout. Newsome got out to seven 0-2 counts his first four innings, and finished all seven with strikeouts.
“I felt good,” Newsome said. “Just went out and did my thing.”
El Paso started to catch on to Newsome in the fourth, putting up four runs to cut the deficit to two runs. The call-up bounced back in the sixth, notching his 10th strikeout before being pulled to cheers from the crowd of 7,066 at Cheney Stadium with a 6-4 lead.
“I thought Ljay Newsome threw the ball pretty good,” Rainiers manager Daren Brown said. “Gave us what we needed to get us to the sixth inning.”
It was the second spot-start in Tacoma for Newsome, who had a similar outing last season, starting his night with three perfect innings before allowing three runs in five total frames.
The Rainiers added another insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when Ian Miller scored on a Tim Lopes single. John Andreoli tried to score from second on the play, but Boog Powell threw him out at the plate, keeping the lead at just three runs for France to erase in the next frame.
“I thought we swung the bats well enough today,” Brown said. “Any time you score seven runs, I feel like you should win the game… We just didn’t make enough pitches to hold them down.”
Garton took the loss, with four runs to his name on two hits and two walks. David McKay pitched the last two innings, striking out four and allowing just one hit.
The Rainiers and Chihuahuas will wrap up their five-game series Monday at 6:05 p.m., with Sean Nolan scheduled to start for Tacoma against El Paso’s Robert Stock.
Shed Long was in the first version of the lineup printed for Sunday’s game, but two-and-a-half hours before first pitch, it was announced that he wouldn’t play.
Brown said before the game that it wasn’t related to any injury, and that Long “just (needed) to have a day off and he’ll be fine tomorrow.”
Chris Mariscal started at third for Long and went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.