The Iowa Cubs didn’t have a promotion scheduled for Saturday night, but if they did it should have been billed as Opposite Night.
Tacoma starter Justin Germano entered the game with a 1.46 ERA and allowed eight runs. Iowa starter Dallas Beeler carried a 10.53 ERA into the game and worked six innings of nearly flawless ball.
It all added up to Iowa’s 13-7 Pacific Coast League victory, leaving the Rainiers in need of a win in the series finale Sunday in order to get out of the Hawkeye State with a split.
Germano allowed three runs in the first inning, with a two-out, two-run double by Taylor Davis the key hit. Iowa scored twice more in the second, when No. 9 hitter Rubi Silva launched a two-run homer to straightaway center field.
The right-hander settled down and pitched into the sixth inning before allowing three more runs, including a long, two-run double to Silva. All told, Germano gave up eight runs on 10 hits in 52/3 innings.
He had allowed just six runs all season prior to Saturday.
“The Silva kid had a big day,” Tacoma manager Pat Listach said of the Iowa outfielder. “He drove in four runs, he hit the big home run early in the game.”
As has been the team’s trait this season, Tacoma chipped away at the 8-1 deficit in the late innings — even bringing the go-ahead run to the plate in the eighth.
Tacoma scored twice in the seventh, and Pat Kivlehan lined a two-run homer off former Seattle Mariner/Rainier Yoervis Medina in the eighth to make it 8-5. The Rainiers proceeded to load the bases with two outs, but Ketel Marte flied out to the warning track in right field against top Iowa reliever Brian Schlitter.
“I thought Marte had driven that ball off the wall, but it got knocked down,” Listach said. “We swung the bats well. We had 14 hits and battled.”
Iowa put the game out of reach with five runs in the bottom of the eighth — four coming against new Tacoma reliever Edgar Olmos, who was making his Mariners organization debut.
Beeler (1-3) earned the win, going six innings without surrendering an earned run. It was the best start of the season for the 25-year-old, who has been struggling with shoulder soreness.
Iowa has scored 23 runs on 33 hits in the last two games. The Cubs ranked 14th in the PCL in runs scored prior to the outburst. … Marte was 1-for-4 and has hit safely in eight straight games. … Rehabilitating Austin Jackson (sprained ankle) went 3 for 5 with an RBI — the most productive game of his seven with Tacoma.
The Rainiers and Cubs meet for the final time in 2015 on Sunday at 11:05 a.m. (PDT). Tacoma starts Sam Gaviglio (3-3, 5.23 ERA) against Iowa ace Donn Roach (5-0, 1.97).
Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.