The Tacoma Rainiers opened the game with five straight hits, had a six-run lead in the second inning, finished with 15 hits — and still weren’t even close to beating the Reno Aces on Tuesday afternoon.
Just another day at Aces Ballpark, where batters binge and pitchers cringe.
Reno banged out 22 hits, scored 12 unanswered runs and beat the Rainiers, 14-7. The three-game series is tied going into the rubber match on Wednesday.
Every Reno batter had at least one hit and scored at least one run, and all but one had an RBI.
“There were a lot of hits,” Tacoma manager Pat Listach said. “A lot of singles — the outfield has to play deep. They hit 14 singles. We didn’t make any errors, we didn’t make many mistakes, we just got out-hit.”
Tacoma scored four runs in the top of the first when Chris Taylor, Shawn O’Malley, Jesus Montero, Franklin Gutierrez and Stefen Romero had consecutive hits off Reno starter Parker Frazier.
Romero’s two-out fly ball with the bases loaded in the second inning was lost in the sun by Reno left fielder Peter O’Brien, scoring two more runs to make it 6-0.
The Rainiers led 7-5 when starting pitcher Stephen Landazuri was removed from the game with a runner at first and nobody out in the bottom of the sixth. The last hit he allowed should have been a routine groundout by Garrett Weber, but the ball hit second base and kicked off in an unexpected direction.
Lucas Luetge entered the game and struck out the first batter he faced, but after two singles (one a bunt by Nick Buss) and a walk, it was 7-6, and the bases were loaded for cleanup hitter Jamie Romak.
Romak launched a grand slam to center field, giving Reno a 10-7 lead. It was the second grand slam of the season for Romak, who is 6 for 10 with the bases loaded.
“They got the breaks,” Listach said. “There was an infield single that hit off the second base bag, and then a bunt single before they hit the big grand slam.”
Reno tacked on four more runs in the bottom of the eighth to put the game out of reach — even for Aces Ballpark.
“A typical day game in Reno in the PCL,” Listach said. “The ball flies better here in the daytime, and I think you can say the same thing for Albuquerque, Las Vegas and Colorado Springs.”
The series concludes with a 7:05 p.m. game on Wednesday. Tacoma starts Justin Germano (5-2, 2.65) against a Reno pitcher to be announced.