Tacoma Rainiers

Tacoma Rainiers beat Fresno, 11-10, despite lineup dispute

How bizarre was the Tacoma Rainiers’ 11-10 victory over the visiting Fresno Grizzlies on Monday?

Not even Rainiers manager Pat Listach was 100 percent confident his team actually won the game. But he was fairly certain.

“I’m pretty confident,” Listach said, laughing.

For the record they did — despite a ninth-inning lineup fiasco that Fresno manager Tony DeFrancesco told Listach he would protest.

But before that, it was a game Tacoma trailed, then led, then took a six-run lead, trailed by run, tied the game on a wild pitch and took the lead on another wild pitch.

Roenis Elias is still 3-0 after his no decision — though he has a 6.75 ERA and allowed eight runs on 13 hits in six innings Monday.

“Change-up was so-so, fastball was a little up,” Elias said. “It wasn’t a good day for me, but it’s OK. Next time. Next series.”

On the other side, Jabari Blash homered for the third consecutive game, John Hicks had a three-run shot and Ketel Marte went 4 for 5 with two doubles and a triple.

The Rainiers took a 9-3 lead into the seventh inning after Eliasrebounded after allowing two runs in the top of the first and an unearned run in the second.

Elias then surrendered five consecutive hits without recording an out before being pulled for Danny Farquhar.

Farquhar got two outs, then allowed an RBI single and an RBI double that cut Tacoma’s lead to 9-8.

That brought in Spokane native Tyler Olson, and Fresno center fielder Tony Kemp responded with a two-run triple after Blash couldn’t make a diving catch in right field and the Grizzlies regained the lead at 10-9.

But with Justin Ruggiano at the plate with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Fresno pitcher James Hoyt threw a wild pitch that allowed pinch runner Zach Shank to score from third and Marte to advance to third. Another wild pitch allowed Marte to score.

That gave the Rainiers an 11-10 lead into the ninth, but home plate umpire Adam Schwarz told Listach he couldn’t use right-hander Tony Zych to close out the game because Zych wasn’t on the lineup card.

Zych was on the official roster. And he had pitched a scoreless inning in the series opener on July 24. So why wasn’t he on the lineup card?

“Honestly, I just grabbed an old lineup card with Zych’s name not on it,” Listach said. “I have a bunch of stored lineup cards (on my computer) and sometimes I pick the one I used yesterday, and this was obviously one from last week when Zych wasn’t here.”

Zych was transferred to Tacoma from Double-A Jackson on July 23, just before the four-game series with Fresno.

“I told the umpire, ‘If I have to change pitchers, then I’m going to protest this game because this the guy I want in the game right now,’” Listach said.

So they called the league office and were told Zych was fine to pitch as long as he was on the official roster. Listach said DeFrancesco — Listach said they’re good friends — said he would protest just to be sure Zych was on the roster. No official protest was made.

Zych then got the save and the Rainiers pulled off the one-run victory.

“It was a crazy day all the way around,” Listach said.

But at least the Rainiers won — even if it took a while to be 100 percent sure.

TJ Cotterill:253-597-8677

t.cotterill@thenewstribune.com

@TJCotterill

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