Tacoma Rainiers

Rainiers struggle in middle innings, lose fourth in row to River Cats

After nearly an hour of waiting for the weather to cooperate, the Tacoma Rainiers and Sacramento River Cats decided they were still interested in playing a little bit of baseball.

Following the rain delay, it was another uneven performance by the Rainiers, who lost 7-5 on Friday night at Cheney Stadium were swept in the four-game series.

The Rainiers had a good opportunity to put some runs on the board on Thursday. On the mound for Sacramento was Tommy Hanson, who entered with a 0-5 record and 8.90 ERA.

But the right-hander was on his game against the Rainiers.

The Rainiers could get only one run off Hanson, Steve Baron’s solo home run. Hanson threw 52/3 innings, allowing only four hits and two walks with four strikeouts.

After Hanson left the game, the Rainiers briefly heated up. Daniel Paolini hit his first home run of the year for Tacoma, a two-run blast that cut Sacramento’s lead to 4-3. It wouldn’t be enough.

Carlos Triunfel hit a three-run home run in the eighth that gave the River Cats a 7-3 lead and put the game out of reach.

Adrian Sampson started for the Rainiers, his third since coming over in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Redmond native and Bellevue College product was solid, if unspectacular.

Sacramento struck first, gouging Tacoma for two runs in the third inning. Darren Ford hit a sacrifice fly that scored Trevor Brown, who led off with a double.

Following that, Everth Cabrera hit a double of his own and Joaquin Arias drove him in with an RBI single. The bases were loaded before Sampson got himself out of a jam and limited the deficit to 2-0.

The River Cats tagged Tacoma for another run two innings later on a Jarret Parker RBI double. Then a base runner was gunned down at the plate by Tacoma’s Patrick Brady at the plate.

Sampson threw six innings of four-run ball, allowing nine hits. He walked two and struck out five.

The Rainiers swiped 137 bases in 2015, 17 more than the next PCL team. But their efforts to put the game in motion were thwarted by the River Cats. Jabari Blash was mowed down on a strong throw from catcher Trevor Brown to second, while Chris Taylor was thrown out by the pitcher after leaving the base too early.

SHORT HOPS

Chris Taylor’s run as an on-base machine continued. With a base hit against Sacramento, Taylor has nsafely reached base in 19 consecutive games. ... Ramon Flores’ scorching start with the Mariners organizationmay have been cut short. In the eighth inning Friday, he took a scary spill on the warning track and was carted off the field. … Tony Zych rebounded from a tough performance on Aug. 11, where he allowed four runs. This time around, he pitched a scoreless seventh inning with two strikeouts.

ON TAP

The Rainiers ashop on a flight for fly to Oklahoma City on Saturday to begin a four-game series against the Dodgers. Tacoma right-hander Chien-Ming Wang (1-3, 6.55 ERA) will face right-hander Mike Bolsinger (2-1, 2.10 ERA). First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m.

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