This was not the homecoming Tacoma starter Donn Roach wanted.
Roach, a native of Las Vegas, made his second career start against the hometown 51s and gave up eight runs and 10 hits in 2 1/3 innings as the Rainiers fell, 8-1, in a rain-shortened 4 1/2-inning game on Thursday night at Cashman Field in front of 5,352.
Roach (1-2), who went to nearby Bishop Gorman High and College of Southern Nevada, gave up six earned runs, eight singles and two doubles on 75 pitches. The performance upped his ERA to 10.59 — it was his third poor road start.
“A lot of ground balls got through the infield,” Tacoma manager Pat Listach said. “Those seeing-eye ground balls, we’ve got to find a way to position ourselves better to make those plays.”
Boog Powell had the only Tacoma RBI on a groundout in the fifth, scoring Mike Baxter, who led off the inning with a double to left field in a steady rain.
Tacoma’s Chris Taylor extended his hitting streak to 19 games. The Rainiers (11-9) have lost six of seven.
“No worries,” Listach said of the slide. “We did get off to a good start. It’s the same players, same pitchers. We only lost one player to the Mariners.”
Las Vegas starter Sean Gilmartin (2-1) went all the way, allowing two hits and striking out five.
The 51s (9-10) scored two runs in the first inning, two in the second, and four in the third.
A brief shower came through the stadium’s area before the game and stopped about an hour before the first pitch. Right after Roach was taken out in the third, the rain resumed. The umpires halted the game when it was official in the middle of the fifth.
It appeared the game would continue after a half-hour delay, with the rain stopping and the grounds crew getting the field ready. But the umpires and managers agreed that the field was unsafe, and more rain was approaching the ballpark.
The 51s, with only 11 rainouts in 32 years, have no tarp to cover the infield.
“These guys are too close to the big leagues,” Listach said. “For safety reasons, (51s manager) Wally Backman and I decided we didn’t want to play.”
Game 2 of the four-game series is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday. Tacoma will start RHP Joe Wieland (1-2, 15.00) against Las Vegas RHP Rafael Montero (0-0, 3.00). The game can be heard on 850-AM.