All Tacoma Rainiers batting coach Scott Brosius wanted for his 50th birthday was for his team to get some hits.
Consider the gift granted.
Tacoma had five hits in the first inning, and a dozen total in a 5-1, rain-shortened victory on Monday night. The game was called in the middle of the eighth inning due to a torrential downpour.
Facing St. Louis Cardinals pitching prospect Mike Mayers, Tacoma leadoff man Mike Freeman opened the game with an opposite-field double. Guillermo Heredia lined a single to left, and Dan Vogelbach singled to score Freeman.
It was a perfect opening: three batters, three hits, and a run on the scoreboard.
Tacoma added another run on Zach Shank’s two-out single which brought in Heredia, but missed a chance for a third run when Vogelbach was thrown out trying to score from second base on a single by Jesus Sucre.
“We jumped on a pretty good starter,” Tacoma manager Pat Listach said. “He had good velocity, pretty good stuff.”
The Rainiers added two more runs in the third inning, when Heredia was hit by a pitch before Vogelbach lined a double to right-center. D.J. Peterson snapped a 1-for-26 slump with a run-scoring single to center, and Vogelbach later scored on Shank’s sacrifice fly to make it 4-0.
Vogelbach was 2 for 3, collecting his second two-hit game of the Memphis series.
“Vogelbach is starting to come around,” Listach said. “He’s made some adjustments with his swing, and I really expect him to take off in the next two weeks.”
That was more than enough runs for Tacoma starting pitcher Sam Gaviglio, who once again was stingy on the mound. Gaviglio lasted 6 1/3 innings, allowing one run on four hits.
Over his last four starts, Gaviglio has permitted just two runs over 29 innings pitched.
Catcher Rob Brantly is likely out for 5-to-7 days with a sprained left ankle. … Outfielder Daniel Robertson cleared waivers and will re-join the Rainiers active roster on Tuesday. Robertson was designated for assignment on Friday, when the team added pitcher Joe Wieland to the 25- and 40-man rosters. … Reliever Kraig Sitton was placed on the 7-day disabled list with what Listach called “general arm soreness.”
The Tennessee road trip continues with a four-game series at Nashville, starting on Tuesday at 5:05 (Pacific). Tacoma starts Cody Martin (9-7, 3.93) against rehabbing Oakland A’s starter Jesse Hahn (1-6, 3.66).
Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers