Tacoma, Wa.---Tacoma Rainiers (46-33) right-hander Brandon Maurer (2-1) struck out nine over 5 2/3 innings in a 14-4 win over the Fresno Grizzlies (36-43) on Monday night at Cheney Stadium. Maurer gave up five hits and walked two as he had plenty of run support early.
The Rainiers got to Fresno right-handed starter Fabio Castillo (0-5) for two runs in the first inning. After right fielder Abraham Almonte and shortstop Brad Miller each doubled to start the inning, center fielder Dustin Ackley grounded to shortstop to score the first run, and designated hitter Carlos Peguero followed with a sacrifice fly to center, which made it 2-0 Rainiers.
In the third inning, the Rainiers broke the game open scoring five times--all with two outs. With the bases loaded, first baseman Rich Poythress drew a walk from Castillo, which made it 3-0 Tacoma. Then it was left fielder Nate Tenbrink who hit a bases-clearing double off the left field wall to make it 6-0. Catcher Brandon Bantz capped the inning on a single to make it 7-0.
Tenbrink finished with four RBIs, which is the second time he has accomplished that this year.
Peguero had four hits--his first such contest this season. Overall, Tacoma had 15 hits, which included eight doubles. The lone Rainiers homer was by third baseman Alex Liddi (11)--a two-run round-tripper in the fourth to left field.
Castillo gave up 10 runs (all earned) in four innings. He gave up 10 hits and four walks, and he struck out four. He is the first Fresno pitcher to give up 10 runs in one game since Matt Yourkin in Sacramento in August of 2010.
Twelve of the 14 Tacoma runs were scored with two outs. To save the pitching staff, Fresno catcher Tyler LaTorre pitched a perfect eighth inning with a strikeout.
The Grizzlies scored three times in the fourth inning, two coming on a home run to left field by first baseman Brett Pill (12) and the other run via a single by shortstop Carter Jurica. Fresno's other tally came courtesy of designated hitter Johnny Monell (14) on a homer to right field. In doing so, Monell extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Both Fresno homers were off Maurer.
Grizzlies batters struck out 13 times on Monday and have now fanned 43 times over the first three games of this series. The three starting pitchers for Tacoma have combined for 30 strikeouts.
Fresno, which is now 2-5 on this road trip, will finish the series and road trip on Tuesday night with a 7:05 first pitch at Cheney Stadium. Right-hander Austin Fleet (0-1) will pitch for Fresno against Taijuan Walker, who will make his Triple-A debut.
Fresno center fielder Gary Brown walked to open the game but had his 14-game hitting streak snapped.
LaTorre was the last Grizzlies position player to pitch. His prior outing was July 19th, 2011 at Reno. He has pitched three times with the Grizzlies.