TACOMA, Wash. -- Jesus Montero homered and drove in three runs as the Tacoma Rainiers rolled to a 7-2 win over the Fresno Grizzlies at Cheney Stadium on Saturday night.
Tacoma trailed the Grizzlies 1-0 before Montero took a three-run home run deep to right-center field with one out in the bottom of the first inning. The homer marked the designated hitter's 11th this season and upped his RBI haul to 16 over his last nine appearances.
The Rainiers lead expanded to 7-1 after the club packed on four more runs on two hits in the bottom of the fifth. Ty Kelly accounted for the first run of the frame after drawing a bases-loaded walk with one out. John Hicks' RBI single one batter later turned into two runs thanks to a fielding error in right field, and Gabriel Noriega rounded out the frame with a sacrifice fly that plated Kelly.
Starter Taijuan Walker (3-1) helped stretch the Rainiers winning streak to three games after holding the Grizzlies to one run on four hits in 5.0 innings. The right-hander walked one and struck out in his seventh turn in the Tacoma rotation this season.
Right-handed reliever Forrest Snow fanned one and issued one walk in 2.0 shutout innings of work out of the bullpen beginning in the sixth. Stephen Pryor surrendered one run on one hit - a solo homer delivered by Mark Minicozzi in the eighth - in the final two frames of the game.
The Rainiers (46-49) look to capture a series sweep of Fresno (46-51) in the final game of a three-game set between the two clubs tomorrow, July 13. Right-hander Matt Palmer (1-7, 5.12) is expected to start for Tacoma against Grizzlies right-hander Mitch Lively (6-4, 5.12). First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m.
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