TACOMA, Wash. -- Justin Smoak's sacrifice fly in the ninth inning delivered a 4-3 walk-off win for the Tacoma Rainiers over the Sacramento River Cats at Cheney Stadium on Monday.
Tacoma trailed 3-2 before posting a pair of runs on two hits in the game's final frame. Xavier Avery led off the inning with a walk, advanced to second on Nick Franklin's bunt single and then scored the tying run on another single hit by Ji-Man Choi. In the team's fourth at-bat of the inning, Smoak accounted for the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly to centerfield that scored Franklin.
The walk-off win marks the second in as many games for Tacoma after topping the River Cats 4-3 in 14 innings on Sunday. Of the 31 victories the Rainiers have recorded at Cheney Stadium this season, ten have now been walk-offs.
Jesus Montero was responsible for bringing in half the team's run total on Monday after cutting a 3-0 deficit down to one run with a two-out two-run home run in the seventh inning. The home run was Montero's team-leading 16th of the season and eighth in 24 games played this month.
As a team, the Rainiers combined to collect a total of seven hits in their series finale with the River Cats. The outfielder Avery and infielder Franklin turned in the club's only multi-hit efforts after each collected a pair of singles.
Reliever Todd Coffey (4-1) earned the win after striking one in a perfect inning of work in the ninth. Starter Erasmo Ramirez limited the River Cats to three runs on nine hits in 6.0 innings. The right-hander struck out one without issuing a walk in his tenth turn in Tacoma's rotation this season.
The Rainiers (55-55) embark on an eight-game road trip that opens with a four-game series at Salt Lake beginning tomorrow, July 29. Right-hander Taijuan Walker (4-1, 3.76) is slated to start for Tacoma in the contest against Bees left-hander Randy Wolf (5-1, 4.50). First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.
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