In front of a crowd of 11,089, the Tacoma Rainiers (12-10) beat the Fresno Grizzlies (15-8) 7-3 Saturday night from Chukchansi Park. Fresno starter Mike Hauschild (2-2, loss) tossed five innings, allowing six hits, four runs (three earned), walking three and striking out five. After the punchout of Danny Muno in the third, Hauschild passed Matt Palmer for third all-time in franchise history. Rainiers' southpaw Ariel Miranda (1-0, win) grinded for five innings, scattering six hits, three runs (earned), walking three and striking out five.
Tacoma jumped on the board in the top of the third when Taylor Motter (2-for-5) doubled and scored on an error. The lead expanded to 3-0 in the top of the fourth when Ian Miller (2-for-5) spanked a single to right, knocking in two. Daniel Vogelbach made it 4-0 when he blasted a solo shot to right in the top of the fifth.
The Grizzlies found the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth when Tony Kemp (2-for-5) stole third and raced home on an error. Then, AJ Reed (1-for-2) destroyed a pitch to right, cutting the deficit to 4-3. His two-run shot was his third homer of the season and his second in as many days.
Miller extended the Tacoma lead to 5-3 in the top of the sixth with another single, plating Kirk Nieuwenhuis (1-for-2). Chris Herrmann added a RBI triple in the top of the seventh, producing the sixth Rainiers' run.
Cameron Perkins vaulted the advantage to 7-3 in the top of the ninth when he mashed a pitch to left. The four-run deficit was too much to overcome for Fresno as Shawn Armstrong finished the game with two strikeouts, earning a save.
The finale of the five-game set is Sunday, at 12:05 PT from Chukchansi Park. The probable pitching matchup will feature Fresno RHP Francis Martes (0-1, 6.91) and Tacoma RHP Rob Whalen (3-0, 3.09).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.