The Tacoma Rainiers (61-64) survived the Fresno Grizzlies (72-54) 6-4 Sunday afternoon from Cheney Stadium. With the win, Tacoma split the four-game series with Fresno. The Grizzlies finished 9-7 against their division foe with a 4-4 mark on the road. Despite the defeat, the magic number to clinch the Pacific Northern Division went down to seven with Reno's loss to Salt Lake.
Tacoma jumped out to a 3-0 advantage in the bottom of the second. An infield single and error by Ben Gamel (2-for-4) notched the first run. Then, Cameron Perkins picked up a pair of RBI after blooping a single into center.
Three more runs came around to score in the bottom of third, making it 6-0 Rainiers. Former Grizzly Andrew Aplin (3-for-4) sharply singled to left, plating David Freitas (3-for-4). Aplin would waltz home two batters later on a fielder's choice. Finally, a sacrifice fly to center by Adam Law netted the sixth run.
That would end the day for Fresno starter Kent Emanuel (5-3, loss). He lasted three innings, allowing six runs (five earned), on eight hits, one walk and three strikeouts. On the other hand, Tacoma righty Bryan Evans (6-2, win) chucked six scoreless frames. He scattered four hits while fanning eight.
A three-run top of the seventh cut the deficit to 6-3. Garrett Stubbs (2-for-4) got the Grizzlies on the board with a laser single to left, adding Yordan Alvarez. Then, Washington State alumni Nick Tanielu (2-for-4) sprinted home on a rocket double to the left field corner by Gonzaga product Taylor Jones (2-for-4). Finally, Stubbs dashed to the plate on a sacrifice fly to center by Jack Mayfield (2-for-4).
Alex De Goti drew a bases-loaded walk in the top of the eighth, trimming the disadvantage to 6-4. The comeback would end there though as Shawn Armstrong provided three punchouts in one and one-third innings, en route to his 14th save and a 6-4 Rainiers victory.
Jose Altuve (1-for-3, MLB rehab) singled and was hit-by-a-pitch in his Triple-A debut. He left the game after a fastball hit his elbow in the seventh inning. J.D. Davis relished a multi-hit afternoon, extending the current team-high hit streak to six games. Cy Sneed hurled four shutout frames of relief. The Grizzlies fell to 9-9 in two-run affairs and tied their ninth series in 32 chances.
Fresno enjoys an off day on Monday before continuing their seven-game road trip in Sacramento. The three-game set starts Tuesday night from Raley Field with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PT. Grizzlies LHP Framber Valdez (2-0, 4.15) and River Cats fellow lefty Daniel Camarena (0-7, 5.05) are the probable matchup.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.