The Tacoma Rainiers (50-42) outlasted the Fresno Grizzlies (52-39) 8-7 Friday night at Cheney Stadium. For the fourth straight game, the Grizzlies were involved in a one-run affair (1-3). They dropped to 11-16 overall and 2-9 on the road in those games. Rainiers lefty Dario Alvarez (1-0) enjoyed the win after one-plus innings of scoreless relief. Fresno slinger Brendan McCurry (3-4) suffered a bad luck loss despite not allowing an earned run.
In the bottom of the first, Tacoma brought eight batters to the plate, jumping out to a 3-0 lead. A bases-loaded groundout by Seth Mejias-Brean started the carousel. Then, former Grizzly Andrew Aplin (2-for-3) spanked a single to center, plating John Andreoli (2-for-4). Finally, a double off the third base bag by Adam Law (3-for-5) aided another run to cross home.
Fresno quickly evened the game at three in the top of the second. Garrett Stubbs (2-for-4) sliced a single to right, adding J.D. Davis (3-for-4). Then, Washington State product Nick Tanielu (2-for-4) drilled a single to right, scoring a pair.
Zach Vincej gave the Rainiers a 4-3 advantage in the bottom of the third when he lasered a single to right, counting Law (double). Tacoma extended the lead to 7-3 in the bottom of the fourth when Law doubled to left, knocking in Andreoli and Aplin. Then, Law came around to score on a single to left by Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
The Grizzlies knotted the contest at seven in the top of the fifth. Stubbs tripled to leadoff the frame. He would race home on an infield single by Tanielu. Then, Derek Fisher clobbered a three-run longball to right field. It was his sixth big fly of the season and the 100th for Fresno on the year.
A sacrifice fly by Aplin in the bottom of the eighth pushed the Rainiers ahead 8-7. That would be enough for all star closer Shawn Armstrong, who struck out the side en route to his eighth save.
The Grizzlies pitching staff has punched out 26 hitters in this series, including five by reliever Dean Deetz tonight.
Both teams continue the set with game three of four Saturday night from Cheney Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PT. RHP Trent Thornton (5-7, 4.22) gets the nod for Fresno while Tacoma counters with RHP Williams Perez (2-0, 1.69).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.