The Tacoma Rainiers (49-42) survived the Fresno Grizzlies (52-38) 4-3 Thursday night at Cheney Stadium. With the victory, Tacoma trails Fresno by three and a half games for the division lead. Rainiers starter Bryan Evans (2-1, win) twirled six innings of two-run ball. He scattered five hits and struck out four. Grizzlies slinger Ralph Garza (0-1) suffered the loss after allowing three earned runs in one and two-thirds frames.
Fresno grabbed a 2-0 advantage in the top of the second thanks to a pair of solo shots. Yordan Alvarez yanked a pitch over the wall in left field. It was his first homer in Triple-A. Then, Jamie Ritchie matched Alvarez with a bomb off the left field foul pole. It was also Ritchie's first longball in Triple-A.
In the bottom of the second, Tacoma cut the deficit to 2-1 after a bases-loaded walk (all four baserunners reached via a free pass). Later, a John Andreoli RBI single in the bottom of the fourth knotted the game at two. The Rainiers took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth when Adam Law doubled to left, plating former Grizzly Andrew Aplin. Then, Law waltzed home on a single to right by Zach Vincej.
AJ Reed trimmed the Tacoma advantage to 4-3 in the top of the eighth when he lifted a sacrifice fly to left. The RBI was his 73rd of the season, a Triple-A high.
Clovis native Ryan Cook finished the 4-3 win off with his third save of the year. This dropped Fresno to 17-6 in the first game of a series and 11-15 in one-run affairs.
Myles Straw (4-for-5) swiped two bags on the evening, giving him a professional baseball best 50 steals. Since his promotion to the Grizzlies, he has 15 steals (caught once) in 23 games. Starter Cy Sneed (no-decision) lasted two and two-thirds innings, giving up one hit, one run (earned), while walking six and whiffing four. Reliever Reymin Guduan hurled one and two-thirds frames, fanning four. On the season, he has punched out 61 in 38 and two-thirds innings. Buddy Boshers struck out a pair in a scoreless eighth.
Both squads continue the set with game two of four Friday night from Cheney Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PT. Fresno RHP Mike Hauschild (7-6, 4.41) and Tacoma LHP Ross Detwiler (2-2, 4.67) are the probable starters.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.