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Aviators fly by Rainiers late despite two Kelenic homers

CF Jarred Kelenic (TAC): 3-for-4, 2 HR (17), double, 3 RBI
September 16, 2022

Las Vegas, NV (9/15/22) – The Tacoma Rainiers (66-72) hit four home runs on Thursday night, but slipped to 6-3 on this 12-game road trip by losing 7-5 to the Las Vegas Aviators (68-70). All Rainiers runs on the evening were via longball, but Vegas scored the final five of

Las Vegas, NV (9/15/22) – The Tacoma Rainiers (66-72) hit four home runs on Thursday night, but slipped to 6-3 on this 12-game road trip by losing 7-5 to the Las Vegas Aviators (68-70). All Rainiers runs on the evening were via longball, but Vegas scored the final five of the game. While leading this series 2-1, Tacoma will need a 9-3 finish to achieve a .500 record.

With two down in the top of the first inning Kyle Lewis singled and Jarred Kelenic crushed his 16th Triple-A homer of the year to right-center, and Tacoma went ahead 2-0. The Aviators tied it with a run in each of the first two frames; Matt Davidson tripled for an RBI, Dalton Kelly grounded into a double play with a runner at third base.

In the third Marcus Wilson un-tied the game with a mammoth solo home run landing next to the batter’s eye in left-center, for a 3-2 Tacoma advantage. It was Wilson’s 16th bomb as well. The score was 5-2 after two more solo shots; Jonathan Villar in the fifth, his fourth with the Rainiers, a laser beam to center clocked at an exit velocity of 112 mph. Kelenic teed off on his second of the game in the sixth (17), measured at an estimated 446 feet up and over the swimming pool beyond the right-centerfield wall.

Kelenic led the way with three hits; Lewis, Villar and Wilson joined him with multi-hit efforts.

The disaster inning for Tacoma was the seventh. Las Vegas scored five times on only three hits, with the aid of a walk, HBP and two errors. The Rainiers, who had not committed more than three errors in a game this season and entered action with the fewest defensive miscues in Triple-A (70), booted a season-high five errors on Thursday. Tacoma native Nate Mondou (RBI single) and Connor Capel (double) had the run-scoring hits in the seventh for the Aviators.

Sam Selman pitched a scoreless ninth (BB, K), his sixth save. The Rainiers have still won eight of their last 12.

This weeklong series will continue with game four on Friday, another 7:05 PT first pitch at Las Vegas Ballpark. Lefties Roenis Elias (Tacoma) and Jared Koenig (Las Vegas) comprise the probable pitching matchup.

Rainiers broadcaster Mike Curto will have full coverage on TacomaRainiers.com. All 2022 Rainiers games, home and away, can also be heard for free on the MiLB First Pitch app. HD video broadcasts of every game can be viewed with a MiLB.TV subscription.

About the Tacoma Rainiers

The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. The Rainiers are a member of the Pacific Coast League and have been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.

The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found at WeRTacoma.com, or by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.