Five-Run Sixth Inning Jolts Rainiers past Salt Lake for Second-Straight Victory

Sheaffer belts first Triple-A home run, bullpen shoves five scoreless innings to end ballgame

(Jeff Halstead)

By Tacoma Rainiers / Tacoma Rainiers | May 26, 2019 6:47 PM

Salt Lake City, UT - Trailing the Salt Lake Bees in the top of the sixth inning, 4-1, the Tacoma Rainiers rallied for five runs and the lead, propelling them to a two games to none advantage in the four-game set at Smith's Ballpark on Sunday, 7-4.

Tacoma (25-26) took a first inning advantage when Tim Lopes singled home Braden Bishop, but the Bees (22-27) scored the next four runs, including two against Rainiers starter Erik Swanson in the third and another pair against Mike Wright in the fifth.

Two-way player Kaleb Coward (0-1) took over on the mound in the sixth for Salt Lake and the first six Rainiers he faced reached base, starting with Jose Lobaton's team-high eighth home run to lead off the inning. Kristopher Negron extended his hitting streak to a season-best 10 games with a double and later scored when David Sheaffer singled him home, cutting the deficit, 4-3.

Robert Perez roped his second double of the series to score Ian Miller and Sheaffer, giving Tacoma a 5-4 advantage. Before the inning was over, Lopes added his second RBI single, plating Perez for an insurance tally.

Sheaffer launched his first career Triple-A home run in the seventh for the game's final run. The 24-year-old had one home run in Double-A Arkansas before being promoted to Tacoma on May 10.

After the Rainiers recaptured the lead, Christian Bergman (2-3) pitched two scoreless inning and moved in line for his second win. Gerson Bautista was credited with a hold for 1 2/3 innings with three strikeouts and Chasen Bradford earned his first save of the season, a four-out effort in which he allowed just one baserunner.

Swanson was scheduled for an abbreviated start and allowed his two runs on four hits, a pair of walks and the 25-year-old punched out four Bees.

Top prospect Justus Sheffield (2-2, 3.89) will start on Monday as the Rainiers go for a series win in game three of the four-game tilt against Salt Lake. First pitch from Smith's Ballpark is scheduled for 5:35 p.m. PDT and Mike Curto will have full coverage on South Sound Talk 850 with audio streaming available on the Tacoma Rainiers TuneIn Radio Network.

All tickets, group outings, and suites packages for the 2019 season are available for purchase in person at the Cheney Stadium Box Office, online at and, or over the phone at (253) 752-7707. The most up-to-date news and notes about the Rainiers throughout the season can be found by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (tacomarainiers) or liking the team on Facebook.

- We R Tacoma -

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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