Sugar Land, TX (6/22/22) – An evening removed from the Tacoma Rainiers (27-40) and Sugar Land Space Cowboys (29-39) combining for only six hits over 10 innings, the Rs ran away with game two of their road trip on Wednesday by 13-7 final score, on a combined 32 base knocks.
Sugar Land, TX (6/22/22) – An evening removed from the Tacoma Rainiers (27-40) and Sugar Land Space Cowboys (29-39) combining for only six hits over 10 innings, the Rs ran away with game two of their road trip on Wednesday by 13-7 final score, on a combined 32 base knocks. Tacoma had four players with three or more hits while pounding out a season-high 18, surpassing 17 on May 8 at Salt Lake in a 14-10 win. Eight Tacoma doubles were a season-high (by three), and 11 Rainiers extra-base hits were a season-best as well (three HR).
The teams combined to strike out only 10 times, chasing a night on Tuesday where they whiffed a total of 30 times (15 apiece). Nine of the first 12 half-innings were scored in, before things settled down to all zeroes over the final three frames.
Unlike Tuesday’s 3-1 setback in the series opener, where neither club scored until the 10th inning, a Jarred Kelenic one-out single in the top of the first propelled the Rainiers to a four-run frame, on four hits, a walk and an error. Brian O’Keefe (double), Erick Mejia (single) and Mason McCoy (single) each collected RBI knocks in their first at-bat. Rehabbing Sugar Land centerfielder Jake Meyers hit a solo shot in the home first, wrapping an eventful opening inning with a 4-1 Tacoma lead.
When Houston Astros top catching prospect Korey Lee (DH) homered with two on base in the second, the game was suddenly tied 4-4, on Lee’s 10th home run of the season. When Mejia began the third with a single however, Drew Ellis launched his first homer with the Rainiers a batter later to left field, putting Tacoma back in front 6-4. In the bottom of the third it was a one-run game with three straight Space Cowboy one-out singles (Pedro Leon, Alex De Goti), capped by Lee’s fourth RBI in three innings.
The score moved to 7-5 when Kelenic hit his seventh Triple-A home run of the year to the opposite field in left, to begin the fourth inning. Tacoma busted the game wide open with three straight one-out hits of their own; O’Keefe’s second double and Mejia’s third hit of the night (SB) led to a two-run Ellis single to center for his fourth and fifth RBI. Ellis posted the fifth game of five or more RBI this season for the Rainiers (had an RBI fielder’s choice in the first inning). When Andrew Knapp homered (4) to left-center with Ellis aboard, it was 11-5. Knapp’s night ended with two doubles to go with the home run.
In the home fourth, former Rainier Dillon Thomas, a member of Tacoma’s 2021 championship squad, hit his ninth homer of the year and his first since joining Sugar Land, close to his native Houston. The solo shot to lead off the half-inning matched the number of hits with the number of outs made to that point, 21 of each.
Mejia’s fourth in five innings was a two-run double; Sam Haggerty doubled to lead off the fifth and Marcus Wilson was hit by a pitch. Both scored on the two-bagger to center, raising Mejia to three RBI and the score to 13-6. Meyers’ second homer and his third with Sugar Land led off the home sixth and was the final run. Kelenic (HR, double), Mejia, Ellis and Knapp were the Rainiers with three-plus hits. Alex Blandino hit the eighth Tacoma double, in the ninth.
In the late innings, a Tacoma bullpen trio of Fernando Abad, Patrick Weigel and Nick Ramirez teamed up to toss 3.1 scoreless IP, as Sugar Land had only two hits after the sixth. Austin Warner picked up the win by working a perfect fifth with a strikeout.
Game three of the series will be another 7:05 CT/5:05 PT first pitch at Constellation Field on Thursday. LHP Justus Sheffield will start for the Rainiers, opposite Space Cowboys RHP J.P. France.
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 home 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.