Fresno, CA - Trailing by six runs after four innings of a seven-inning contest, the Rainiers rallied for seven runs, capped by a two-run go-ahead home run from Jake Fraley, to carry Tacoma to an 8-7 victory in game one of Saturday's doubleheader against the Fresno Grizzlies before dropping game two, 8-5.
Down 4-0 after three innings, the Rainiers (43-47) got on the board with a solo home run from Kristopher Negron in the top of the fourth. Fresno (45-44) scored three more in the bottom of the fourth, taking a 7-1 advantage.
Tacoma got one back in the fifth on a solo blast from Connor Kopach in the fifth. Kopach was transferred to Tacoma from Advanced-A Modesto before Saturday's doubleheader.
Negron started a three-run rally in the sixth with a ground-rule double that plated Tim Lopes, cutting the gap, 7-3. Chris Mariscal doubled home Negron before Kopach singled in Mariscal to get the Rainiers within two.
In the seventh, Negron collected his third RBI by singling home John Andreoli. Jake Fraley crushed a 0-1 pitch from Dakota Bacus (4-3) for a two-run home run, which would prove to be the game-winner.
Tyler Cloyd made the start in game one, surrendering all seven Fresno runs in 3 2/3 innings. Lefty Raymond Kerr, also transferred from Modesto on Saturday, pitched 2 1/3 perfect frames in his Triple-A debut, earning the win before Aaron Northcraft pitched a scoreless seventh for his first save.
In the latter contest, the Rainiers jumped out to an early 2-0 advantage in the first, starting with Fraley's second home run of the night. Andreoli then singled home Negron for the two-run lead.
Negron collected two more RBI with a fourth inning double, getting Tacoma within a pair, 6-4. Negron finished the doubleheader 5-for-8 with 5 RBI and 4 runs.
The Rainiers got one back in the final inning when Mariscal scored Jaycob Brugman with a single, but came up short in a second-straight comeback effort.
Erik Swanson (0-1) took the ball in game two, giving up three runs in 1 2/3 innings. Gerson Bautista let up three runs over the next 1 1/3 innings before Reggie McClain went the next two innings, surrendering a pair of Fresno runs. Ryan Garton threw a scoreless sixth in the final Grizzles at-bat.
The Rainiers are off for the next four games for the Triple-A All-Star break, and will be back in action on Thursday night at Cheney Stadium at 7:05 p.m. PDT against the Reno Aces, Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Mike Curto will have full coverage of 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 TacomaRainiers.com and WeRTacoma.com, 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.