Rainiers Top River Cats, 3-2, In Series Opener

Ben Gamel goes 2-for-4; Rob Whalen earns the win with quality start

Tacoma Rainiers right-handed pitcher Rob Whalen. (Jeff Halstead)

By Tacoma Rainiers Communications / Tacoma Rainiers | April 14, 2018 1:16 AM

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Tacoma Rainiers (4-5) opened their four-game series against the Sacramento River Cats (4-5) with a 3-2 victory on Friday night at Raley Field.

Rainiers starting pitcher Rob Whalen (1-0) turned in a quality start, allowing just two runs (zero earned) on six hits (one home run) across 6.0 innings of work. He issued just one walk and struck out three on 90 pitches, 63 of which went for strikes, and earned his first win of the year.

Rehabbing outfielder Ben Gamel notched a pair of hits, including a ground-rule double, and scored a run. Right fielder John Andreoli extended his hitting streak to four games with a 1-for-4, two RBI performance.

Tacoma and Sacramento both kicked off the game with two-runs in the first inning. A single from Gamel and a pair of walks loaded the bases for right fielder John Andreoli in the top of the frame - he proceeded to rope a two-run single into left, giving the Rainiers a 2-0 lead. The River Cats quickly answered with a two-run home run from Mac Williamson in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 2-2.

The score remained even at 2-2 for the next five innings before the Rainiers broke through again in the top of the seventh. Second baseman Danny Muno opened the inning with a double and moved to third on a wild pitch. Two batters later shortstop Zach Vincej lifted a sacrifice fly to left, bringing in Muno for the winning run.

Erik Goeddel (1.0 IP) tossed a perfect bottom of the ninth with two strikeouts to earn the Rainiers first save of the season. Shawn Armstrong (2.0 IP) bridged the gap between Whalen and Goeddel and held the River Cats without a hit while striking out four.

The Rainiers hand the ball to right-hander Max Povse (0-1, 5.40) as the series against the River Cats continues on Saturday night. Sacramento will give the start to right-hander Dereck Rodriguez (0-0, 9.82). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. PT.

All tickets, group outings, and suites packages for the 2018 season are available for purchase in person at the Cheney Stadium Box Office, online at TacomaRainiers.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) or liking the team on Facebook.

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

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