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Four Home Runs, Strong Pitching Get Rainiers Back in Win Column at Reno

Tacoma homers in eighth straight game; pitchers hold opponent to single run for second time this season
Cal Raleigh (Jeff Halstead)
May 29, 2021

RENO, NV – After dropping the first two games in Reno, the Rainiers put together a solid all-around performance on Saturday to defeat the Aces, 7-1. Tacoma’s 3 through 6 hitters all homered, including designated hitter Cal Raleigh’s second home run of the series, and five pitchers combined to allow

RENO, NV – After dropping the first two games in Reno, the Rainiers put together a solid all-around performance on Saturday to defeat the Aces, 7-1. Tacoma’s 3 through 6 hitters all homered, including designated hitter Cal Raleigh’s second home run of the series, and five pitchers combined to allow 1 run for the second time in 2021.

Second baseman Travis Blankenhorn delivered a 3-run blast in the first inning against Reno (15-6) starter Justin Donatella (0-3). The big fly scored Raleigh and center fielder Taylor Trammell for the early lead. The home run was Blankenhorn’s first with the Rainiers (11-10) and was the team’s second 1st inning round-tripper in as many games.

Reno scored its lone run in the bottom of the 2nd inning against Tacoma starter Vinny Nittoli. The run crossed on an RBI ground out by Camden Duzenack. Nittoli went 2 innings with 4 strikeouts, allowing 1 hit and walking a pair.

Raleigh got the run back for Tacoma with a solo shot in the top of the 3rd inning. Raleigh finished 2-for-4 and has homered in consecutive games. The Seattle Mariners No. 8 prospect (_MLB Pipeline_) is riding a Rainiers season-best 11-game hitting streak, during which he is 19-for-44 (.432) with 3 home runs, 11 RBI, 12 runs and 10 extra-base hits.

Tacoma added to its lead in the 5th inning with a pair of solo home runs, first by Trammell on a 0-0 pitch from right-hander Noé Ramirez. Trammell, who entered Saturday as the Triple-A West leader in batting average and slugging, also doubled in the victory and now has 13 extra-base hits in 15 games with Tacoma.

Two batters later, right fielder Dillon Thomas launched his fourth home run, and Tacoma’s fourth of the game, on a 1-2 pitch from Ramirez. Thomas entered the day ranked third in the league in on-base percentage and went 2-for-5 on Saturday. The 28-year-old has a .339/.471/.625 slash line through 19 games.

The Rainiers scored the game’s final run in the 7th inning on an RBI double from third baseman Jantzen Witte that scored Thomas. Tacoma totaled 13 hits in the victory with six batters collecting 2 hits.

Left-hander Max Roberts (1-0) entered the game in the 3rd inning for Tacoma and pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the win. Roberts made his Triple-A debut on May 22 – his first career game above Low-A – and has not allowed an earned run in 5 1/3 innings across three relief appearances.

Righty Brian Schlitter replaced Roberts with one out and two runners in scoring position in the 5th inning. Schlitter forced a ground ball to Witte at third base who threw home to cut down Seth Beer for the second out. Another ground out got Schlitter out of the inning unscathed, and the 35-year-old dealt a scoreless 6th inning as well.

Right-hander Jimmy Yacabonis pitched 2 scoreless innings and made his third scoreless appearance of the series. Yacabonis has a 1.05 WHIP and a 1.88 ERA in 14 1/3 innings with the Rainiers, dealing six scoreless appearances in eight outings.

Righty Yohan Ramirez pitched a perfect 9th inning to end the game in his first appearance since being optioned by Seattle on May 27.

The Rainiers and Aces will continue their series Sunday afternoon at Greater Nevada Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. PT.

Rainiers broadcaster Mike Curto will have full coverage on TacomaRainiers.com. All 2021 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 an MiLB.TV subscription. (Use code: RAINIERS to save $10 on an annual subscription.)

About the Tacoma Rainiers

The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. The Rainiers are a member of the Triple-A West. Tacoma has been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.

Single-game tickets for all remaining 2021 Rainiers home games will be available for purchase beginning Tuesday, June 1 at 10 a.m. PT. Questions regarding season tickets can be directed to [email protected].

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.