Right pitch, wrong location.
That was the succinct analysis by Tacoma Rainiers manager Pat Listach after a walk-off 2-1 loss to Oklahoma City on Monday night.
The game was tied 1-1 going to the bottom of the ninth when Tacoma brought in Jose Ramirez to pitch. Jose Tabata singled to open the inning, and he went to second on a sacrifice bunt by O’Koyea Dickson.
Ramirez struck out Shawn Zarraga for the second out, and then he got ahead of Darnell Sweeney with one ball and two strikes.
Sweeney looped the next pitch softly over the head of the second baseman and into right field for a game-winning hit, scoring pinch-runner Elliot Johnson.
“He threw the right pitch, but it was bad location,” Listach said. “He had just swung through a change-up, but he left the next one up a little bit.”
Tacoma was held to just one hit through the first eight innings. Oklahoma City starter Eric Surkamp pitched the first seven innings, walking one and striking out five while allowing only a sixth-inning double to Patrick Brady.
The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI single by Andy Wilkins.
Dodgers closer Juan Gonzalez retired the first batter in the ninth inning before walking Justin Ruggiano.
On a 1-2 pitch to Jabari Blash, Ruggiano tried to steal second base. The pitch broke out of the strike zone, but Ruggiano was thrown out by Zarraga on a close play for the second out of the inning.
On the very next pitch, Blash lined a homer to center field to tie the game, 1-1.
“I personally thought Ruggiano was safe at second,” Listach said. “He picked a good pitch to go on, and we didn’t get the call. I thought he was safe.”
Tacoma starter Forrest Snow pitched five scoreless innings, allowing five hits.
Lucas Luetge followed him and pitched a scoreless sixth inning in his first game since July 3 after missing six weeks with a finger injury.
Logan Bawcom shut out Oklahoma City in the seventh inning before allowing the game’s first run in the eighth.
Tacoma finished the game with two hits. The Rainiers have scored four runs on 12 hits through the first three games of the series at Bricktown Ballpark.
The series wraps up with Tuesday’s game at 5:05 p.m. (PDT). Tacoma starts left-hander Roenis Elias (3-2, 7.95 ERA) against Oklahoma City right-hander Zach Lee (9-4, 2.45).
Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.