Maybe it was the 6 a.m. flight from Fresno back to Tacoma that left the team bleary-eyed.
Whatever the reason, the Rainiers couldn’t find their groove early in Monday’s game at Cheney Stadium against the Reno Aces. Reno scored 10 runs in first four innings en route to a 14-4 win over Tacoma.
Tacoma manager Pat Listach said the sluggish start really took his team out of it early.
“We had some good at bats,” he said. “Once we fell behind 8-2, their pitchers got some confidence and started playing in the zone a little bit more.
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“We got to get more innings out of our starters.”
Rainiers starter Dillon Overton took the brunt of the Reno attack, giving up 10 runs in 3 1/3 innings. Three of the seven hits he surrendered were home runs.
He gave up a two-out, two-run homer to Christian Walker in the first.
Although Tacoma tied it at 2 in the bottom of the inning, Reno wasn’t done. In the second, Reno pushed across six runs, highlighted by Oswaldo Arcia’s grand slam.
Reno scored single runs in the third (on a homer by Kristopher Negon) and another in fourth before Overton was lifted.
Tacoma’s offense was limited to three hits but one was a three-run homer by third baseman Danny Muno. He’s hitting .352 with three home runs and 11 RBIs on the season.
Muno said he doesn’t let the score determine how he plays, no matter how bad it looks.
“You got to grind out each at bat,” he said. “Put something together and see if something comes up. It was a tough one tonight. Tomorrow’s a new day, just erase it and start fresh tomorrow.”
With the loss, the Rainiers trail the Aces four games in the PCL Pacific Northern division.
The series will continue Tuesday at Cheney Stadium at 6:05 pm. Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez will start for the Rainiers. It is his first start since going on the disabled list with bursitis in his right shoulder.