LAS VEGAS - Most gamblers in Las Vegas know it can be easy to get ahead in a game, but it's difficult to stay ahead.
The Rainiers learned that lesson at Cashman Field on Tuesday when they erased an early deficit to the Las Vegas 51s only to falter late in an 9-6 loss .
The Rainiers (53-43) trailed Las Vegas after two innings, 5-1, but rallied to tie the game in the fourth, 5-5.
The 51s regained the lead for good in the sixth inning when Pacific Coast League All-Star second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir belted a two-run homer to left field off Tacoma starter Ian Snell .
Snell (3-2) took the loss, allowing seven runs on 11 hits in six innings, with three walks and three strikeouts.
Las Vegas (47-50) added insurance runs in the seventh and eighth, when Brett Wallace homered, to extend the lead to 9-5.
David Winfree launched a solo home run in the ninth inning to cut the Rainiers’ deficit to 9-6 and end a string of 16 batters retired by 51s starter Brad Mills (7-4) and reliever Josh Roenicke. Las Vegas closer Jeremy Accardo struck out Matt Tuiasosopo to earn his 17th save.
Winfree and Mike Wilson each went 2-for-4 for Northern Division-leading Tacoma, which has lost four of its past five games.
Adam Moore, Mike Carp, Chris Woodward and Brad Nelson added one hit apiece for the Rainiers .
Tacoma took a 1-0 lead in the second on an RBI groundout by second baseman Dustin Ackley, who was selected by the Seattle Mariners with the No. 2 overall pick in last year’s draft, behind Washington Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg .
Tacoma starts left-hander Ryan Feierabend (2-3, 5.40 ERA) against Las Vegas right-hander Robert Ray (3-4, 4.33) at 7:05 p.m. today.