The Tacoma Rainiers returned to Cheney Stadium on Thursday and ended a three-game losing streak with a 13-3 demolition of the Fresno Grizzlies.
The game had plenty of offense but little suspense as the Rainiers unleashed a seven-run first inning against Fresno (11-9) starter Brett Oberholtzer.
Oberholtzer has a 9-18 lifetime record in the majors and was making his first rehab appearance after suffering a blister on his left index finger in spring training.
“That’s the kind of games we like to have,” manager Pat Listach said. “It’s always nice to come out and put a seven spot up in the first — any lead in the first is nice.”
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The primary beneficiary of all that offense for Tacoma (8-13) was starting pitcher Jordan Pries. He pitched into the sixth inning and improved his record to 2-1.
“I think he may have run out of gas,” Listach said. “But it’s good for him to get on the board and give us six innings.”
Tacoma tacked on another six runs in the sixth.
All that collective success generated from a number of individual contributors. Julio Morban and Carlos Rivero homered for the home team and each drove in three runs. Stefen Romero had three hits. Jesus Montero, Franklin Gutierrez, John Hicks and Chris Taylor had two hits each. Taylor extended his on-base streak to 13 straight games.
The second game of the four-game series will begin at 7:05 p.m. Friday. Probable starting pitchers are Tacoma right-hander Justin Germano (1-1, 1.23 ERA) and Fresno left-hander Luis Cruz (0-1, 7.07). The game can be heard at 850-AM.
This will be the first game when the 20-second pitch clock will be enforced, with a violation resulting in a ball being awarded. In previous games this season, the clock has ticked away, but no penalty was assessed for taking additional time.
“They’re going to start enforcing it,” Listach said. “I think after batting practice I’m going to have a little meeting just to remind the guys what the rules are. I’ll print the rules out and give them to them. …. I don’t anticipate anything. … I talked to the home play umpire, and he said we only had one violation tonight, so that’s good.”