One big inning was all the Tacoma Rainiers needed Sunday afternoon at Raley Field.
A five-run third inning removed all of the drama from the proceedings, as Tacoma coasted to an 8-1 victory over Sacramento, the San Francisco Giants Triple-A affiliate.
The Rainiers took a 2-1 lead into the third inning, courtesy of Patrick Kivlehan’s long two-run homer to left field in the second. It was the team-leading 11th home run of the season for Kivlehan.
“Kivlehan’s big home run was huge,” Tacoma manager Pat Listach said. “Then we put together some good at-bats, drew some walks, and capitalized with some good situational hitting. A lot of good things happened in the third inning.”
Chris Taylor opened the third with a ringing double to left-center, and James Jones drew a walk on a full-count pitch. Jesus Montero then delivered a line-drive single to right-center, scoring Taylor to make it 3-1.
A walk to Franklin Gutierrez loaded the bases for Stefen Romero, who doubled off the base of the wall in center to bring in two more runs. Romero’s hit chased Sacramento starter Nik Turley, who was charged with seven runs in two-plus innings.
Kivlehan greeted reliever Jake Dunning with a sacrifice fly to score Gutierrez, and Shawn O’Malley singled home Romero to make it 7-1.
All told, Tacoma sent 10 batters to the plate and scored five runs in the third.
Tacoma starter Justin Germano allowed a home run to the first batter he faced when Ehire Adrianza lifted a drive onto the right-field berm to give Sacramento a 1-0 lead. Germano allowed just one hit over the next six innings, earning his fifth win of the season.
“Germano was outstanding again,” Listach said of his starting pitcher, who lowered his ERA to 2.61.
Edgar Olmos followed Germano and looked sharp for two innings, retiring six of the seven batters he faced with three strikeouts.
Federal Way High School alum Travis Ishikawa started for Sacramento and went 0 for 3 with a walk. He’s hitting .282 with no homers and 10 RBIs in 20 games for Sacramento while he waits for an opening on the Giants roster. Ishikawa hit the walk-off three-run homer against St. Louis in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series which sent the Giants to the World Series last year.
The series in Sacramento continues with a 7:05 game Monday night. Tacoma is scheduled to start Sam Gaviglio (5-4, 4.31 ERA) against Sacramento’s Ty Blach (5-5, 3.63).