As pitching tactics go, Forrest Snow has one that’s a little different.
During Tacoma’s 4-1 win over Albuquerque at Cheney Stadium on Sunday afternoon, the right-hander twice tossed the ball off the field toward his dugout for a replacement.
“It’s partially a tactic,” the former University of Washington star said. “It felt like they were rubbed with sand, and they were really dry. The best feeling on a ball is a little bit of tackiness, and you want to have control over the ball instead of having it slip out.”
Tactic or not, it worked.
Snow (4-4, 2.43 ERA) tossed seven innings — matching his season high — allowing one run on one hit to pick up the win for the Rainiers. Edgar Olmos retired all six batters he faced in relief to earn his first save. Tacoma’s combined one-hitter was the fewest hits allowed to an opposing team this season.
Albuquerque’s lone hit came on a leadoff triple by Drew Stubbs in the second. Stubbs scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly to center, giving the Isotopes a 1-0 lead.
Tacoma answered in the third. Chris Taylor hit a single to center before Shawn O’Malley — who was 2 for 3 with two RBIs — launched a homer over the left-field fence to make it 2-1. O’Malley has Tacoma’s second-longest active hitting streak at five games — Franklin Gutierrez leads the Rainiers at 17.
“Our bullpen and our starting pitching has been phenomenal,” O’Malley said. “It’s just nice when we can put some runs on the board for them.”
Snow struggled with some control — he walked four — but settled in following O’Malley’s homer, at one point retiring eight consecutive batters.
“He got the lead and took the ball and said, ‘You know what, this is my game,’ ” Rainiers manager Pat Listach said. “That was a really big day for him.”
The Rainiers added one run in both the sixth and eighth innings. Jesus Montero led off the sixth with a walk, and moved to third on a double Stefen Romero before scoring on Carlos Rivero’s single to left two batters later.
Rivero — who was 3 for 4 — reached in the eighth on a one-out single. Leon Landry and Leury Bonilla each followed with singles to bring Rivero around to increase the lead to 4-1.
Olmos – who struck out three of the six batters he faced — retired the Isotopes 1-2-3 in the ninth to end it.
Tacoma starts an eight-day, seven-game road trip with a three-game series against Reno at Aces Ballpark at 7:05 p.m. Monday. Right-hander Logan Bawcom (0-1, 2.48 ERA) is scheduled to pitch for the Rainiers against right-hander Edgar Garcia (1-0, 3.75).