It was a walk in the park.
Actually two walks. But both were critical in the Tacoma Rainiers’ 6-4 loss to the visiting Reno Aces on Wednesday.
Mayckol Guaipe walked Peter O’Brien — a day after he hit a grand slam in Reno’s 4-3 victory — with two outs and the bases loaded to break a 4-4 tie in the top of the ninth inning. Andrew Kittredge replaced Guaipe and walked Garrett Weber to make it 6-4.
“It wasn’t a good inning,” Rainiers manager Pat Listach said. “We get the first out and then we walk three guys and hit a guy. That’s unacceptable.”
And this was a game the Rainiers led 3-0.
They got home runs from Carlos Rivero — his third in as many games — and Leon Landry. Landry’s tied the game in the seventh inning after Reno had come back to take a 4-3 lead.
But a lackluster pitching effort gave this game away. Hisashi Iwakuma’s rehab start — scheduled for Thursday — couldn’t come soon enough.
“Not a lot of positives in this game,” Listach said.
Starting pitcher Sam Gaviglio lasted 4 1/3 innings and allowed three runs. He labored through 91 pitches, and the Rainiers were forced to used five relievers thereafter.
The Rainiers’ bats didn’t have much trouble with Reno starter Archie Bradley. The Arizona Diamondbacks No. 1 prospect as ranked by Baseball America made his first rehab start with Reno after going to the disabled list with shoulder issues.
He lasted four innings, with Rivero lining a home run that barely cleared the wall in left-center field in the third inning.
Stefen Romero scored on Landry’s sacrifice fly, then Justin Ruggiano — making his first appearance with the Rainiers after being outrighted from the Seattle Mariners — on a wild pitch in the fourth inning.
“We put ourselves in position to win the game late in the game,” Listach said. “A big home run by Landry. But late in the game we got to throw strikes.”
He’s hoping his bullpen gets a day off with Iwakuma getting his second rehab start, but first with the Rainiers. Forrest Snow — who would have started Thursday — will pitch in relief if needed.
Listach said he did not know Wednesday night what Iwakuma’s limitations would be Thursday.
“I’ll find out sometime tomorrow what pitches and however many pitches,” Listach said. “When he gets here, we’ll give him the ball and let him get as many pitches as he needs to get in.”
Iwakuma kicks off a four-game home series against El Paso at 7:05 p.m. The Chihuahuas will start right-hander Caleb Clay (4-5, 5.23 ERA).