Amid heat in the 90s, the Tacoma Rainiers finished their four-game series with the Sacramento River Cats by losing 7-6 in a back-and-forth game Sunday at Cheney Stadium.
Down 3-1, the Rainiers took a 4-3 lead in the fourth inning. Zach Shank and Ketel Marte collected the RBIs in the rally.
The Rainiers (45-50) and starter James Gillheeney didn’t hold onto the lead for long as Sacramento’s Adam Duvall hit his second homer of the game in the fifth to tie it at 4.
Gillheeney’s struggles continued in the sixth when he allowed a walk and single to the first two batters, and he was yanked after that. The River Cats (42-53) scored two more runs, after a single and wild pitch, for a 6-4 lead.
After the Rainiers cut their deficit to 6-5 in their half of the sixth, Sacramento added a run in the eighth when former Rainier Darren Ford stole second and third and later scored.
In their half of the eighth, the Rainiers scored a run to trail 7-6. Justin Ruggiano was on second with two outs when Jabari Blash hit a single to left. Ruggiano was gunned out at the plate by Sacramento’s Xavier Avery.
“I told him (Ruggiano) I was going to send him at the pitching change,” Tacoma manager Pat Listach said. “(The fielder) made a good play and threw him out.”
Marte broke out of his 0 for 15 slump with an RBI single in the third . … Tacoma reliever Edgar Olmos nailed Ryan Lollis in the back in the eighth and the two shared words, with umpire Stu Scheurwater holding back Olmos.
The Rainiers will begin a four-game series against the Salt Lake Bees at 7:05 p.m. Monday. Tacoma right-hander Forrest Snow (7-6, 3.03 ERA) will face Salt Lake right-hander Alex Sanabia (1-10, 8.17 ERA).