Pitching just 60 miles from his home town of Dos Palos, Tacoma Rainiers pitcher Martin delivered his finest start of the season in front of a crowd which included some family and friends.
Martin pitched seven innings of two-hit, shutout baseball as the Rainiers beat the Fresno Grizzlies on Saturday night, 1-0.
It was the fourth straight win for Tacoma, which moved 11 games over .500 for the season.
Facing Fresno for the second time this week, Martin (6-5) did not walk a batter and struck out four.
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Kraig Sitton relieved Martin and pitched a perfect eighth inning, and Casey Coleman earned his third save of the year by navigating a difficult ninth.
Tacoma scored the game’s only run with two outs in the fifth inning. Dario Pizzano singled to left field, took second on an infield single by Tyler Smith, and score on Guillermo Heredia’s line-drive single to left.
Fresno starter Mike Hauschild took the tough-luck loss, allowing one run over seven innings of work. He entered the game with a 3.18 ERA, which ranked fifth-best in the Pacific Coast League.
Coleman retired the first batter in the ninth before things got interesting. Andrew Aplin singled to right, and Colin Moran worked a walk to put the tying and go-ahead runners on base.
Coleman got Tyler White to ground out to shortstop, but the runners moved up to second and third.
Rainiers manager Pat Listach elected to intentionally walk Preston Tucker, loading the bases for 2015 PCL most Valuable Player Matt Duffy.
The ploy worked, as Coleman struck out Duffy swinging to end the game.
In his last five games, Rainiers reliever Blake Parker has four saves and has given up just one hit. Batters are 1-for-18 with 13 strikeouts against him… outfielder Nori Aoki has not yet reported to the Rainiers. He was optioned to Tacoma on Friday and has until Monday to report.
The series continues at 5:05 p.m. Sunday. Tacoma starts Brad Mills (3-2, 4.24 ERA) against Fresno’s Tommy Shirley (5-4, 4.97).