Tacoma Rainiers

Hot-hitting Carlos Rivero leads Rainiers in rout of Chihuahuas, 10-2

New to the Seattle Mariners organization, infielder Carlos Rivero was hoping to make a good first impression at major league spring training.

He hit .114 during Cactus League play.

Apparently he was saving all of his hits for the regular season.

Rivero had two more hits, including a three-run homer in the second inning, as the Tacoma Rainiers crushed the El Paso Chihuahuas on Saturday night, 10-2.

Rivero is 8 for 13 with three consecutive multiple-hit games to open the season, and he has already homered twice.

“He answered the bell when the bell rang,” Rainiers manager Pat Listach said. “He’s swinging the bat very well, his defense has been outstanding.”

The 26-year-old native of Barquisimeto, Venezuela, made his major league debut with the Boston Red Sox in September but was removed from their 40-man roster after the season. The Mariners quickly moved to acquire him.

A former shortstop, Rivero has played third base in the first three games of the season.

Rivero’s home run gave Tacoma rookie starter Sam Gaviglio some early run support. Making his debut at Triple A and with the Mariners organization, Gaviglio delivered five shutout innings and earned the win. He allowed five hits and two walks while striking out three, and he induced a pair of double-play grounders.

“He got some ground ball double plays, he threw strikes, and he kept us in the game,” said Listach. “It was good to see five (innings) like that from him.”

Seattle Mariner Chris Taylor made his first rehabilitation appearance for Tacoma, starting at shortstop and playing the first five innings. He went 1 for 3 and looked smooth on defense.

“It went well for Taylor,” Listach said. “I think he liked the hit better than playing defense; he’s a hitter.”

Taylor started a three-run rally in the fifth inning by pulling a line-drive double to the left field corner with one out. Stefen Romero followed with a long triple to right-center, later scoring on Franklin Gutierrez’s sacrifice fly. John Hicks added an RBI single to cap the rally.

SHORT HOPS

Taylor’s playing time will gradually increase during his rehabilitation assignment. He is expected to serve as the designated hitter on Sunday. ... Former Puyallup High School and University of Washington pitcher Adam Cimber made his Triple-A debut for El Paso, allowing two runs (one earned) in the ninth inning. Gutierrez greeted him with a homer.

ON TAP

The series in El Paso concludes with a 12:05 p.m. (PDT) game on Sunday. Tacoma starts left-hander Mike Kickham against El Paso righty James Needy.

Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.

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