Kristopher Negron (Jeff Halstead)
Salt Lake City, UT – For the second time in three games, the Tacoma Rainiers held three leads on the strength of a season-best 16 hits, but a five-run bottom of the eighth propelled the Salt Lake Bees in Wednesday’s 12-9 final at Smith’s Ballpark.
The Rainiers (10-17) jumped out to a lead in the top of the third when Joey Curletta singled home Kristopher Negron with two outs. One batter later, Shed Long drove in J.P. Crawford to extend the lead, 2-0.
After the Bees (9-16) put together their first of two five-run innings in the bottom of the third against Tacoma starter Justus Sheffield, the Rainiers tacked on three in the fourth starting with Ian Miller’s ground ball single that plated Orlando Calixte. Negron brought in Miller and then scored with Eric Young, Jr. when Crawford roped his sixth double to give Tacoma a 6-5 advantage.
Salt Lake knotted things at six apiece in the bottom of the fourth but the Rainiers found themselves in front after a three-run fifth. Tim Lopes’ sacrifice fly allowed Austin Nola to cross for Tacoma’s third lead. Miller doubled home Calixte for an insurance run and Negron grounded into a force out, allowing Miller to score Tacoma’s final run for a 9-6 lead.
The Bees scored the final six runs of the contest, including five in the bottom of the eighth against Nick Rumbelow (2-1).
Seven Rainiers hitters collected at least two hits in the defeat, with the exception of Crawford who collected two RBI and Lopes who had a sacrifice fly.
The series finale starts on Thursday at 9:35 a.m. PDT as Tyler Cloyd (0-0) takes the ball for the Rainiers. Mike Curto will have full coverage on South Sound Talk 850, with audio streaming available on the Rainiers TuneIn Radio Network.
All tickets, group outings, and suites packages for the 2019 season are available for purchase in person at the Cheney Stadium Box Office, online at TacomaRainiers.com and WeRTacoma.com, or over the phone at (253) 752-7707. The most up-to-date news and notes about the Rainiers throughout the season can be found by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (tacomarainiers) or liking the team on Facebook.
– We R Tacoma –
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.