Tacoma, WA (7/1/22) – The Tacoma Rainiers (30-45) were unable to summon the late-inning magic of Wednesday and Thursday’s wins in extras against the Salt Lake Bees (36-40) on Friday night, falling 4-3 in the fourth game of the series at Cheney Stadium. Alex Blandino led the way for the
Tacoma, WA (7/1/22) – The Tacoma Rainiers (30-45) were unable to summon the late-inning magic of Wednesday and Thursday’s wins in extras against the Salt Lake Bees (36-40) on Friday night, falling 4-3 in the fourth game of the series at Cheney Stadium. Alex Blandino led the way for the Rainiers offensively, driving in both runs with a 2-for-4 night (double, single).
Salt Lake jumped to a 3-0 lead after the first three batters of the game. Following a Kean Wong double and Michael Stefanic walk, Jo Adell clubbed an opposite-field three-run homer off Rainiers RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon. Ponce de Leon settled down after, retiring 10 of the next 11 Bees he faced, and five by strikeout.
The Rainiers were held scoreless during Salt Lake RHP Janson Junk’s four innings of work, but just like in the first three games of the series, they found success against the Bees’ bullpen. Scott Heineman led off the bottom of the fifth with a double, and with two out, Blandino brought him home on a double of his own, cutting Salt Lake’s lead to two.
Bees outfielder Dillon Thomas responded in the top of the sixth. He lined a hanging breaking ball to deep right-center field, barely sneaking it over the wall. That broke a streak of six consecutive Salt Lake hitters retired by Ponce de Leon and gave the Bees a 4-1 lead. Ponce de Leon pitched well on Friday, allowing only four hits while striking out seven in six innings (tying a season-high IP).
In the bottom of the seventh, Cesar Izturis, Jr. and Jarred Kelenic reached (single, error), setting up Blandino with men on first and third. The second baseman delivered, legging out an infield single, scoring Izturis, Jr. and brining the Rainiers within two.
Tacoma outfielder Scott Heineman led off the home ninth with an infield single and Kelenic scored him on a double down the line in right, cutting the Salt Lake lead to 4-3. The Rainiers had a chance to tie it with a runner in scoring position and one out, but could not replicate the ninth inning comebacks of Wednesday and Thursday, falling by a run.
The Rainiers take on the Bees next at 7:05 p.m. PT on Saturday at Cheney Stadium. RHP Darren McCaughan gets the start for Tacoma and will face RHP Cesar Valdez of Salt Lake.
Rainiers broadcaster Mike Curto will have full coverage on TacomaRainiers.com. All 2022 Rainiers games, home and away, can also be heard for free on the MiLB First Pitch app. HD video broadcasts of every home game can be viewed with a MiLB.TV subscription.
About the Tacoma Rainiers
The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. The Rainiers are a member of the Pacific Coast League and have been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.
The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found at WeRTacoma.com, or by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.