Reno, NV (7/4/22) – Zach Green homered three times in the first four innings (7 RBI, BB), and the Tacoma Rainiers (33-45) won their third in a row and improved to 5-1 in road trip opening games on the evening of July 4 against the Reno Aces (41-38). Tacoma has
Reno, NV (7/4/22) – Zach Green homered three times in the first four innings (7 RBI, BB), and the Tacoma Rainiers (33-45) won their third in a row and improved to 5-1 in road trip opening games on the evening of July 4 against the Reno Aces (41-38). Tacoma has won five of six overall after Monday’s 11-4 victory, and six of their last eight series openers on the road. The Rainiers have also won 16 of their last 25 games at Reno.
Early fireworks were supplied by the visiting side, when Green clubbed his team-leading 11th home run to put the Rainiers ahead 2-0 in the first inning. The opposite field shot to right came with Scott Heineman on base, after he walked to lead off the game. Green blew it open in the second, on his second bomb of the night, this time with two men on (Mason McCoy and Alex Blandino singled). Green’s 11th dinger gave him the club lead over Marcus Wilson (10), who is currently enjoying his first MLB call-up with the Mariners.
With two swings in two innings, Green collected Tacoma’s seventh multi-homer game of the season, and the seventh Rainiers effort of five or more RBI this season. It was Green’s second multi-homer game of 2022, adding to his effort on April 22 at home against Sugar Land.
Reno chipped away with a run in the second and third, on a pair of RBI singles from Wilmer Difo and Jake McCarthy.
With Tacoma leading 5-2 in the fourth, Green hit his third home run of the evening (13), another two-run shot with Blandino on (BB), his sixth and seventh RBI. Green surpassed Scott Heineman (6 RBI on June 8 at Salt Lake) for most RBI in a Rainiers game this season. Brian O’Keefe enjoyed Tacoma’s most recent three-homer game for fewer than 48 hours; when O’Keefe did it in Saturday’s 10-inning home win over Salt Lake, it was the first in over seven years for the Rainiers (Justin Ruggiano, 6/27/15 vs. El Paso).
Green hit all three home runs off Reno southpaw Tommy Henry, who exited following 3.2 IP, eight hits and four walks. All seven runs Henry allowed were earned, and he struck out four. Green registered Tacoma’s first 7-RBI game since Chris Herrmann on April 18, 2018 at home against Albuquerque (grand slam, 14-2 win).
The Aces kept it competitive through most of the night however, as Grayson Greiner lifted his fifth homer to right-center in the home fourth, a two-run, wind-aided shot that made the score 7-4.
Rainiers left-hander Justus Sheffield narrowly missed a consecutive quality start, turning in six strong innings (9 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K). Sheffield threw 91 pitches, one fewer than his counterpart Henry, in 2.1 more innings.
As tantalizing as it would be to win 7-4 on 7/4, Tacoma added on several insurance runs in the eighth, after Drew Ellis led off with a single and scored when Joe Odom doubled into the left field gap. With the bases loaded, Blandino doubled to center, scoring Odom and Trey Amburgey (double). When O’Keefe walked with the bases re-loaded, it was 11-4 Rainiers.
The Tacoma bullpen continued its recent heater, as lefty Fernando Abad, Patrick Weigel and Matt Brash each pitched a scoreless, hitless inning of relief with a strikeout to wrap it up- Brash struck out two.
Following an off day Tuesday, the series will resume on Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. PT at Greater Nevada Field, with RHP Chris Mazza (Tacoma) and LHP Tyler Gilbert (Reno) on the mound.
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.