Rainiers return home to face Omaha and Iowa


John Andreoli blasted his first Cheney Stadium home run of the season and Tim Lopes and Ian Miller each had a homer, but the Tacoma Rainiers were swept by the Sacramento River Cats, dropping the three-game series finale on July 21, 6-5.

Andreoli gave the Rainiers a first inning lead with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first, putting Tacoma (48-53) ahead, 1-0. The first inning leadoff round-tripper is Tacoma’s fourth of the year, with Braden Bishop hitting the first three from April 22-May 16.

Sacramento (54-47) took the lead in the top of the third against Tacoma right-hander Mike Wright (0-2), who surrendered four runs across 3 1/3 innings and collected seven strikeouts. Andrew Moore took the hill in the top of the fourth and went 3 1/3 frames of two-run ball with a pair of strikeouts.

Outfielder Miller lifted a solo homer run in the home half of the fifth, his eighth of the campaign to narrow the deficit, 5-2. An inning later, Ryan Court grounded out to second base, scoring Lopes to get Tacoma within two.

In the bottom of the eighth, Tim Lopes put the Rainiers within a run when he launched a two-run bomb over the right field fence. The 24-year old went 3-for-4 and is riding a 14-game hitting streak and has collected hits in 17 of his last 19 games, hitting at a .381 clip over that span (29-for-76).

David McKay tossed a perfect eighth before Parker Markel took over and pitched a scoreless ninth. Both right-handers each collected one strikeout in the effort.

Tacoma relied on the long ball on July 23 at Greater Nevada field, homering three times, but the Reno Aces handed the Rainiers their fourth consecutive loss in their three-game series opener, 10-7.

Reno (43-59) got the scoring started with three runs in the first against Tacoma (48-54) right-hander Darren McCaughan (0-2). The recently promoted hurler gave up seven runs (five earned) in five innings of work but did not walk a batter.

In the second, the Rainiers responded with a pair of runs, the first coming on a solo home run from infielder Ryan Court, his eighth of the campaign. Later in the frame, Kelby Tomlinson doubled home Jaycob Brugman to get Tacoma within a run, 3-2.

The Aces scored the next four runs, plating one in the third and three more in the fourth, before Tacoma got one back in the top of the sixth. Tomlinson drove home his second run with a single that scored Chris Mariscal, making it 7-3.

The Rainiers rallied to trim the deficit to one in the seventh with four runs. After an error and a walk put John Andreoli and Court aboard, Brugman hammered his 12th home run to right-center field for a three-run blast against former Tacoma lefty Marc Rzepczynski. Three pitches later, Mariscal crushed a solo home run to left-center off Ben Taylor for an 8-7 score.

Court (2-for-4), Brugman (3-for-4) and Mariscal (2-for-5) combined to go 7-for-13 with three home runs, five RBI and six runs in the effort.

Hunter Strickland made his second rehab appearance for the Rainiers and allowed a home run and a single in the sixth inning. The Mariners reliever also struck out a pair.

Right-hander Gerson Bautista gave up the last two Reno runs in the seventh on a two-run home run from Yasmany Tomas.

Infielder Tim Lopes had homered in four of Tacoma’s previous seven contests, but the 25-year-old was promoted to Seattle for his first Major League appearance before the game.

Despite jumping out to a first inning lead on a Jake Fraley RBI single, the Rainiers allowed 12 unanswered runs to the Reno Aces, who lengthened Tacoma’s losing streak to a season-long five games with a 14-3 final on July 24.

Fraley drove home Ian Miller with one out in the first and was thrown out trying to stretch his RBI knock into a double. The Maryland native finished 2-for-3 and collected his fifth double, leading a Rainiers (48-55) offense that had nine hits in the effort.

Anthony Misiewicz (5-6) made the start for Tacoma, and the southpaw allowed eight Reno (44-59) runs on eight hits and a walk.

Right-hander Ryan Garton was charged with three runs in an inning out of the bullpen, but none of the runs were earned because of an error by third baseman Chris Mariscal with one out in the frame.

Major League rehabber Brandon Brennan allowed a solo home run in a sixth inning that pushed the Reno lead to 12-1. The following inning, David McKay surrendered two runs to give the Aces their biggest lead of the night, 14-2.

Tacoma got its second score on an RBI groundout in the seventh from second baseman Connor Kopach, who was transferred to Tacoma from Short Season-A Everett on Tuesday. The infielder also collected a knock, and is hitting .295 in 12 games over four brief stints with the Rainiers this season.

With two outs in the top of the ninth, Miller launched a solo home run, his ninth of the season. The 27-year-old has two hits over the last three games, and both have been round-trippers.

The Rainiers concluded the series with Reno on July 25.

After completing the series with Reno on July 25, the Rainiers head off to Sacramento for a three-game series with the Rivercats. They return to Cheney Stadium for a series with Omaha on July 30, followed by a four-game series at home against Iowa starting Aug. 2.

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