TACOMA, Wash. – The Tacoma Rainiers used a five-home run barrage to outslug the Sacramento River Cats 10-9 at Cheney Stadium on Sunday.
A season-high nine home runs were hit between the two clubs, with the Rainiers accounting for more than half of that total. Tacoma’s Xavier Avery and Ty Kelly were the first to go deep after hitting back-to-back home runs to lead off the bottom of the first inning.
Sacramento’s Michael Taylor hit a two-run blast in the top of the fourth that tied the score at 2-2 until Leury Bonilla hit a solo shot - his second home run in as many games - that gave the Rainiers a one-run edge in the bottom of the inning. Stefen Romero stretched the lead to 5-2 with a two-run home run later in the frame.
The River Cats used two more homers to erase the Rainiers advantage in the top of the fifth. Ryan Ortiz’s one-run home run cut Sacramento’s deficit down to two runs. First baseman Anthony Aliotti hit an RBI single that cut Tacoma’s lead to 5-4 before Derek Norris hit a go-ahead two-run home run with two outs.
Tacoma’s deficit grew to as large as 9-5 before the Rainiers posted a five-run rally in the eighth. Avery hit a two-run single to bring Tacoma within two runs. Romero put the Rainiers on top for good with a go-ahead three-run home run that paved the way to a 10-9 lead.
The Rainiers combined to collect a total 17 hits in the contest. The outfielder Avery went 5-for-5 with a three RBI and three runs scored. Romero went 2-for-3 with two home runs and five RBI, and Ty Kelly turned in a 3-for-5 effort.
Left-handed reliever Nick Hill (1-0) earned his first Triple-A win in his second appearance with the Rainiers after allowing one run on two hits in the eighth. Josh Kinney turned in a hitless and scoreless inning in the ninth en route to collecting his first save this season.
Starter Danny Hultzen struck out three over two perfect innings in his first appearance since landing on the disabled list with a left rotator cuff strain on July 7.
The Rainiers (76-67) play the team’s final game of the season when they host the fourth game of a four-game series with Sacramento (78-65) at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow, September 2. Right-hander Andrew Carraway (6-7, 4.37) is scheduled to start the finale for Tacoma against River Cats right-hander Arnold Leon (4-3, 4.21).
Every Rainiers game throughout the 2013 season can be heard live on South Sound Sports 850-AM and is available for online streaming at www.tacomarainiers.com.
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