Oklahoma City, OK – The Tacoma Rainiers (64-71) stumbled in their series finale against the Oklahoma City Dodgers (75-60) on Sunday, but had already secured a six-game road series win. The 20-5 defeat dropped the Rainiers to .500 on the road this season (33-33).
Erick Mejia led off the game for Tacoma by bouncing a double off the wall in center. Jarred Kelenic then walked, and Mejia scored amidst Kelenic stealing second base and a throwing error for a 1-0 Rainiers lead.
In the second inning however, OKC loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a walk, allowing Jake Amaya to hit a grand slam to left-center, his sixth Triple-A homer of the season. It was Oklahoma City’s first home run of the series- in the sixth game. It was 5-1 in the third when Jason Martin hit a solo shot, his PCL-leading 31st home run and league-leading 104th RBI. Devin Mann blew the game wide open with a three-run homer (2) before the frame was over, also to left-center, making the score 8-1.
Mann added an RBI triple in the fifth, followed by a Tony Wolters single that scored Mann for a 10-1 lead. The fourth Dodger homer of the day, a two-run shot off the bat of Edwin Rios (6), came in the sixth. Number five was lifted by James Outman (10), a solo shot also in the sixth. The five home runs allowed was a season-high for Tacoma pitching. Wolters’ second RBI single extended the lead to 14-1, and the Avans single that made it 15-1 equaled the most runs allowed by the Rainiers this season, in a 15-4 home loss to Oklahoma City on July 12.
The Rainiers showed fight in the eighth, scoring four times. Kelenic led off with a double to right, moved over on a Luis Torrens single, and scored on a Zach Green sac fly. Torrens scored on a Drew Ellis double to left before Marcus Wilson cleared the bases with a three-run homer to left field, his 15th.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Dodgers scored five more times off of Wilson, who came in from left field to pitch. The 18 hits Tacoma allowed was not a season-high; Oklahoma City collected 20 at Cheney Stadium during that same July 12 game. A stable of seven OKC pitchers struck out 14 Rainiers over the course of the afternoon.
The Rainiers are off on Monday, and the second leg of this 12-game road trip will begin on Tuesday at Las Vegas. LHP Justus Sheffield is Tacoma’s scheduled starter in the series opener (7:05 PT).
Rainiers broadcaster Mike Curto will have full coverage…