Ponce de Leon starts with nine straight strikeouts and is Tacoma’s most (12) since 2014
West Sacramento, Calif. (5/21/22) – Tacoma Rainier (15-26) wins third straight over Sacramento River Cats (19-22) 10-6 Saturday night’s final, which won four of five this week in the California state capital. It was Tacoma’s first three-game winning streak of the season, and the Rainiers scored seven of nine innings in Saturday’s victory.
The second hitter of the game hit a home run in the form of Tacoma shortstop Mason McCoy (3 for 5, 3 R). He gave Rainier an early 1-0 lead in his third game of the season. It was also a 2-0 inning when Joe Odom (3-for-4, BB, 2 R) hit a streak in his seventh homer (center right).
In the third inning, McCoy doubled his homer total for the season, and his fourth connected to left field again as Tacoma hit one in each of the first three innings. Individual shots to “raise the fence.”
Rainiers RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon opened with nine consecutive strikeouts (seven swings), which is considered a Pacific Coast League record (starting the game). Nine straight punches is a Tacoma Triple-A franchise record (since 1960).
Tacoma scores fourth straight inning after River Cats lose strike zone; Alex Blandino (2 BB) in his first as Rainier when bases are loaded A game against his former club and another free pass. The score was 5-0 after Erick Mejia trotted home on a wild pitch.
Ponce de Leon ended up throwing 78 pitches (50 strikes) in five innings, his lone base runner walking in the fourth, and Kevin Padlow hitting a single in the fifth. Tayjuan Walker’s 13 strikeouts against Fresno since Aug. 10, 2014, his 12 is the most of any Rainier starter . Tacoma improved to 5-3 in Ponce de Leon’s start, and as an employee, Rainier posted a season-high 17 points, surpassing the 14 on Opening Day (April 5 against Salt Lake City) ). Southpaw Nick Margevicius added three in the 2.1 IP work and lefty Fernando Abad added two in the ninth.
Jarred Kelenic (3-for-5, 2 doubles) had a run in the sixth to give Tacoma a 6-0 lead. The big cushion made Sacramento’s Game 6 at home easier to swallow — as Rainier’s 25-straight run without a run was broken. Donovan Walton (single) walked to second base and scored on a Jason Vossler RBI hit.
Kelenic added another in the third at-bat in the eighth, running a double on the wall in left field and scoring Marcus Wilson (single). McCoy (single) then scored from third as Zach Green flew to center; Sacramento-area native nearly missed his 10th Warning for home runs on track. A double from Odom on the left-field line scored Kelenik for Rainier’s eighth game. Wilson also had two knocks, in a 14-hit Tacoma attack.
In Game 5 of the River Cats, Walton hit a two-run homer, his second and first since joining Sacramento. The Cats went back-to-back with David Villar’s single shot (14). The RBI singles by Isan Diaz and Ricardo Genoves were the home team’s fifth, sixth and final game of the night.
In the ninth inning, Forrest Wall (2-for-4 from the field, 2 doubles) walks, steals 2-3 (2nd in PCL with 16), and scores 10 points for Tacomath Last run on McCoy sac fly, his third RBI.
The final game of the series will be played at Sutter Health Park in West Sacramento at 1:05 p.m. on Sunday. LHP Justus Sheffield will start the Rainiers against River Cats RHP Sean Hjelle.
Rainiers broadcaster Mike Curto will have full coverage TacomaRainiers.com. All 2022 Rainier home and away games are also available at MiLB The first pitch app. HD video broadcasts of every home game are available via MiLB.TV subscription.