Carlos Rivero (@Carlos_Rivero3) hit his 19th home run, and Jack Reinheimer (@Reinheimer_08) totaled three hits, but the Tacoma Rainiers took the regular-season finale against the Reno Aces, 5-3, on Labor Day at Cheney Stadium. Dan Vogelbach’s 23rd home run of the year – a grand slam off the scoreboard in right-center – turned a 2-1 deficit into a three-run lead for the home team.
Facing Reno native Joe Wieland, the Aces (76-68) plated two runs in the first inning on three hits, including a run-scoring double by Reinheimer and RBI single from Zach Borenstein.
With one out in the second, Tacoma’s Rob Brantly cut the deficit in half, launching a one-out solo shot out to right off Billy Buckner. The Aces’ right-hander posted scoreless frames in the third and fourth, before allowing Vogelbach’s slam in the fifth. Mike Baxter singled, Zach Shank doubled and Eric Filia walked ahead of Vogelbach’s grand slam – the 10th surrendered by Reno’s pitching staff this year, most in the Pacific Coast League.
Rivero’s towering drive to left opened the seventh against Mayckol Guaipe, but Tacoma (81-62) used four relievers to record the final eight outs in the victory.
Wieland (14-6) matched Sacramento’s Ty Blach for the most wins in the league this season after allowing two earned runs on six hits and one walk with nine strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings. Buckner (1-2) was handed the loss, while Tacoma’s Andrew Kittredge earned his seventh save.
Ildemaro Vargas (@ildemaro_tigre) finished with 70 hits in 49 Triple-A games after his 1-for-4 showing atop the lineup. Rivero’s home run gave him a career-high 72 RBI. Reinheimer’s three knocks gave him 41 multi-hit games this year, most on the team.
The Aces begin their 2017 season with the opener on Thursday, April 6, at Fresno. They return home to Greater Nevada Field on Tuesday, April 11.