Sidewinders Win Slugfest 17-14

Tim Raines Jr. drove in 2 and scored 3 times

It isn't often that a team allows 14 runs yet emerges victorious, nor that a team scored 17 runs without the benefit of a home run, but both irregularities occurred in the Tucson Sidewinders' three-and-a-half hour hit parade against the Tacoma Rainiers.

Sidewinders starter Evan MacLane brought a 3.79 ERA into Saturday night's game, but had his streak of three consecutive 5-plus inning outings snapped when he allowed 10 runs on 11 hits and failed to record an out in the fourth inning.

MacLane was off the hook for the loss, however, as the Tucson Sidewinders had plated 11 runners of their own through four innings.  Than in the seventh, the Sidewinders sent 11 batters to the plate in a six-run inning, with every batter in the lineup reaching safely that frame except first baseman Josh Whitesell.

Third baseman Jaime D'Antona collected four hits in five at bats before being lifted for pinch runner Jesus Merchan in that seventh inning, giving him 17 hits in his last seven ballgames and raising his batting average to .367.  Emilio Bonifacio, Tim Raines, Alexander Romero, Trot Nixon, and Trent Oeltjen had three hits a piece in the Sidewinders' 24-hit affair.

The Sidewinders bullpen represented the real heroes of the evening, however.  Emiliano Fruto, Connor Robertson, and Leo Rosales cooled off the hot Rainier bats, combining to allow four runs (two earned) over the final six innings.

"Our bullpen's been outstanding and gives us a chance to come back and win some ballgames," Tucson manager Bill Plummer said.

Saturday marked the first time since their opening day win over Colorado Springs that the Sidewinders scored double digit runs in a game.  They remain a disappointing 4-19 on the season, but two of those wins have come in their past four games.

Send questions or comments for Keith Glab to future_backs@yahoo.com


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