Hunter Drives in Eight as Beavers Outslug Rainiers, 17-12
TACOMA, Wash. - Cedric Hunter went 5-for-6 with two, three-run home runs and a franchise-record eight RBIs as the Portland Beavers overcame seven Tacoma Rainiers home runs to win 17-12 at Cheney Stadium Thursday night.
Hunter logged the 17th five-hit game in the modern history (since 2001) of the Beavers (54-79) while breaking the previous team record of seven RBIs, shared by Jesse Garcia, Ben Johnson and Jack Cust.
Aaron Cunningham was 4-for-6 with two RBIs, Sean Kazmar went 3-for-5 with a homer, two RBIs and four runs, Everth Cabrera had three hits and three runs and Dusty Ryan had two hits, including a fifth-inning grand slam, as Portland pounded out 21 hits, its fourth game this season with 20-plus hits.
The win extended the Beavers' road winning streak to a franchise-best nine games and their overall winning streak to a season-high six games.
The teams combined for 40 hits and 11 home runs as a strong wind pushed fly balls out to right field all night long.
Ryan Webb (1-0), one of just three pitchers on either side to not allow a run, pitched a scoreless seventh inning for his first win.
For the Rainiers (68-64), Mike Carp hit two home runs and Matt Mangini, Justin Smoak, Greg Halman, Brad Nelson and Tug Hulett each hit one. Hulett finished the night with five hits and four RBIs while Mangini and Nelson both tallied three hits.
Edward Paredes (0-1), who loaded the bases in the fifth before Ryan's grand slam, took his first loss, allowing three runs on two hits and a walk in 2/3 of an inning.
Portland starter Josh Geer gave up seven runs (4 earned) on 10 hits and two walks and surrendered a franchise-record and career-high five home runs. The Beavers also set a new franchise record by allowing seven home runs as a team, but five came with the bases empty.
Hunter got things started in the top of the first, doubling in a run and scoring on Jody Gerut's single.
After Carp's first home run of the game in the bottom of the first, Portland tacked on three in the second on Hunter's three-run shot to stretch the lead to 5-1.
Mangini homered with one out in the third and Carp reached on one of Portland's four errors before Smoak launched a deep home run to right.
Halman, who turned 23 years old Thursday, led off the Rainiers' half of the fourth with his 30th home run of the season. After an error by shortstop Everth Cabrera led to a run-scoring double play, Carp added his second home run of the game to give the Rainiers their only lead of the night, a 7-6 advantage after four innings of play.
It proved to be short-lived, however, as the Beavers roared back with four runs in the fifth on Ryan's grand slam off Steven Shell - the Beavers' third slam in the last five games.
Scott Munter replaced Geer in the fifth and immediately served up an opposite-field home run to Brad Nelson.
The Beavers tacked on three more in the sixth, getting an RBI single from Cunningham and a two-run homer by Kazmar to make it 13-8.
Hulett's RBI single in the sixth brought Tacoma within four, and it stayed that way until the bottom of the eighth, when Hulett tallied his fourth hit with a two-run homer to right.
Already up 13-11, the Beavers batted around in the ninth while adding four insurance runs. Nick Green reached on an error and Ryan and Cabrera followed with singles against flamethrower Dan Cortes. Cortes then uncorked a pitch into the dirt, and Green was thrown out at the plate trying to score from third. The gamble ended up costing Hunter an RBI, as he rocketed the next pitch over the wall in right-center for his second three-run bomb. Mike Baxter walked, moved to third on Gerut's single and scored on Cunningham's fourth hit.
Tacoma fought back in the bottom of the ninth, with Hulett's RBI single providing the Rainiers' 12th run. A single by Nelson would load the bases before Adam Russell got Halman to ground out to second to end the three-hour, 43-minute marathon.
Both starting pitchers were out of the game before the fifth inning, including Mariners top pitching prospect Michael Pineda, who lasted just 3 2/3 innings and allowed six runs on eight hits.
The Beavers and Rainiers continue the five-game series Friday night at 7 p.m. (Pacific).
NOTES: The previous individual franchise record for home runs allowed was four, set by Brian Tollberg on June 28, 2003, and tied by Chris Oxspring on May 10, 2005, and Clay Hensley, June 26, 2007 ... the previous team franchise record for home runs allowed in a game was five, done seven time, most recently July 7, 2008 ... 21 of the game's 29 runs scored on home runs ... five of Tacoma's seven home runs were solo shots ... Portland's 3-4 hitters, Mike Baxter and Kyle Phillips, combined to go 0-for-10 with a walk ... the teams combined to score in 13 of 18 half-innings ... five of the Beavers' 17 five-hit games in club history have come this season ... Hunter entered the game with one home run and 16 RBIs in 54 games with the Beavers ... Hunter tallied the sixth multi-homer game of Portland's season ... it was Portland's longest game of the season.
Beavers Game File THURSDAY'S GAME: Beavers 17, Tacoma 12 WINNING PITCHER: Webb (1-0) LOSING PITCHER: Paredes (0-1) SAVE: None HOME RUNS: Hunter 2 (3), Ryan (7), Kazmar (7), Carp 2 (23), Mangini (15), Smoak (8), Halman (30), Nelson (14), Hulett (3) FRIDAY'S GAME: Portland (Cesar Ramos: 5-6, 3.26) at Tacoma (Ryan Feierabend: 3-6, 5.47), 7 p.m. (Pacific); live audio broadcast on Freedom 970 AM and www.portlandbeavers.com. Follow the Beavers on Twitter (www.twitter.com/PortlandBeavers) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/OfficialPortlandBeavers).
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