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Sheffield Settles Down Space Cowboys in Comeback Win

June 23, 2022 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - Tacoma Rainiers News Release

Sugar Land, TX - The Tacoma Rainiers (28-40) rallied from an early three-run deficit on Thursday evening in Texas, methodically coming back to defeat the Sugar Land Space Cowboys (29-40) by a 4-3 final score. The Rainiers lead the weeklong series two games to one after consecutive victories.

Yanier Diaz hit his first Triple-A home run in the bottom of the first inning, with two aboard for a 3-0 Space Cowboys lead.

Sugar Land starter J.P. France would work five scoreless innings (80 pitches), and held Tacoma to only three hits and two walks, while striking out six. The Rainiers broke up the shutout in the sixth, when Brian O'Keefe - who has reached base in 30 of 33 games - worked a one out walk and scored when Zach Green doubled to left. The score was 3-2 when Joe Odom and Miguel Perez drew two out walks to load the bases, and then RHP Brett Conine plunked Mason McCoy with the bases loaded- on an 0-2 count to force in the run.

Tacoma starter Justus Sheffield worked 5.1 IP, threw 107 pitches, and did not allow a run after the three-run first inning. The lefty allowed seven hits and two walks, and struck out five.

Still trailing 3-2 in the eighth with two out, the Tacoma right fielder Perez lined his second Triple-A homer this season over the centerfield wall to tie the game. To lead off the ninth, Jarred Kelenic (DH) yanked his eighth PCL homer this year out to right, and his second straight night with a homer in the generous dimensions and humidity of Sugar Land proved to be the game-winner.

Leading 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth, RHP Matt Koch worked around a pair of Space Cowboy singles to nail down his third save. Lefty Danny Young (1.0 IP) and right-hander Matt Festa (1.2 IP) preceded him with scoreless outings of their own.

The fourth game of this series will be at 7:05 CT/5:05 PT on Thursday at Constellation Field. It'll be a bullpen day for Tacoma, RHP Hunter Brown is scheduled to start for Sugar Land.

Rainiers broadcaster Mike Curto will have full coverage on All 2022 Rainiers games, home and away, can also be heard for free on the MiLB First Pitch app. HD video broadcasts of every home game can be viewed with a MiLB.TV subscription.

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