Tacoma's Walker Dominates Redhawks, Completes Sweep

Wednesday, June 25th 2014, 11:31 am
By: News 9

Taijuan Walker pitched a complete game, four-hit shutout, sending the Tacoma Rainers to a 2-0 win over the Oklahoma City RedHawks to complete a four-game sweep Tuesday night at Cheney Stadium.

Walker (2-1) went the distance on 109 pitches for his first career shutout. It was the first nine-inning complete game shutout tossed against the RedHawks since Tacoma's Robert Rohrbaugh did it on July 28, 2007, and the first complete game shutout of any kind since Fresno's Madison Bumgarner pitched a seven-inning shutout in Oklahoma City May 17, 2010.

Walker struck out eight and walked one. He held the RedHawks 0-for-12 with runners on base and 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, with none reaching third base.

He only needed 57 pitches to get through the first six innings, retiring the side on nine pitches or fewer four times.

The RedHawks (42-38) made Walker work harder over the final three innings, but could not break through. L.J. Hoes singled with two outs in the ninth to not only bring the tying run to the plate, but extend his hitting streak to 12 games.

Walker then struck out Domingo Santana, and Marc Krauss lined out to first base to end the game, as the RedHawks were shutout for the fifth time this season

The Rainiers (37-41) completed their first sweep of the RedHawks since 2001. It was the first time anyone the RedHawks were swept by anyone since Aug. 10-12, 2012 against Sacramento. After winning three of four in Reno to start their road trip, the RedHawks ended up dropping five of eight.

The game's only runs scored in the first inning. After delivering the game-winning hit Monday night, Xavier Nady connected on a two-run homer in his first at-bat Tuesday to give Tacoma a 2-0 lead.

Oklahoma City's best chance to score came in the second inning when Santana led off with a double. However, Santana would not advance past second base. The RedHawks put only one runner in scoring position the rest of the game.

RedHawks starting pitcher David Martinez just about matched Walker after the first inning. He tied a season high with seven innings and allowed five hits, with just one after the second inning. Martinez (5-5) set a season high with seven strikeouts and walked just one batter. He

Martinez and reliever Jose Veras combined to retire 15 of the final 16 Rainiers batters, including the last 11 straight.

After completing their eight-game west coast road swing, the RedHawks will have a day off Wednesday before returning to action Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. at home against the Omaha Storm Chasers.