After losing ten out of 11 games, the Rainiers finally broke through for a 5-4 win on Monday night in Salt Lake City.
It took 12 innings, lasted 4 hours and 5 minutes, there was a 55-minute rain delay (not included in time of game, so the game lasted five hours), and the last three innings were played in a steady rain with about 12 people in the stands, but it’s a win.
Dustin Ackley hit the game-winning two-run double in the top of the 12th. With the score tied 3-3 and runners at second and third and one out, Ackley drove a Horacio Ramirez pitch over the head of the left fielder for a two-run double. It was only the second hit Ackley has had against a left-handed pitcher this year, and obviously it was a big one.
Ackley never would have gotten a chance if it weren’t for the heroics of Cesar Jimenez in the bottom of the 11th. After allowing a leadoff double and wild pitching the runner to third, the Rainiers chose to intentionally walk the bases loaded to set up a force at the plate.
Jimenez then struck out three straight batters to escape the jam. It was an impressive bit of clutch pitching, and Jimenez ended up with a very deserved win.
The Rainiers have a chance to split the series with a win tonight – and that would be quite an accomplishment given what has happened over the last two weeks. Game time is set for 5:35 (Pacific, 850 AM and streaming here). Tacoma starts LHP Fabio Castro (0-2, 8.03) against Salt Lake RHP Matt Shoemaker (0-1, 8.79).
Let’s hit some Rainiers notes:
- Tonight’s game is questionable – we’ve had snow flurries this morning in SLC, and who knows what’s in store for us tonight. If we can’t play, the game will be made up as a part of a doubleheader when the Rainiers return to Salt Lake City, July 22-25. If it gets postponed I’ll post it here on the blog right away.
- Mike Wilson took batting practice yesterday and felt good. He could be activated from the disabled list as soon as today. Wilson separated his shoulder crashing into the outfield wall in the fifth game of the season, April 11 at Fresno.
- Alex Liddi had his first day off yesterday, and Matt Mangini slid over to his old position of third base.
- Josh Lueke pitched very well in his first game back at Tacoma, working 2.1 scoreless innings.
- Chaz Roe had his third straight good start, allowing just one unearned run while he was on the hill – although the runners he left on base when he left the game with two outs in the sixth ended up scoring, tainting his stats.
Hopefully we’ll get this one in today. As a RG, I officially hate doubleheaders (as a fan I kind of like them).
News links for today:
- I frantically wrote the Rainiers game story for The News Tribune well after the paper’s deadline last night – it’s just a bunch of play-by-play. There a some Bees tidbits in the Salt Lake Tribune’s game story.
- The Mariners were off yesterday, so the papers ran feature stories: The TNT has a story on Adam Kennedy, and the Seattle Times focused on Jamey Wright.
- Ryan Divish is on the Mariners road trip so that means lots of blog posts. Here he compares Jack Cust to Brad Wilkerson. I need Divish to show me how to post a neat chart like that in a blog.
- Former Rainiers catcher Jeff Clement is the focus of this excellent story from Fox Sports.
- Mariners Farm Review has a look at three players who are off to interesting starts for Class-A Clinton.
- In the PCL, we have some hot teams. Colorado Springs won its fifth in a row last night despite making five errors. It was the first time in ten years that the Sky Sox have won a game in which they made five errors.
- Omaha has won eight straight games. They beat Nashville in the ninth inning last night.
- Reno won at Fresno last night, 6-2. The Rainiers face Reno next – Collin Cowgill had three hits and two RBI for the Aces last night. The Aces got Wily Mo back in the lineup, but ex-Rainiers shortstop Josh Wilson was called up by the Diamondbacks.
- Anthony Rizzo is still red-hot for Tucson – he had three hits with a homer at Sacramento last night, and he’s batting .432-7-26 for the T-Pads. We’ll see him on Monday at Cheney if he doesn’t get himself called up first.
- Not only is Zack Greinke rehabbing with Nashville, now they have Corey Hart in the lineup. When do Braun and Fielder arrive?
I almost forgot to post this: yesterday was Free Tree Night in Salt Lake City. Courtesy of the Bees Hannah Lee, I received my free tree. I’m going to plant it and raise it and nurture it. Remember, even the smallest acorn can grow into a Mighty Oak.
- I can’t believe they didn’t cover the container with Salt Lake Bees logos.