Tacoma scored six runs in the first inning and coasted to a 16-8 win in Tucson on Sunday night, evening up the series 1-1.
Alex Liddi hit a three-run homer and Michael Saunders contributed a two-run shot in the first.
The Rainiers kept on piling up the hits and eventually finished with 18. When Dustin Ackley hit a long solo blast in the sixth, Tacoma led 15-3.
It was Tacoma’s third straight game with a big inning: the team had a nine-run 5th inning on Friday night at home against Reno, and then a seven-run 7th inning on Saturday in Tucson. This is definitely a good trend.
The game got so bad that Tucson brought in outfielder Bobby Kielty to pitch the ninth inning, just to conserve relievers for today. Kielty gave up a homer to Mike Carp, but he also struck out Johan Limonta, and he K’d Michael Saunders with some sort of nasty backdoor sliderish thingy.
Interestingly, Kielty tried to convert to pitcher last year, but no team would sign him and he ended up sitting out the entire 2010 season before signing with the Padres as an outfielder this year. Yesterday was his second time pitching this season.
Carp went 3-for-5 and extended his hitting streak to 21 consecutive games. Carp’s home run came off an outfielder, but it still counts – he’s now tied with Reno’s Wily Mo Pena for the PCL lead.
Now Carp has been named Pacific Coast League Player of the Week for the second time in four weeks. All he did was bat .515 with 17 hits, four homers, 11 RBI, and 13 runs scored in the seven games.
Excellent non-Carp and non-Ackley news from yesterday: Matt Tuiasosopo, who has not gotten hot yet this season, went 3-for-5 with a walk and scored two runs, lifting his average to .233. Hopefully that was the start of something good for Tui.
Tonight’s game is at 7:00 and it will air live on 850 AM and stream online here. Tacoma starts RHP Blake Beavan (2-2, 4.87) against Tucson RHP Matt Buschmann (2-2, 6.00).
- Here is the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune, and here is the version from the Arizona Daily Star.
- Hot damn! Those Mariners keep winning – and now they are scoring runs in bunches.
- Greg Halman had a big game yesterday, and Steve Kelley wrote a column about it.
- By the time you read this, the first round of the MLB draft will be underway (or just about to start – it starts at 4:00 Pacific). The Mariners select #2 overall and the consesnsus among the experts is that they will select Rice University third baseman Anthony Rendon, whose team was knocked out of the NCAA playoffs by Cal yesterday (you knew I couldn’t resist mentioning that).
- John McGrath writes that the #2 pick is usually a good one, although he cautions that the MLB draft is a crapshoot.
- The top draft talent from the state of Washington is Adam Conley, a left-handed pitcher for Washington State who graduated from Olympia High School.
- Here is the weekly Mariners minor league wrap-up, from USS Mariner. It’s thorough, to say the least.
- Even while going draft-crazy, Baseball America has noticed Dustin Ackley and Mike Carp.
- In the PCL, first-place Reno lost at home to Salt Lake, 3-2. The Rainiers picked up a game and are nine back.
- Fresno swept a doubleheader from the suddenly reeling Las Vegas 51s, who have lost 7 of 8 while Brett Lawrie has been injured. Fresno’s Tyler Graham is one of the best baserunners in the PCL.
- Memphis won a pitcher’s duel in Oklahoma City. Astros closer Brandon Lyon is rehabilitating with Oklahoma City.
- Round Rock pitching prospect Neil Ramirez struck out nine batters over six innings and the Express routed Albuquerque.
- An excellent lede highlights this story on the Iowa Cubs 9-8 win over Omaha yesterday.
- Nashville ripped New Orleans on Tyler Greene’s grand slam. Zephyrs ace Tom Koehler has been struggling.
I always love draft day, you never know what’s going to happen. But its sort of like NCAA football recruiting, where you often don’t know if a player is going to work out until a couple of years down the road.