We mentioned on this blog the other day that Fresno has a formidable lineup right now, and that they’ve been losing because of bullpen implosions.
Well, yesterday their lineup hit four homers and they scored 10 runs – and every time their bullpen was on the verge of an implosion, someone made a big pitch in a key situation to get a huge out.
Fresno ended a seven-game losing streak by beating Tacoma, 10-7.
Brett Pill is really crushing it right now. The Fresno infielder went 3-for-4 with two homers yesterday, and check this out: in his last nine games, he’s 22-for-40 (.550) with 17 RBI. Twenty-two hits in nine games? Take a break, Pill!
It was an odd game from the Tacoma standpoint: starting pitcher Chris Seddon, who had delivered four straight quality starts of 7+ innings, gave up eight runs in the first three innings.
On top of that, it seemed like the Rainiers had a good game offensively. They scored seven runs and had 14 hits; we’ll take that every day. But Tacoma left 15 runners on base and stranded men in scoring position in each of the late innings when the club was just one key hit away from being back in the game.
Tip-of-the-hat to Fresno center fielder Tyler Graham, who made a terrific diving catch of a Sean Kazmar liner to end the eighth inning. He saved two runs with the play, it was a game-saver for Fresno.
Tonight’s game is at 7:05, and we take a one-day break from the postgame fireworks – but we do have a beer special at the ol’ ballyard, with $3 Miller Lite and Henry Weinhardts up on the Tasty Terrace. What goes with cheap beer? Knuckleballs, that’s what! Tacoma starts knuckleballing RHP Charlie Haeger (1-2, 8.83) against Fresno RHP Josh Banks (5-4, 6.32).
If you can’t make it out to the ballpark, you can follow the game on South Sound Sports 850 or streaming online right here.
- As always, we lead off with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune, as written by promising TNT sports intern Chris Wells. In the story, we unfortunately learn that manager Daren Brown does not expect Kyle Seager to bat .500 the whole time he’s in Tacoma. I find this disappointing.
- On the other side, here are your Fresno notes from the game.
- The Mariners turned back the clock and shut out the Padres, 6-0 – here is the story from Mason Kelley.
- Dustin Ackley missed yesterday’s game with bruised ribs, but he might play tonight.
- In his notebook, Larry LaRue writes that either Luke French or Blake Beavan will start for the Mariners tomorrow. Both are properly rested for the start. Either way, the Rainiers will be OK – they added starter Anthony Vasquez from Double-A yesterday, and the team had an off-day on Wednesday.
- The Florida Marlins have designated Jose Lopez for assignment. The ex-Rainiers infielder may be running out of chances.
- The Mariners signed a big teenage prospect from the Dominican Republic today, and gave him first-round money. Larry Stone has a brief item on the Mariners recent activity in Latin America. If you want to follow the international signings, nobody covers it better than Ben Badler at Baseball America.
- The change to the All-Star Home Run Derby is awesome – will Ichiro do it?
- In the PCL, Reno just won’t lose. The first place Aces waxed Salt Lake 17-8 yesterday, and they have won nine of the last 11 games.
- Jim Caple wrote a feature for ESPN on Reno’s Sean Burroughs.
- Las Vegas has it’s best team in several years, but chasing down Sacramento is no easy task, writes Ed Graney. Travis Snider came off the DL and had three hits last night.
- Tucson is helping the 51s quest – they beat Sacramento for their sixth straight win. Daric Barton is 0-for-16 with Sacramento since being sent down by Oakland.
- The Rainiers visit Colorado Springs on Monday. The Sky Sox have lost four in a row, but we might be catching them at the wrong time: the Rockies just sent down Eric Young Jr. and Chris Nelson. There is some good info on the Sky Sox in this Denver Post notebook.
- The Iowa-to-Chicago shuttle is highly active right now.
- Mike Montgomery came back and tossed six shutout innings in an Omaha win last night.
- Catcher Steven Hill launched a grand salami and Memphis picked up a win.
- It looks like Albuquerque is going to get shortstop Dee Gordon back from the Dodgers.
- Here’s a new promotion, from the rookie-level Lowell Spinners: The Human Home Run.
To the ballpark!