The Rainiers had a rough Monday in Fresno.
They lost a tough game, 3-2, in the bottom of the ninth inning due to costly mistakes. Then they lost catcher Adam Moore.
Moore felt pain in his right knee while leaving the batters box when he hit a grounder in the first inning. He left the game at the end of the inning.
Moore is flying to Seattle to get it checked out. It’s the same knee he had surgery on that cost him the 2011 season. Hopefully its nothing serious.
The game was tough, too. Tacoma had eight hits in the first four innings, but managed to score only two runs. Tacoma kept hitting line drive rockets off Fresno starter Brian Burres - and the liners went right at defensive players. I had five lineouts marked on my scorecard.
Still, the Rainiers had a 2-1 lead at the seventh inning stretch, thanks to some outstanding pitching by Jeff Marquez. In his finest outing of the year, Marquez went six innings and gave up one run on four hits. He threw 89 pitches and 60 were strikes.
Fresno tied it 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh on a two-out, two-strike RBI single by Justin Christian. Christian went 10-for-16 in the series and is batting .548 on the season.
Thank goodness the Rainiers don’t have to deal with him anymore. Whoops! Fresno comes to Tacoma on Saturday, and we’ll be seeing more of this guy.
Then came the bottom of the ninth. Chance Ruffin got the first two hitters out, bringing up Todd Linden. Linden hit a hard, hooking line drive a bit towards the right of center field. Trayvon Robinson gave chase, dived, and just missed it. Linden ended up with a triple.
Then things just got weird. With two outs and a runner at third, Eli Whiteside bunted. It was a bad bunt – Ruffin picked it up quickly, turned to throw to first and end the inning – and his throw was high and wide, pulling Scott Savastano off the first base bag. Whiteside was safe, Linden scored, game over.
It worked and won the game, but I still have no idea why Whiteside was trying to bunt for a hit with two outs and the winning runner at third.
After the game we bussed to Sacramento, arriving at 2:00 AM. The team was in good spirits despite the tough loss – that’s a good sign, they’ll shake this off no problem.
Tonight’s game starts at 7:05 pm at Sacramento’s Raley Field, and the broadcast is on 850 AM and streaming right here. Tacoma starts LHP Mauricio Robles (0-0, 4.15) while Sacramento’s starter is TBA. The River Cats are going to make a roster move before the game to get a pitcher active.
This won’t be an easy series – Sacramento, like Fresno, is 9-3 on the year. The River Cats have been getting great pitching lately. Hot hitters include Michael Taylor (.413-1-11) and Brandon Moss (.355-2-6). The Rainiers will not have to face top prospect Jarrod Parker in the series – he won last night – but Tacoma is slated to face another prospect, Brad Peacock, tomorrow.
- Here’s the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- The Fresno Bee has details on the game. At 9-3, Fresno is off to it’s best start in franchise history.
- I opened up the newspaper here in Sacramento and what do I see? An article encouraging the Oakland A’s to move to Sacramento.
- John McGrath writes that Safeco Field still feels fresh.
- Chone Figgins is seeing a lot of pitches as the Mariners leadoff hitter.
- Larry Stone has a blog post on Mariners first round draft pick targets.
- We have a long personal feature on friend of the blog Dave Cameron, the man behind USS Mariner and Fangraphs.
- The Yankees Triple-A team is spending the entire season on the road, because of a stadium construction boondoggle. It’s making life a little weird for the guys on the team.
- In the PCL, Jarrod Parker tossed a gem and the River Cats beat Reno last night, 2-1.
- Bad news for the Tucson and San Diego Padres: top prospect Casey Kelly has elbow discomfort, was scratched from his start, and is getting an MRI.
- Matt Shoemaker pitched well and Salt Lake defeated Tucson, 6-2.
- Salt Lake lefty Brad Mills spent one day in the Major Leagues this weekend. He said it was fun.
- Jordan Pacheco reported to Colorado Springs and helped the Sky Sox sweep a doubleheader from Las Vegas. He did not hit a broken-bat homer to dead center.
- The Reno Aces launched a fan rewards program for game attendance. We did this in Tacoma about ten years ago, and it resulted in me interviewing Rainiers superfan Ed Dane on the pre-game show.
- New Orleans pummelled Nashville and split the series on the road. Zephyrs pitcher Brad Hand helped himself by ripping a homer and a double.
- Round Rock is getting offensive production from Triple-A rookie Mike Bianucci.
- Omaha catcher Max Ramirez blasted a pair of three-run homers in the Storm Chasers 12-10 win at Albuquerque.
- Zach Cox snapped an 0-for-26 slump with a homer, and Memphis shut out Oklahoma City for its second win in a row.
It’s a new day, and a new opponent. The Rainiers have historically played well at Raley Field. Let’s see if that can continue.