Tacoma ripped a dozen hits and beat up Salt Lake on Saturday night, 13-5.
Vinnie Catricala had his second straight three-hit game, going 3-for-4 with a double, a three-run homer, and five RBI. I wrote about Catricala in the Rainiers game story, which is the first link down below – check it out.
Other Rainiers had big games, too: Trayvon Robinson went 3-for-5 with a long home run, it’s nice to have him back on the field. Darren Ford had two his including a triple, extending his hitting streak to 13 straight games – he’s been a big lift for the offense since coming off the disabled list.
Blake Beavan did a nice job of composing himself after allowing four runs in the first two innings. He settled down and made it through six frames without allowing another run; the Rainiers really needed that with the team having a “bullpen day” today.
The Major League Baseball All-Star Futures Game is today, and Rainiers left-hander Danny Hultzen is expected to pitch in the third inning. Also, look for Mariners prospect Taijuan Walker to pitch in the seventh.
The game will be televised at 2:00 (Pacific) on ESPN2.
Tacoma and Salt Lake have split the first four games of this five-game series. The final game of the series will be today at 12:05 (Pacific). Tacoma starts RHP Jarrett Grube (0-5, 9.70) against Salt Lake LHP Greg Smith (4-5, 3.50). The broadcast is on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming right here.
- We start with my Rainiers game story for The News Tribune, in which we wonder if Vinnie Catricala is gearing up for a big second half.
- My weekly Minor League Notebook is up on the TNT website: an item on surging Mariners Double-A starter Anthony Fernandez, and notes on the improvement of Mauricio Robles.
- The Mariners had a veritable offensive uprising in a 7-1 win over Oakland.
- Grab that cup of coffee, sit back and enjoy Larry Stone’s Sunday baseball package in the Seattle Times. We have a column on all-star Felix Hernandez, the heart and soul of the Mariners. We also have power rankings and thumbs.
- San Francisco’s Larry Stone is named John Shea, and he has some excellent MLB items in this notebook.
- With the MLB All-Star Game in Kansas City, the Negro Leagues Museum is getting a lot of media attention. It needs more funding to survive, as Shea writes.
- In the PCL, Colorado Springs held on and beat Reno on Used Car Night, 9-8. Sky Sox starting pitcher Edwar Cabrera didn’t pitch well but he hit a grand slam and earned the win. Whatever works!
- Shawn Hill was dealing in Vegas yesterday - just like hundreds of other professionals as the World Series Of Poker’s Main Event kicked off – and the 51s beat Tucson, 7-1.
- No link – the game went 16 innings, lasted 4 hours and 59 minutes, and ended hours after any newspaper deadline – but Sacramento beat Fresno 6-3. It was tied 2-2 and Anthony Recker launched a grand slam with two outs in the top of the 16th after a blown umpire’s call extended the inning. The umpire in question was not a PCL umpire – he was Fresno’s local fill-in umpire, working third base. Many people were ejected. Yikes!
- Zephyr Field in New Orleans might be the best pitcher’s park in the PCL – but the Zephyrs broke the stadium record by hitting seven home runs in a 9-5 win over Oklahoma City last night.
- I think this is cool: Matt Kemp is rehabilitating in Albuquerque, but five hours before the Isotopes loss to Round Rock he was on the field practicing for the Home Run Derby. He wants to win on Monday. Derby contestants get to bring their own pitcher – that’s a huge part of success, and they talk about it in the story.
- A newcomer helped Iowa knock off Omaha, 5-4. The notorious Denny McLain signed autographs before the game – photos included in the first link.
- Nashville rallied early and beat Memphis as top prospect Shelby Miller continued to struggle. Miller had tremendous accolades entering the season – I’d like to see him with my own eyes, to try to get a grasp of what’s happening. Tacoma doesn’t play them until August.
After today’s game it’s the all-star break, and this blog will quiet down for a few days – I’m taking a mini-vacation. I’ll try to post something before the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday (4:00, MLB Network and 850 AM), but if not I’ll definitely be back on Thursday when the Rainiers host Colorado Springs to start an eight-game homestand.