Moments after it appeared the Tacoma Rainiers were going to lose a second consecutive 1-0 game to Tucson, Luis Rodriguez launched a two-run walk-off home run and the Rainiers won the game, 2-1, and salvaged a split of the four home games against Tucson.
Steve Garrison started and tossed eight brilliant innings, allowing only a solo home run to Beamer Weems with two outs in the top of the eighth inning. Yet it looked like he was going to be saddled with the loss.
Tacoma did not score against Tucson starter Bear Bay, and the Padres bullpen is excellent. After two relievers carried the shutout into the ninth, Erik Hamren came on to get the save.
Hamren recorded two quick outs, and he got ahead of Alex Liddi, 1 ball, 2 strikes. Just a strike away from getting shut out, Liddi started to battle. He fouled off a few pitches, took a few balls, and eventually coaxed a walk.
That brought up Luis Rodriguez, and Hamren fell behind in the count, 2-0. Rodriguez got the pitch he was looking for, and he launched a two-run homer to right field, ending the game.
It was the second walk-off home run for Tacoma this year, after Scott Savastano’s 18th inning blast last Wednesday.
Now the Nine Game Mega Series (as named by Tucson broadcaster Tim Hagerty) moves to Tucson for the last five games. Don’t expect the scores to be 4-3, 4-3, 1-0, and 2-1 down there – we’re going to have more runs scored in that ballpark.
Tonight’s game is at 7:05, and you can hear it on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts LHP Danny Hultzen (1-2, 4.33) against Tucson LHP Andrew Werner (Triple-A debut).
- We start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- The Mariners beat up on the Kansas City Royals pitching staff again.
- Randy Johnson and Dan Wilson are being inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame today, and they reminisced.
- In the PCL, Sacramento’s Tyson Ross carried a perfect game into the sixth inning and settled for a complete game four-hitter as the River Cats won in Salt Lake City, 7-2.
- Colorado Springs avoided a sweep and beat Reno, 7-4. They are 7.5 games back – a long shot, but not dead by any means.
- Fresno lost to Las Vegas, one of their players was traded, and Hall Of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins made an appearance at the game. Just another night at the old ballyard!
- Outfielder Julio Borbon had a nice game and Round Rock held off Albuquerque, 5-1.
- Memphis and Nashville were tied 1-1 after nine, and then the teams started scoring and the Redbirds won it in ten innings, 4-3.
- Nick Green homered and New Orleans shut out Omaha, 2-0.
- Iowa’s Chris Volstad shut down Oklahoma last night, 5-0. The Daily Oklahoman notes that many people in the minor leagues would like to reach the majors. Really?
That’s it for today – long travel day. Don’t forget about the food truck festival at Cheney on Sunday, it’s going to be a blast, and you only pay for what you eat and drink – no entrance fees, no parking fees, nothing.