Tacoma shortstop Nick Franklin hit the first pitch of the bottom of the 11th inning for a home run on Friday night, lifting Tacoma to a 4-3 victory over Oklahoma City.
It was the third home run of the game for the Rainiers, who scored all of their runs on longballs: Luis Jimenez hit a two-run blast in the first inning, and Alex Liddi tied the game with a solo shot in the bottom of the ninth.
Both Jimenez and Liddi ended long homerless streaks. Jimenez had not gone deep since June 28, when he homered off Jamie Moyer. That was 97 at-bats ago. Liddi’s most recent homer was on July 5.
It’s great to see those guys get going at the plate again – Liddi, in particular, is heating up. Liddi has hit safely in five straight games, with four two-hit games during the stretch.
Also important last night was the pitching of Hector Noesi, who had his first good start since being sent down by the Mariners. Noesi retired the last 14 batters he faced in a row, going seven innings and allowing two runs.
Charlie Furbush allowed a run during his rehabilitation outing – he’ll be here in Tacoma to pitch in at least one more game.
The Rainiers had yet another outstanding relief appearance by Bobby LaFromboise, who tossed three shutout innings and earned the win. LaFromboise managed to get two double-play grounders, including a big one with two on and one out in the top of the 11th inning.
The Rainiers have won four of their last five games, and can win the Oklahoma City series with a victory tonight.
Tonight’s game is at 7:05, and it’s Paint The Park Purple Night at Cheney Stadium – the Rainiers will be wearing special purple jerseys, which will be auctioned off after the game to raise money for the University of Washington at Tacoma scholarship fund. Tacoma starts RHP Erasmo Ramirez (3-2, 4.09) against Oklahoma City LHP Brett Oberholtzer (4-3, 6.02). The broadcast is on 850 AM and streaming right here.
- Ryan Divish has the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune. He talked to Nick Franklin for the story.
- The Mariners seven-game win streak ran into a 300-pound road block named CC Sabathia.
- In the PCL, Albuquerque lost to Las Vegas yesterday, 6-3, but the Isotopes still have a 1.5-game lead over Oklahoma City in the American-South. The Isotopes are locked in on winning the PCL’s tightest division race. One of the key Isotopes – outfielder Scott Van Slyke – might miss some time with an injury.
- Sacramento blasted Memphis, 10-2, and the River Cats hold a 4.5-game lead over Vegas in the Pacific-South.
- Colorado Springs topped Iowa 4-1, and the Iowa Cubs hit a new low: 30 games under .500.
- The Sky Sox remain six games behind first-place Reno in the Pacific-North. Reno held off Omaha last night, 5-3, as Tyler Skaggs tossed seven shutout innings.
- Salt Lake ripped a pair of eighth inning homers to beat New Orleans, 6-5.
- Julio Borbon connected for a walk-off two-run single and Round Rock defeated Tucson, 8-7.
- Fresno has had an unexpected lift from fill-in outfielder Ryan Lollis. The Grizzlies crushed Nashville last night, 10-5.
Remember, we have a rare 5:05 game on Sunday. New Orleans is flying in from Salt Lake City, and we are having a later start to give them time to show up. You can’t play a game without an opponent!