Tacoma beat Oklahoma City on Saturday night, 5-1, and won the four-game series, three games to one. The Rainiers have won five of the last six games.
Pitching was the name of the game last night. Erasmo Ramirez started and lasted six innings, giving up just one unearned run. He threw strikes, got ahead of the hitters, and was in command throughout. He topped out at 93 miles per hour on the Rainiers gun, pitching mostly at 90-91.
Brian Sweeney relieved Ramirez and went the final three innings without allowing a baserunner – it was nine up, nine down for Sweeney, who was credited with a save.
Offensively, it was a group effort as the Rainiers sprayed nine hits around Cheney Stadium. The team hit four singles during a three-run rally in the second inning, and Alex Liddi hit a long triple to left-center to drive in a run in the third.
Liddi is heating up – and he needed to. He has 11 hits in his last six games, with a triple and a homer in the last two. He’s boosted his season average to .244 and can still salvage the year with a strong finish.
This afternoon’s game is at 5:05, and you can hear it on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP D.J. Mitchell (0-1, 0.75) against New Orleans RHP Tom Koehler (11-8, 3.50).
The Zephyrs are flying in from Salt Lake City this morning – hence the odd start-time for a Sunday game. New Orleans went into Salt Lake hot, won the opening game for a seven-game win streak, and then promptly lost the next three – including a 6-4 decision yesterday. They are the Florida Marlins affiliate, and their top prospect is starting pitcher Jacob Turner, who pitches on Tuesday.
- Doug Pacey was on hand to write the Rainiers game story for The News Tribune. He focused on Erasmo Ramirez and his success at Cheney Stadium.
- Nick Franklin‘s walk-off home run from Friday night is now on the Rainiers highlight reel. The real rarity is the second clip: Guillermo Quiroz‘s eighth career triple.
- My Minor League Notebook for the paper has a blurb about Rainiers reliever Brian Moran and his “invisi-ball,” a note on an intern who got ejected, and some stuff about Mike Hessman that you have already read.
- From this Greg Johns notebook, we learn that Ramirez will rehab longer with Tacoma, and Charlie Furbush will next pitch for the Rainiers tomorrow. Also, Mike Carp is going to be a father.
- Felix Hernandez was absolutely *epic* in a 1-0 Mariners win at Yankees Stadium yesterday – so you might as well read Larry Stone’s story about the game.
- Speaking of Stone, we have his Sunday baseball package from the Seattle Times: a column about how the American League power balance has shifted west, a notebook with several interesting items, our beloved power rankings (I like #5), and thumbs up-and-down.
- John McGrath writes that the Mariners losing Brendan Ryan to injury would be an absolute disaster. He speaks the truth.
- The San Francisco Chronicle asks how did the A’s and Giants miss on Mike Trout? You can also ask most of the other MLB teams. << Excellent story alert, if you like tales of scouting and the draft.
- For all of you physics nuts in the reading audience, we have an excellent New York Times story about former Rainiers and Mariners pitcher Freddy Garcia and the unusual movement he gets on his split-finger fastball.
- In the PCL, Sacramento beat Memphis in the 10th inning on Anthony Recker‘s game-winning single. Brandon McCarthy struck out nine over six shutout innings on a rehab start.
- Salt Lake topped New Orleans, 6-4, as manager Keith Johnson‘s strategic moves paid off. Oscar-winning actress Geena Davis hung out at the ballpark.
- For all of the player’s wives in the blog-reading audience, we have an article about player’s wives in Reno.
- Reno beat Omaha 4-2, getting a strong start from Charlie Brewer. They split the series, billed as a possible PCL Championship Series preview.
- Iowa had a big three-run homer from Josh Vitters and beat Colorado Springs, 5-1. The I-Cubs win was just their second in the last 17 games.
- Tucson reliever Jason Ray is from New Mexico, and he has not pitched in his home state since he was a senior in high school. He’ll get a chance to now as the Padres visit Albuquerque. Jerry Sands led the Isotopes to a 6-4 win over Las Vegas last night.
- Fresno added a trio of veteran players, and then got trounced by Nashville, 9-1.
- They might be two of the worst teams in the PCL, but Tucson and Round Rock wrapped up a whale of a series with another dramatic finish: Matt Clark hit a tenth inning grand slam to give Tucson a 10-6 win yesterday.
I know you are wondering: what, exactly, is a zephyr? A zephyr is a wind. Hopefully there will be a nice, gentle zephyr blowing this afternoon at the ballpark, to keep us cool.