Tacoma ripped four home runs and blasted Reno on Tuesday night, 14-5. The victory gave Tacoma a three-games-to-one series victory over the Aces – Tacoma’s first ever series win against Reno, which joined the league in 2009.
Franklin Gutierrez led the way with two homers. The rehabilitating Mariners outfielder hit a three-run homer in the second inning, and added a two-run shot in the sixth. Both of his homers went to the opposite field.
When Gutierrez started his rehab five days ago, the thought was that he would probably be here until rosters expand on September 1. After last night’s game, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back in Seattle sooner.
Also last night, Luis Jimenez had three hits including his 20th homer of the season, and Guillermo Quiroz was 3-for-5 with a home run of his own.
The Rainiers did their part to play spoiler, handing first-place Reno three losses. However, neither Colorado Springs nor Salt Lake took up their role. They ended up splitting their four-game series, so the Sky Sox are four games out and Salt Lake is five games back with 13 to play.
Reno won the season series against Tacoma, 11-5. But it was 10-0; the Rainiers won five of the final six games against the Aces. Perhaps that is a good sign going into next year – Reno has given the Rainiers fits since entering the league.
Now the Rainiers open a Nine Game Mega Series against the Las Vegas 51s. The first five games will be held at Cheney Stadium, ending with the 2012 home final on Sunday. Then the series moves to Las Vegas for the last four games.
It is Tacoma’s second Nine Game Mega Series of the season – the Rainiers edged Tucson, five games to four, to take home their first-ever Nine Game Mega Series Trophy at the end of July.
This is not the only Nine Game Mega Series starting today – Reno and Fresno play one, too.
Why the PCL office schedules these things is beyond my comprehension, but we might as well have fun with them.
Vegas comes to town on the heels of two straight losses at Sacramento. They won the first two games there, pulling within 3.5 games of first, but now are 5.5 back and their playoff hopes are on life support. The Rainiers can polish ‘em off.
Tonight’s game is at 7:05, and the broadcast is on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Andrew Carraway (4-7, 4.70) against Las Vegas RHP Sean O’Sullivan (9-1, 2.18 with LV; 14-5, 4.15 in the PCL this year).
- We start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
- The Mariners won again, but Felix Hernandez was not perfect. Apparently he didn’t have his good stuff – he allowed one run in 7.2 innings. For shame!
- The promotion for Felix’s start – the Supreme Court – was awesome. This photo is perfect.
- The Mariners have won 14 of their last 15 games at Safeco Field. In this notebook: it looks like Mike Carp will have a (record?) third rehab assignment with Tacoma this season.
- Jerry Brewer writes that the Mariners are fun again. Larry Stone wrote that for one night at least, Seattle was a baseball town again.
- The minor league stolen base record was broken last night by Reds Double-A shortstop Billy Hamilton, who nabbed his 146th bag of the year.
- As part of a Baseball America package of stories about Hamilton’s record, there is a piece about how the Mariners are the best at teaching pitchers to hold runners.
- In the PCL, Salt Lake saw yesterday as a must-win against Colorado Springs, and Barry Enright got the job done.
- Meanwhile, Reno is going to try to clinch the Pacific-North at home.
- Sacramento trimmed its “magic number” to eight to clinch over Las Vegas. The River Cats are trying to win their sixth straight division title.
- Albuquerque held off New Orleans and now leads the American-South by four games over the Zephyrs.
- Jedd Gyorko hit another homer as Tucson shut out Fresno, 6-0.
- Round Rock outfielder Leonys Martin is much improved in 2012.
- Nashville rocked playoff-bound Omaha 7-0 as Caleb Gindl hit a pair of homers.
- Memphis starter Shelby Miller struck out the side on nine pitches in the first inning last night – but he lost, 2-0, on a late homer.
- Wow: Omaha’s Rosenblatt Stadium came crashing down. The video of the press box being vaporized is, um, stirring. I wonder how my boy Mark Nasser felt when watching that.
See you at the ballpark!