Long, Painful Night At The Ballpark

Tacoma dropped an 11-inning game to Fresno on Thursday night, 11-6.

The game was a real slow one to begin with. Tacoma starter Brian Sweeney was in trouble in the early innings, which will slow down even a quick-worker like Sweeney. Fresno starting pitcher Boof Bonser couldn’t throw strikes and was walking people left and right, extending his innings. We were almost one hour into the affair at the end of the second inning.

Still, things got interesting when the Rainiers overcame an early 4-0 deficit to tie it up. Then in the bottom of the sixth inning, Nick Franklin homered to give the Rainiers a 5-4 lead.

However, Fresno scored twice on a two-out hit in the top of the ninth, grabbing a 6-5 lead. The Rainiers responded with an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth, and there we were, already past the 4-hour mark, and on our way to extras. It was the first extra-inning game of the year for both teams.

Fresno scored five runs in the top of the 11th and that was all she wrote. 11-6 Fresno, in 11 innings, and 4 hours, 42 minutes of baseball.

There were casualties.

First, Carlos Peguero was pulled from the game after three innings. Manager Daren Brown said Peguero was “under the weather” and is day-to-day.

In the ninth inning, we had a scary moment. With two one and nobody out, Joe Dunigan squared around to bunt. The pitch from Dan Runzler was up and in, and it hit Dunigan flush on the jaw. Dunigan immediately left the game. Today, Brown said that Dunigan is in the hospital with a broken mandible. Brown visited him in the hospital and he reported that Joe was in good spirits, is supposed to have surgery today, and should be discharged tonight.

Hopefully Dunigan heals quickly. At any rate, he’ll be placed on the 7-day disabled list. Look for super-sub Leury Bonilla to join the Rainiers tonight or tomorrow.

Tonight is the final game of the homestand, and there will be Friday Night Fireworks after the game. Tacoma starts LHP Danny Hultzen (2-1, 2.70) against Fresno RHP Yusmeiro Petit (1-1, 6.32). First pitch is set for 7:05, you can listen on South Sound Sports 850 AM or streaming right here.

Links:

  • We start with the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune.
  • The Mariners beat Justin Verlander and the Tigers yesterday, 2-0. Kyle Seager had the go-ahead RBI double – and he’s been hitting a lot of two-baggers.
  • John McGrath writes that it is always fun to watch Endy Chavez play defense.
  • Jerry Brewer wrote a column about the underrated Hisashi Iwakuma.
  • Rainiers reliever Brian Moran has a little brother who could be a top-10 pick in this year’s draft (ESPN Insider required).
  • One week after making Baseball America’s Prospect Hot Sheet, Mike Zunino made the Not-So-Hot Sheet. Swingy!
  • In the PCL, Tucson topped Salt Lake, 3-2. Here’s the whole story on Tucson’s Jaff Decker, who’s name is so unfortunately pronounced “Jeff.”
  • Drew Pomeranz was dealing as Colorado Springs edged Reno, 4-2, in a rare Aces Ballpark pitcher’s duel.
  • Sacramento has been playing awful defense, and it cost the River Cats in a 10-6 loss at Las Vegas.
  • Crushing news out of Vegas, where top catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud has been injured once again. This time, it’s a broken foot.
  • Memphis defeated New Orleans, 1-0. Top prospect Michael Wacha delivered seven shutout innings, and Rob Johnson – yes, our Rob Johnson – homered for the only run of the game.
  • Rangers prospect Mike Olt is having trouble adjusting to Triple-A pitching. Perhaps he’s coming around – he went 2-for-3 in the second game of Round Rock’s doubleheader split with Oklahoma City yesterday.
  • Here’s a good one from Austin on Round Rock’s Jurickson Profar, with a list of recent No. 1-ranked prospects.
  • More news out of Las Vegas on the proposed new ballpark in Summerlin. This columnist likes the new idea.
  • I’ve seen a lot of collectible frenzies in baseball over the years, but a burning desire for a cheap plastic knockoff of a World Series ring is a new one for me. (I think the next step is the World Series Replica Ring-Pop. Wouldn’t this be even better if you could eat it?).

The Rainiers hit the road on Saturday, so tomorrow’s blog post will either be really early (airport writing!) or really late (writing when I get to the hotel).

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