The term “walk-off” for a game-ending play is relatively new to baseball. I’ve only heard it for the last 15 years or so; it wasn’t part of the game’s lexicon when I was a kid.
I’m not sure how I feel about the phrase – sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t.
But it definitely applies when the game ends on a bases loaded walk, and that’s what happened on Monday night as Ty Kelly took ball four and the Rainiers beat Las Vegas, 3-2.
Earlier in the day, Tacoma lost the completion of Sunday’s suspended game 7-5. Still, the Rainiers won two of the three games in the series, and improved to 15-13 on the season.
Now the team begins its longest road trip of the season, a 13-day, 12-game excursion to Reno, Las Vegas, and Sacramento.
We are in Reno now, and the team is preparing to face the Arizona Diamondbacks affiliate for the first time this season.
The biggest change for Reno this season is at the top: for the first time since the Aces joined the PCL in 2009, Brett Butler is not managing the squad. Bugsy landed the Miami Marlins third base coach job, and the new Aces manager is Phil Nevin.
(I can’t wait to get to Aces Ballpark and find out if the name of the in-stadium sports bar has changed from Bugsy’s to Philthy’s.)
Reno is an old Triple-A team. They have two young defensive standouts playing up the middle, in DiDi Gregorius and Nick Ahmed. But the rest of the team is made up of Triple-A and big league veterans: players you have seen before, such as Mike Jacobs, Andy Marte, Trent Oeltjen, Bobby Wilson, and Port Orchard native Aaron Cunningham.
The Aces phenom pitching prospect Archie Bradley is currently on the disabled list with what has been billed as a minor elbow issue, so the Rainiers won’t see him this time around.
Reno has been lingering right around the .500 mark since opening day, and they enter the series with a record of 16-16. They just went 4-4 on an eight-game road trip, splitting series in both Las Vegas and Salt Lake. They had to win the last two games in SLC to earn the split.
Tuesday’s game starts at 6:35 – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 6:20 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Jordan Pries (1-1, 2.70) against Reno RHP Charles Brewer (2-4, 6.60).
- Dave Boling covered the Rainiers game for The News Tribune.
- The Mariners are hot. They beat Oakland last night 4-2 as Stefen Romero launched his first big league homer. Seattle is 5-1 so far on the nine-game road trip.
- Your Mariners Notebook from Bob Dutton has all of the latest news.
- In the PCL, we had some serious drama in El Paso. Chihuahuas infielder Jake Lemmerman hit a walk-off grand slam to give El Paso a 13-10 win over Sacramento, and a series sweep. There were three grand slams in the game, tying the PCL record.
- Reno rallied late to score a 7-6 road win in Salt Lake City.
- Fresno is red-hot, and they polished off the Isotopes to complete a four-game road sweep. Fresno has won nine in a row!
- Oklahoma City’s Mike Foltynewicz worked in the 99-mph zone, and he struck out a dozen Omaha hitters in a 5-1 win last night.
- Kyle Jensen went 5-for-5 with two home runs and six RBI as New Orleans pounded Round Rock, 13-4.
- Nashville ace Mike Fiers got hit for the first time this season and the Sounds six-game win streak came to an end with a 12-3 loss to Iowa.
- Oscar Taveras and everybody else holding a bat and wearing a Memphis uniform had three hits as the Redbirds rocked Colorado Springs, 15-2. It was a 21-hit attack for Memphis.
- Ken Rosenthal has a column on top prospects who could get called up soon, and lots of PCL players appear on his list.
- You can find Baseball America’s daily minor league round-up right here.
Reno. The Biggest Little City In The World. Boomtown. Home of the Awful Awful. And also the place where the Rainiers have had awful results: Tacoma is 9-31 all-time at Aces Ballpark, which opened in 2009. The Rainiers 3-5 record at Reno last year was their best ever. Hopefully this is the year Tacoma starts winning games here.