Opportunity Missed

Tacoma missed a chance to pull within three games of first place last night, dropping a 2-1 game to Omaha in front of a packed house at Cheney Stadium.

The Rainiers ran into Omaha’s Liam Hendricks, who has been the best starting pitcher in Triple-A baseball this season.

Hendricks started the season with Buffalo in the International League, where he was leading the circuit in ERA. He was the starting pitcher and winner for the IL in the Triple-A All-Star Game, and then was traded near the deadline to the Royals organization.

In just his fifth start for Omaha, Hendricks tossed eight innings without allowing an earned run. He gave up just six hits and two walks, while recording seven strikeouts. Hendricks is now 4-1 with a 2.83 ERA in five PCL starts.

The loss hurt Tacoma, which had strong pitching performances of its own from James Gillheeney, Blake Beavan, and Logan Bawcom.

First place Sacramento lost, second place Reno won and is now only one game back, and Tacoma remains in third place and four games out of first. Only ten games remain.

Imagine how tight things would be if Tacoma had won last night! Still, the boys aren’t out of the race yet. We’ll see what happens tonight.

Saturday’s game starts at 7:05 PM – the Alaska Airlines Pregame Show begins at 6:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM and streaming online right here. Tacoma starts RHP Jordan Pries (9-6, 3.77) against Omaha RHP Aaron Brooks (10-3, 4.32).

Links:

  • The Rainiers game story from The News Tribune has reaction from Ketel Marte and manager Roy Howell. One big correction: the final out was a controversial called strike three, not a swinging strike. I haven’t had a chance to look at the video yet, but I’ve been told that pitch appeared quite low.
  • The Mariners miraculous 5-3 comeback win over Boston was so dramatic you may want to read about it twice. So, here’s Ryan Divish’s story for the Seattle Times, and here is Bob Dutton’s version from the TNT.
  • Dutton’s Mariners notebook includes a Michael Saunders update.
  • There could be a big affiliation shuffle in the PCL this fall, and a newspaper report out of Oklahoma says the Dodgers are moving to Oklahoma City next year. That’s news to the folks in Albuquerque.
  • Sacramento scored first and did not score again in a 4-1 loss at Memphis. Redbirds starter Tim Cooney won his league-leading 13th game.
  • Reno pulled to one game back by crushing Iowa, 11-6. Reno goes for a four-game sweep tonight.
  • Fresno’s Chris Heston pitched a complete game four-hit shutout at Nashville and won, 3-0. Nashville trails Memphis by one game in the American-South.
  • Having already clinched the Pacific-South title, the Las Vegas 51s picked up an 8-7 win over New Orleans while pausing to enjoy the Little League World Series.
  • El Paso beat Oklahoma City on Tony Cody Decker‘s eighth inning homer.
  • Joc Pederson homered (32) and stole a base (29) in Albuquerque’s 13-7 win at Colorado Springs, and he’s one steal away from becoming the PCL’s first 30-30 man since 1934.
  • Round Rock was rained out at Salt Lake, they’ll play two today.

It’s the last Saturday night home game of the year – see you at the park!

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