Tacoma rallied to score three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, coming back from a 4-3 deficit to beat the Omaha Storm Chasers on Wednesday night, 6-4.
It was the opening game of a four-game series for the Rainiers, who have now won 20 of their last 30 games. It was also the first game of the Rainiers final homestand of the year, which runs through Wednesday.
Taijuan Walker started and allowed a pair of home runs in the third inning, but nothing the rest of the way. He delivered a quality start, lasting six innings and giving up three runs while throwing exactly 100 pitches.
Both homers he gave up were interesting.
Carlos Peguero hit the first one. The ex-Rainiers slugger has homered in four straight games for Omaha, with a pair of two-homer games during that stretch. The notoriously streaky hitter has eight homers in his last seven games, and 13 homers over his last 20 games. He’s up to 28 dingers on the year, which ranks second in the PCL behind Albuquerque’s Joc Pederson.
The other home run was hit by Seattle native Matt Fields. A 2004 graduate of Rainier Beach High School who also played a year at Green River Community College, Fields was playing in his first professional game in the Pacific Northwest last night – and he’s been playing professionally since 2005! With friends and family in the stands, Fields launched a two-run homer to left in the third inning.
The homers didn’t hurt the Rainiers. John Hicks hit a two-run shot for Tacoma, Gabriel Noriega went 4-for-4, and Justin Smoak singled in the go-ahead run as Tacoma emerged with the victory.
Two hot hitters stayed that way: Stefen Romero went 1-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, and Smoak had two hits and a walk while reaching base in his 16th straight contest.
Tacoma remains five games behind first place Sacramento, which also won. There are 12 games left in the regular season.
Thursday’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 Erasmo Ramirez (4-5, 3.77) against Omaha LHP Buddy Baumann (1-3, 2.63).
- In the Rainiers game story for The News Tribune, Taijuan Walker says he had poor location on the two home run balls.
- The Mariners took a frustrating loss in Philadelphia. They’re off today, then play in Boston on Friday.
- Among the subjects covered in Bob Dutton’s Mariners notebook is… playoff tickets.
- The Pacific Coast League named Round Rock’s Jason Roberts as Athletic Trainer Of The Year.
- They named the broadcast team for the Triple-A National Championship Game.
- Sacramento scored five runs in the top of the first and won at Memphis, 6-3. No story to link to – with the Sacramento newspaper’s erratic coverage of the local nine, and the Memphis paper’s stronger-than-Fort-Knox paywall, we may not have a story link for this entire series.
- Reno broke open a close game with a six-run eighth inning and beat Iowa, 11-4. The Aces remain three games behind Sacramento.
- Fresno at Nashville was rained out. They’re playing two today.
- Oklahoma City could have pulled within one game of first place Omaha in the American-North, but instead the RedHawks got shut down by El Paso’s Matt Wisler, 2-1.
- New Orleans turned a triple play in a 4-0 win at Las Vegas. Sixteen years with the Rainiers and I still haven’t seen one here :(
- Round Rock’s Robbie Ross Jr. tamed the streaking Salt Lake Bees in a 5-2 road win.
- Albuquerque won at Colorado Springs, 7-4. The news story focuses on Sky Sox infielder Rafael Ynoa, who has had a nice season.
- We’ll close it out with Baseball America’s daily round-up.
Tonight is our final Thirsty Thursday of the season – come on out and enjoy it!