Tacoma had a shortage of available pitchers to work Thursday’s series finale in Salt Lake City, so they did the best thing possible to rectify the situation: they scored 18 runs.
On top of that, the few pitchers who actually were rested and ready did a terrific job, and Tacoma downed Salt Lake 18-2.
The Rainiers split the four-game series, and went 4-3 on the road trip. The club is back within five games of .500.
I wish I had time to write a long post on last night’s game, because it was one of those true oddities that come around in the PCL season. Unfortunately today is a travel day and I don’t have time to do it justice.
Some good stuff can be found in the TNT story linked below. Ty Kelly homered twice and drove in seven runs. Jesus Montero went 5-for-6. John Hicks made his Triple-A debut.
But in the newspaper story, I didn’t get to write about what I thought was the coolest part.
Up 18-0 to the bottom of the ninth, Tacoma was out of pitching and figured it would be safe to go with position players.
As always, Leury Bonilla was first. However, Bonilla couldn’t throw strikes (a rarity for him; he’s pitched a number of times in blowouts over the years because he can throw strikes). He walked four straight hitters to start the inning.
The only other healthy man on the bench was Humberto Quintero, who was not in the starting lineup.
So Quintero relieved Bonilla, got a first-pitch double play grounder, walked a man, and then got the final out of the game.
The funny part is that when manager Roy Howell went to the mound to change pitchers and bring in Quintero, I went to a 90-second commercial break just like we always do during pitching changes.
Welp, I had a problem. Quintero came running in, threw just four warm-up pitches (instead of the allotted eight), and proclaimed he was ready.
By the time we came out of the standard-length commercial break, Quintero had already gotten a double-play grounder and thrown two pitches to the next batter!
I love this guy. He should pitch all of the time.
Now the Rainiers are home to face Fresno, in a three-game series leading up to the all-star break. Tacoma just won two-of-three at Fresno at the beginning of the road trip.
Fresno has the man who leads all of Triple-A baseball in home runs. Adam Duvall has launched 26 this year, and keeping him in the ballpark will be a priority for Tacoma pitchers this weekend.
Friday’s game starts at 7:05 PM (Pacific) – 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 (1-4, 4.54) against Fresno LHP Mike Kickham (6-5, 3.61).
- The Rainiers game story from The News Tribune has details on the game, but no quotes because the game ended too late.
- Welp, the Mariners lost to the Twins last night, 4-2.
- Bob Dutton’s Mariners notebook has a bunch of good stuff, including an item explaining why reliever Todd Coffey may not be with the Rainiers for much longer.
- Jerry Brewer has a column about the importance of the Mariners series against Oakland which starts tonight.
- In the PCL, Fresno edged Sacramento 3-2 as Adam Duvall went deep (note: Duvall is 12-for-21 with three HRs and 10 RBI in five games since being optioned to Fresno by the Giants). Apparently the Rainiers won’t have to deal with rehabilitating Marco Scutaro.
- Las Vegas first baseman Brandon Allen went bonkers in his old stomping grounds, going 3-for-5 with a homer and five RBI in a 9-4 win at Reno.
- El Paso and Albuquerque split a doubleheader – one of three twinbills the ‘Topes are playing this week, including two in a row!
- Round Rock whacked Colorado Springs, 10-4, as Jared Hoying prepares for the all-star game.
- Francisco Pena – who will be in the Triple-A All-Star Home Run Derby – ripped two dingers as Omaha defeated Iowa, 7-1.
- New Orleans out-slugged Oklahoma City, 10-8, picking up a road series win.
- Memphis dropped Nashville, 1-0.
Hey it’s Friday Night Fireworks tonight – come on out to the park for the game, and stay for the pyrotechnics!